Suddenly, I want to go to Portugal.
I had not really looked at the area before but stumbling across Cromeleque dos Almendres, I am really taken by these. Here are some photos and the entry from WIKIPEDIA.
The Almendres Cromlech megalithic complex, located 38°33?28?N 08°3?41?WCoordinates: 38°33?28?N 08°3?41?W near Guadalupe, Évora, Portugal, is one of the earliest public monuments. It is the largest existing group of structured menhirs in the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the largest in Europe.
This megalithic monument originally consisted of more than one hundred monoliths, some of which have been taken away for other uses. A recent dig showed that the complex had undergone several building phases during the neolithic period (5000 – 4000 BC).
It was found rather late, in 1964.
92 menhirs of different sizes currently form two grounds that were built oriented to different equinox directions. Several of them were put back in place.
The axis of the ovals is oriented along an east-west direction. The complex’s position latitude is about the same as the maximum moon elongation (38.55 degrees for 1500 BC); the other latitude at which that happens is that of Stonehenge, 51.18 degrees for 2000 BC..
About a dozen monoliths present some form of carved drawings, four of which exhibit only small circular holes. Monolith number 8, with a cut flat top at about breast level and showing several dimples, might have served for finer astronomical observation, specially spring equinox observation, by putting small stones on them. These observations might be made from stone 39, on the eastern focal point of the elliptic layout.
It is believed that the monument had religious purposes and functioned as a primitive astronomical observatory.
During the making of “Standing with Stones” Rupert and I found ourselves on July 5th 2006 standing on busy Cannon Street in the middle of the City of London. How come? Well, that question is answered in the clip below. Even so, it was pretty surreal to mind ourselves filming an ancient prehistoric monument inside a sport shop in the centre of the great metropolis. Our thanks to the manager of Sportec, Chris Cheek for permission to film in his shop.
By the way, as far as I know, despite reports in 2006 that the stone was due to be removed to the Museum of London, it is still in Cannon Street.
As a little addendum, this clip from the cutting room floor might amuse you …
Thankfully, I did have all the permission to film red tape sorted, so after a few calls to the City authorities, all was fine. Kudos to the police for being on the case.
Today, with all the best wishes I could muster, I put in the post a special copy of the DVD addressed to the office of the Sundance Film Festival, Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California.
Entry is one thing, acceptance is another, but Rupert and I do think we have created an exceptional film by any standards and one that deserves to be judged alongside the best that the world has to offer right now. We’re under no illusion that Standing with Stones will save the world, but watched in it’s entirety, it seems to have a profound and moving effect on many people.
If I may be pretentious for a moment and rob from Shakespeare, it seems that standing stones have the power to “… hold as ’twere the mirror up to nature: to show virtue her feature, scorn image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure“. Who was it said that each generation gets the Stonehenge it deserves? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio … blah, blah, blah …
My name is Michael Bott (with the cap) and it has been my privilege to partner my pal Rupert Soskin (with the shades) in the making of an amazing and unique film, Standing with Stones.
I think I was about 10 years old when I first visited the Rollright Stones. I remember it was part of a day in which my parents were showing visiting relatives the countryside around where we lived. Why I should remember that visit and why it should have had such an impact on me, I don’t know. After all, what are the chances of a small clearing with a collection of grey and battered looking stones arranged in a circle registering on the consciousness of a boy of 10? I liked cars, planes, guns, Action Man. Perhaps it was the way it was presented to me, perhaps the tales of witchcraft brought it alive or maybe it was just my own imagination confronted with a real life enigma for the first time, but for some reason, the image held and 40 odd years later I found myself returned to those stones, in the privileged role of film maker, for the making of Standing with Stones.
Continue reading »
Continue reading »