Thursday, 15 September 2016

Change of direction

Gundestrup cauldron
1899 published engraving by J. Magnus Petersen from his 1891 pencil drawing

This will be the last of my regularly scheduled posts on this blog. Instead of one post per weekday, I will be posting only infrequently, and mainly about additions to my collection of early Celtic art (another one is on the way to me) and news about Tristan, the world's most famous coyote hybrid (coydog) whose main post now has 10,464 page views from all continents save for Antarctica, and is the number one result in quite a number of Google searches about coydogs. You can always enter your email address in the "Follow by Email" widget at the top of the left sidebar and Google will let you know when a new post appears. I will continue to reply to any comments I publish and will add any pictures of other coydogs that their owners would like to see here, and give any training tips that are requested.

Instead of writing this blog, my mornings will now be taken up with writing more books. Three are planned and there will probably be more to come. Foremost among these will be a major work on the Gundestrup cauldron. Vincent Megaw calls the cauldron "The most illustrated piece in all European prehistory" and yet there has never before been a very detailed and specific interdisciplinary study of it. My study will include art-historical and iconographic analyses that will reveal how the images are connected and the pattern of the syncretism between Greek and Celtic beliefs and mythology. It will also identify certain historical events that are symbolized in its iconography; present a much earlier dating for its manufacture and clearly show why, although it was made by Thracian silversmiths, their workshop was located in Italy. The book will appear as an ebook on Amazon, but I might publish paperback and/or hard cover editions as well. It is a project that has been far too long in the making and has already received very favorable comments in discussions I have had, such as this one from Professor Raimund Karl:
"This your theory about the Gundestrup cauldron date, origins & imagery I actually like quite a lot, and find quite convincing. I'd have to follow Vincent Megaw on this, it is definitely one of the most convincing theories about the origins & meanings of the Gundestrup cauldron I have seen so far! In fact, I may go even further and say that - without going through the other main theories again with a fine comb and comparing them to yours - it may even be the most convincing proposed so far!"
 For more than three years I have been writing this blog. This is the 775th post and as of yesterday, its total word count is 673,253. That is the equivalent of about seven Ph.D. theses or eight mystery novels on average. My writing speed is about the same as that of Stephen King. This blog has been an interesting project and I am convinced that a regular writing schedule will completely eliminate "writer's block". Over time, it has seemed to me that the posts were writing themselves and I have just been the vehicle. It is has been said that the best way to learn anything is to write a book about it. I think that the same might be true for blogging. I have learned much and I hope that you have too.

Thank you for reading and for your support, and have an inspired life.

John's Coydog Community page


  1. Hi John:

    Thanks for some great reads and good luck for the future.

    John Howland

  2. John, I've really enjoyed following your posts, particularly the "Lawrence" theme and the Cultural Heritage theme. Each was literally a book in itself. I guess I'll have to broaden my interest to Coydogs :-) Thanks for giving us so many things to think about.

    1. Thanks, Wayne! I think that the size of both the Lawrence and Cultural Heritage themes contributed to my decision to focus on books for a while. the Gundestrup project, though, has been hanging around for a while. I even wrote my novel as a break from it (procrastination?). Mind you, now I'm going to produce the Gundestrup book as an Amazon ebook and they have greater functionality such as enlargeable images and search functions (No more having to write an index!)

      Today I worked out the image specs for the photos I took of the original plates. I still have to do some macro-photographs of details of the plates, though. Thankfully they were printed in 1899 before we had halftone plates so it is like photographing original art prints so I am getting very good detail even in enlargements of about 5X!

      I found the book on Abebooks for US$28.00 but it was weighed 8 ilbs and the shipping got expensive. My final cost was $96 Canadian but it came by USPS fixed rate priority from New York and got to me in only three days so it was well worth it. The last copy I saw for sale was about three years ago and was US$ 135 without the shipping costs!

      The trick with Coydogs is meeting them halfway: they become a bit more human and you become a bit more Coyote (The Coyote is stronger in them than the domestic dog part). No one has trained a Coyote, though. Wolves can be trained but they are generally less aggressive and not quite as clever as Coyotes. Coydogs are mostly a one-person dog as the coyote is a family group canine and not a pack dog.

  3. Thank you John, for your hard work and creative energy you have infused in these posts. My favorite, of course, was your "In Phrase of Metal Detecting" many moons ago. It has become standard reading around the metal detecting clubs here in Central Florida USA, and has given us some ammo in the never-ending fight to prevent the misinformed authorities' continual attempt to block and eliminate our legal hobby of metal detecting. It has been a long, enjoyable road. Peace and happiness, john.

    1. Thank you, James. I will be producing some ebooks about metal detecting along that theme perhaps including an expanded version of that series. I will also be transferring the Dean Crawford series with some extras. These blog conversions+ will be very inexpensive (Dean will be getting 50% of the royalties for his).

      All of that once I have mastered that art of getting good, dynamic, images into a Kindle book that works properly on all apps and the web.



  4. Petition to save Raimund Karl's job at Bangor on the website Change,org currently standing at over 1800 names

    1. Signed. The petition is to protest the closing of Bangor's Single Honours Archaeology degree from 2017 onward, which was done without any consultation with those involved. For further background information, see: