Book: Dowsing And Archaeology

Dowsing and Archaeology, Turnstone Books (Wellingborough, England), 1980; ISBN 0-85500-110-0

Long out of print, but probably the only available source of early material by Guy Underwood, so worth hunting for if you’re interested in the ‘earth-mysteries’ scene.

This was an anthology of material on dowsing and
archaeological or related issues from the Journal of the British Society of Dowsers, spanning a period of almost fifty years from 1933 to the late 1970s. The material ranges from serious work under reasonably well controlled conditions, to what is best described as ‘useful speculation’. One of the most interesting articles, for example, used dowsing to identify a small Roman fort beneath the present-day Kensington Barracks in London – an assessment proved by excavation, as the photographs in the book demonstrate.

Perhaps half of the book is taken up with papers written in the early 1950s by Guy Underwood, better known for his much later, and highly influential, posthumously-published book The Pattern of the Past. Students of Underwood’s work will find the anthology fascinating, as the articles show Underwood’s slow development of his theories of water-lines, track-lines and aquastats – and the considerable opposition to those theories from other members of the Society! The cover-copy states:

A fascinating selection of articles from the Journal of the British Society of Dowsers revealing what can be done when the ancient science of dowsing is applied to archaeological research.
The topics covered in this volume, the first in a series of Dowsing Sourcebooks, include Neolithic religious objects, Roman roads and villas, underground passages and mediaeval churches. Of especial importance is the pioneering research of Guy Underwood on the alignment of ancient sites.

Tom Graves, one of the greatest of contemporary dowsers, provides a far-ranging introduction to this exciting application of an age-old technology.

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