The Prehistory Guys

The Prehistory Guys header image 1

SWS - 014 | Ubiquity: Counting the Stones

We tend to thing of our ancient monuments as being special, unique places. But when you begin to count them, it slowly dawns on you that for our ancestors, they were commonplace. In Standing with Stones podcast number 14, Michael and Rupert discuss this aspect of our heritage - and ask whether appreciation of their ubiquity changes our appreciation of them.

As well as our regular features, 'Question Time' this month sparks a debate as to the utility of the Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge; were they used to predict lunar and solar eclipses? Or is there number and form merely contingent on chance and location?

NOTE: if you're interested in following up on the background to the topics covered in this podcast, for the monthly subscription rate of $1 a month, you can have access to the notes for this show, and much more content besides, by becoming a member on Patreon. Go to the Patreon page for this podcast and become one of our valued Patreon supporters now! 

SWS Podcast #013 | The Great Circles of Cumbria

As you'll have guessed already, this month we're off to Cumbria and the Lake District to wander the Great Stone Circles, ponder their purpose and hopefully enlighten you about their grandeur and importance. Oh, and of course, there'll be a boundary pushed, some news, a new stonehead, a question answered and a little whimsey. 

By the way, if you're interested in the show notes, we've moved them to the Patreon page for this podcast and will be continuing to do so in the future. Patreon supporters will have exclusive access to them from now on as a reward for their support (along with many other perks!). If you want to access the show notes, follow the link and become one of our valued Patreon supporters now! It needn't cost you more than $1 a month. SHOW NOTES HERE.

SWS - 012 | Dartmoor

"Dartmoor is one of my favourite places in the whole of England, and I've been exploring here for over twenty years. Three hundred and sixty five square miles of rolling moors, with a huge variety of prehistoric structures. It's so unspoilt - in archaeological terms - it gives us a much clearer idea of what the whole country used to be like".

So says Rupert at the beginning of the Dartmoor segment of our 2008 film 'Standing with Stones'. Twelve years on from the making of the film, we muse on what's special about this magical place and give some useful pointers about getting the most out of a visit to the moors.

PLUS: domesticated dogs from 14,000 years ago; megaliths of the Westrn Sahara; Secrets of the Ice; 12,000 year old petroglyphs from India - and, of course, our regular features.


SWS-X002 | A Conversation with Dr. Bettina Schulz Paulsson

A few weeks ago in the middle of February 2019, articles began appearing in the media linking Stonehenge, sailors and the megalithic culture of Brittany. To us, something didn't smell quite right about that and it didn’t take long to find out that most of these articles were, in one way or another, misrepresenting, and at worst completely mangling a serious, deep and very painstaking piece of academic research by Dr. Bettina Schulz Paulsson of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In a book published in 2015 and in a recent short paper, Dr. Schulz Paulsson describes how the radio carbon dates taken from nearly two and a half thousand megalithic and pre-megalithic sites in Western Europe show a radiation of a megalithic culture in the 5th and 4th millenia BC  from North West France and in particular coastal Brittany down the Atlantic seaboard and round into the Mediterranean.

How better to clear up any misunderstandings than to talk to the source of the work herself? And so it was a great honour when Dr. Schulz Paulsson agreed to be on our show.

SWS - 011 | Making a Megalithic Story

This month we take an inward look at part of the process that went into the making of Standing with Stones; just how did we choose which sites to include in the film? It's a response to the oft-asked question: "Why the heck did you leave (insert personal favourite site here) out?" We do our best to answer.

PLUS:  A VERY ancient tiara, a submerged settlement in the Hebrides, a 4,000 year old child's rattle and for the grown-ups - a 4,000 year old board game. Oh, and the Stonehead of the Month is a dog.

SWS - 010 | Was There A Beaker Revolution?

Was there a Beaker revolution? Both Rupert and Michael are surprised to find that despite a lot of detailed archaeological and genetic evidence, there is much confusion as to what exactly was going on in Britain and Northern/Central Europe 4,500 years ago. However, what is clear is that big changes happened, especially in Britain - where wholesale population change occurred over a few hundred years. What are we to make of this?

Plus:Neolithic beasts of burden, Mesolithic chewing gum, The Folkton Drums and an exhibition of archaeological howlers. And Michael and Rupert fight for the "Grouchy Hat'!

SWS-009 | Archaeoastronomy

In a very special 1 hour 45 minute extended episode (you have been warned), Michael & Rupert explore the science of archaeoastronomy and surprise themselves at how long they are able to talk on the subject. However, there's still time for pushing a boundary, some news, a question, a Stonehead of the Month and a fascinating bit of neolithic audio whimsey.

Show notes not available at time of publication but will be available soon at

SWS-008 | Trade in the Neolithic

At last! Megalithic podcast No. 8! All the regular slots - pushing back boundaries, news, Stonehead of the Month etc. PLUS: We know that Neolithic trade took place; the question is how? Rupert & Michael perform a reverse 2½ somersault with 2½ twists and attempt some answers to the question. 

For full show notes, please go to STANDINGSTONES.NET

SWS-007 | Isotopes, Half-Lives & Magnetics

Welcome to megalithic podcast No. 7! All the regular slots - pushing back boundaries, news, Stonehead of the Month etc. PLUS: Rupert & Michael throw caution to the winds and risk serious cranial injury by delving into how science helps us to understand the past. Hold onto your heads ...

For full show notes, please go to STANDINGSTONES.NET

SWS-006 | Megaliths of the World

Our sixth megalithic podcast - in which we push back a boundary, report some news, answer a question and elect a well-deserved Stonehead of the Month.
PLUS: Rupert & Michael travel the world from Gobekli Tepe to Co. Sligo and back in a wide ranging discussion about what we know of megaliths in the wider world and what we can begin to understand from the stones of distant lands.

For full show notes, please go to STANDINGSTONES.NET