Reviewing the review

August 28, 2008

As I'm neither Bard nor Ovate or Druid, I've never been a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, splendid though it be ("Battle for the voice of the past", Books, 21 August).

The main protagonist of Part III of my tome Creating Prehistory: Druids, Ley Hunters and Archaeologists in Pre-War Britain is George (Watson) Macgregor Reid and not Robert Macgregor Reid. The "series of projects on prehistoric sites and landscapes" in Part IV was not selected at random as the review implies, but designed to explore some very different approaches to the ancient past that emerged between the wars, and to try to explain why they came about.

Finally, I'm not implying "that all accounts of the past are equally valid", but I am saying that all accounts of the past have much more to say about the society that produces them than the past they purport to be studying.

This includes the "honest understanding" of modern archaeologists, which is created by a necessarily partial but not necessarily accurate selection of the facts, and circulated by things such as book reviews.

Adam Stout, Author of Creating Prehistory.

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