Place, Archaeology, and Petrification Myths (a #FolkloreThursday magpie request)

A couple of months ago I presented my finding relating to folklore mapping to a couple of conferences (‘Masculinities in the landscape’ in absentia, and ‘archaeology and the map – critique and practice’ in slightly shambling person).

One of the key findings relates to petrification myths; where individuals have been turned to stone (by the devil or similar, depending on the age of the story), and used as creation stories for megaliths and other prehistoric landscapes.

The mapping of such folkloric motifs in the South West of England (Cornwall to Wiltshire), has enabled concentrations of story types to be identified, allowing further investigation into why such myths occur in specific places.

I’m really interested in collecting other folklore relating to people being turned to stone, the monuments the stories relate to, and the people referred to in the tale, in order to test and expand on my ideas (which I’m happy to share in a separate post, if anyone is at all interested).

Please get in touch with me if you know of any such stories. My folklore magpie tendencies is really interested in finding new things!