My name is Edward (Ned) Pegler. I am (or was) 50, live in Swindon, and I’m currently free, having previously worked in an FE college as a lecturer in Electronics, a bit of Physics and Astronomy for 16 years. I was told by a close friend that you should let people know your background if you want to put forward your version of history so that people can judge you accordingly. Here it is.
I spent my childhood in a middle class, Conservative, unreligiously protestant household in Surrey. My parents weren’t particularly rich but they certainly weren’t poor. However, both worked hard to afford to send me to private and public schools. From this I achieved Bs and Cs at A level, then went on to University in Scotland to study Geology. Personally, I would have chosen graphic design but you tend to listen to your parents more when you’re young, and Geology turned out to be much more fun.
I came out of University with a 2.1, got a job, went back to Scotland and did a PhD. There I discovered I liked research but preferred having opinions and appeared to have the wrong personality to fit in to academia. During this time I briefly considered a career as an internationally famous rock star but turned it down. Instead I got a job in De Beers, Cape Town where I was in charge of looking for new diamond prospects off the Namibian and Sierra Leonean coast (if you look on the internet you can probably find my one academic paper there somewhere).
I came back to Britain unemployed and developed an unhealthy obsession with a branch of sedimentary geology called sequence stratigraphy, arguing (with myself) how it could be used to indicate past current regimes in the world’s oceans. This went nowhere so I retrained to be a teacher. During my time in Swindon I have written one unpublished children’s book, together with my partner, Steph, and spent a pointless five months reconstructing a lost Beach Boys album. I play classical guitar to grade 0. I’ve always had an interest in marginal history, but being close to Avebury also started me thinking about Archaeology.
Politically, I’m unaligned, seeing most modern political parties as well meaning but generally misguided, although I don’t think I could do any better. I have grave misgivings about a system where borrowing from the future (particularly resources) ‘stimulates growth’. My view of the future of civilisation is that it’s here to stay (not what I thought before). The role that people play in that is more debatable.
The aim of this blog is to discuss ideas that I have or have had about prehistory. For many posts there is no particular agenda, just ideas about particular things, often related to the British Neolithic. However, I also have megalomaniac tendencies to want to write a book summarising prehistory (mainly Europe) and how it works. Sometimes I also get an unhealthy obsession with Indo-European language origins.
Some of these ideas have been given much thought, some are relatively new. Most change with time. All of them have a high chance of being wrong. I don’t think this matters as it’s better for an idea to be out there and discussed that kept back for fear of being ridiculed. I realise that professional archeologists and historians have a lot more information at their disposal than I do (sadly it’s quite difficult, without being rich, for a non-academic to access many academic papers, but it is really starting to get better now). Some of you may think parts of what I say are plain silly.
If you do have criticisms of the posts please be patient with me and post comments letting me know, helpfully, where you think that my ideas are naive, need further work or are factually wrong. If you like some of the ideas, I’d love to hear from you. If you want to take any of these ideas further that would be good.