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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Dance of the Giants Indiana Jones
Dance of the Giants
Written by Rob MacGregor

(Page numbers come from the mass market paperback edition, 1st printing, June 1991)

A post-graduate Dr. Jones gets his first teaching job at the University of London and is soon also assisting at a dig site in Scotland investigating the possibility that the legendary Merlin the magician was more than a mythological figure.


Read the "June 1925" and "Mid-August 1925" entries of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this novel


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This novel takes place in England in August of 1925.


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB security agency. The KGB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


   The journal as published has two pages on which Indy has taped a letter and some journal notes from Dr. Abner Ravenwood dated June 27, 1925, about a month-and-a-half before the events of this novel. The letter indicates Abner has sent Indy an entire journal of notes. The letter and notes state that Abner has found some clues that may lead to the location of Abner's obsession, the lost Ark of the Covenant. He requests Indy's help to locate it in person due to low funds to hire a proper expedition. Abner warns that the route he has in mind is a "devious one" from San Francisco, to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kathmandu, and into the Nepalese region of Patan.

    Abner's letter asks for Indy's help before the young man returns to his teaching obligations at Marshall College. But, in the canon of these Bantam novels, Indy had not begun teaching at Marshall at this point. Indeed, he accepts his very first teaching post at the University of London in this novel.

    In an attached note by the FSB, Abner's daughter, Marion, is mentioned as Ravenwood's only child. We will finally meet Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in the year 1936.

    Abner's notes taped onto the facing page mention the Staff of Ra and there is a pencil etching of one side of the headpiece of the staff (seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark) which an FSB note says is in Indy's hands, added 10 years after he received the journal from Abner (which is approximately the time of Indy recovering the headpiece in Raiders of the Lost Ark).

    Abner's notes state that Ra is relatable to the sun. "Ra" is the name of the ancient Egyptian sun god. Indy will go on to locate the lost ark in the Ancient Egyptian city of Tanis in Raiders of the Lost Ark


   The journal as published skips over the events of this novel, going from Ravenwood's June 1925 letter referenced above to March 1926, a brief reference to the events of The Seven Veils. Perhaps the intervening entries were excised by the Russians for some reason when it was in their possession?


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Indiana Jones

train conductor

Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

Jack Shannon

Louise (singer in Jack Shannon's jazz band in Paris, in flashback only)

Dr. Marcus Brody (mentioned only)

Deirdre Campbell
Dr. Joanna Campbell (dies in this novel)

Colonel William Hawley (mentioned only)

Oxford Street club owner (mentioned only)

Louise's man (mentioned only)

Professor Dorian Belecamus (mentioned only, deceased)

Professor Leeland Milford

University of London professors (mentioned only)

cab driver

Narrow Eyes

old lady

French Egyptologist (archaeology professor of Indy's at Sorbonne, mentioned only)

University of London students

Tower of London tour guide

Tower of London tourists

Deirdre's grandfather (mentioned only)

Adrian Powell (dies in this novel)

Mr. Campbell (husband of Dr. Campbell, father of Deirdre; mentioned only, deceased)

Dr. Mahoney (mentioned only)

Father James Thomas Mathers (mentioned only, deceased)

Pope Alexander VI (mentioned only, deceased)

Professor Stottlemire (mentioned only)

Scottish village mayor



Scottish villagers


Father Phillip Byrne (dies in this novel)



Scottish doctor

village constable (mentioned only)

Anna Jones (mentioned only, deceased)


inn housekeeper

guard/log-toss winner

rectory housekeeper



floppy hat woman


Freddie Keppard (mentioned only)


Merlin (in Indy's vision)

Churchill (Merlin's owl, in Indy's vision) 


Didja Notice?


The painted cover of this novel (by Drew Struzan) clues the reader in that the story will in some way involve the prehistoric Druidic stone monument called Stonehenge in England. Indy previously had an adventure at the ancient site in 1913 in Circle of Death (and will visit it yet again in 1936 in "Gateway to Infinity").


Two historical quotes open the book, from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Histories of the Kings of Britain (Historia regum Britanniae) c. 1136 and Nikolai Tolstoy's 1985 The Quest for Merlin.


Chapter 1: Surprise Package


Page 3 reveals that Indy had informed his father two years ago that he was switching his studies from linguistics to archaeology. This would have been in 1923.


On page 3, Indy muses on his last night in Paris before leaving for England. Indy had just graduated from the Sorbonne there with a degree in archaeology.


The Jungle nightclub mentioned on page 4 was previously visited by Indy and Jack in The Peril at Delphi.


On page 4, Indy muses that his train will be at Victoria Station in another half-hour.


On page 4, Indy muses on the couple days he spent examining megalithic ruins in Brittany after leaving Paris. Brittany is a region in northwest France.


The book that falls from Indy's train seat on page 4, Choir Gaur, the Grand Orrery of the Ancient Druids Commonly Called Stonehenge, is a real world book from 1771 by John Smith. Indy mentions Smith in his class later on page 38.


Chapter 2: Class Act


Indy has been hired to teach archeology for the summer at the University of London, out of Petrie Hall, thanks to a recommendation from Marcus Brody. While the university is real, Petrie Hall, as far as I can tell, is fictitious there. Brody was previously seen in Tomb of Terror.


Indy's, er--excuse me, Professor Jones' description of "field walking" in archaeology on page 9 is accurate.


The story of the Royal Air Force having taken aerial photographs of Stonehenge in 1921 leading to the discovery of an almost 8-mile long ancient road from Stonehenge to Salisbury is fictitious as far as I can tell, though there are RAF photos of Stonehenge from around that time.


The story that Deirdre tells of the RAF having wanted to level the Stonehenge monument during the war as a danger to low-flying planes is generally considered false by modern researchers. The rumor is first known to have been printed in the 1956 book Stonehenge by Richard Atkinson, decades after the war.


Indy's description of Colonel William Hawley (1851–1941) on page 11 is accurate. He wrote a number of articles on Stonehenge for the Antiquaries Journal from 1921-1928, the journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


The story of archaeologist William Cunnington (1754–1810) having left a bottle of port under the Slaughter Stone at Stonehenge is said to be true, but there is no clear documentation that it happened.


On page 12, Indy thinks of a quote his father used to make when his mother became anxious about something he considered trivial, "O heavy lightness, serious vanity." This is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.


Chapter 3: Roommates


Indy takes Jack to a restaurant in Soho. Soho is an entertainment district in the city of Westminster in the West End district of London.


On page 15, the term "Huguenots" refers to French Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries, primarily Calvinists.


On page 16, Marco Polo (1254-1324) was an Italian merchant who travelled the world, buying and selling.


    Also on page 16, Jack tells Indy he got a job playing cornet with the house band at a club on Oxford Street, having given the owner a little South Side Chicago sweet talk. Oxford Street is a major road in Westminster.

    Jack goes on to tell Indy that Louise's man has taken his place in the band at the Jungle in Paris and that this man had played with King Oliver. Joseph Nathan "King" Oliver (1881–1938) was an African-American jazz cornet player and bandleader who taught and mentored the legendary jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong.


On page 18, Indy reflects on his past misadventure in Greece with Professor Dorian Belecamus. This refers to events in The Peril at Delphi. His thoughts also reveal that Marcus Brody has the Omphalos Indy uncovered in that novel on display in his museum (page 143 reveals it is in the New York branch of the National Museum, of which Brody is curator). On page 21, most of Indy's discussion with Professor Campbell is about events in Greece in that novel.


On page 22, Indy and Jack cross Greek Street in Soho. This is an actual road in Soho.


On page 24, Indy muses back on the interview that clinched him the job at the university and how one of the interviewing professors asked him if was any relation to Inigo Jones, architect general to kings James I and Charles I. Inigo Jones (1573 –1652) was an historical figure.


On page 25, Jack remarks to Indy that he'd seen the same man who'd just walked past them as they entered the night club hanging around Russell Square outside Indy's flat. Russell Square is a large garden square in London.


Chapter 4: Between the Shelves


    As Indy packs his briefcase to leave his office on page 27, he figures on taking the underground to King's Cross Station to meet Milford's train. The "underground" refers to the London Underground, also popularly known as the Tube, the mass transit subway system currently used in London and its environs which has been in operation since 1863.


Deirdre tells Indy her term paper will be on Ninian's Cave in Scotland, which she believes is where the legendary Merlin was buried. She is presumably referring to St. Ninian's Cave, Physgill Glen, Scotland, where some early medieval carved stones have been found; as Deirdre later notes in her term paper for Indy's class, it is near the town of Whithorn. Merlin, of course, is the infamous wizard of Arthurian legend.


Milford arrives by ship at Portsmouth, then catches the train to King's Cross Station to meet Indy.


Indy and Milford catch a cab and Milford tells the driver to take them to the British Museum Library. This is a real world institution, now known simply as the British Library.


Trying to solve Dr. Campbell's question to him about the connection between the ancient Greeks and the Britons, Indy asks Dr. Milford if he knows, and the good doctor gives him the hint to look up the writings of Hecataeus. Indy's recollection of Hecataeus (c. 360–290 BC) on page 32 is accurate, as are his thoughts about the unrelated Hecate, Greek goddess of magic and mythology, and the Hyperboreans, a mythical people of the far north in Greek mythology.


Page 32 states that some scholars thought that the term "Hyperborean" was a reference to the people of Atlantis. Atlantis is a  mythological land mass that once harbored an advanced civilization that later suffered a severe cataclysm which sank the land beneath the ocean.


The library's catalog directs Indy to Historical Library (Bibliotheca historica) by Diodorus Siculus. The information given about Diodorus and the volumes of the Historical Library on pages 32-33 is accurate.


In the library, Indy finds paraphrasings of the "now-nonexistent" book by Hecataeus, Circuits of the Earth. There has never been any such book as far as is known by historians. Hecataeus did make a map of the world, often called a "circuit of the earth", which was part of his two volume Travels.


Leto was a Greek goddess and the father of Apollo, as mentioned on page 33. The references to Leto having been born on Hyperborea (possibly Britain) and Stonehenge being erected as a site of worship of Apollo were said by Diodorus to be the theory of Hecataeus.


On page 34, Apollo is said to have been considered somewhat of an interloper on the Greek Olympus. This is a reference to the Greek mountain called Olympus, believed by the ancient Greeks to be the home of the Olympians, the twelve gods.


Chapter 5: Tower of London


On page 38, Indy tells his class that archaeologist Sir Flinder Petrie took extraordinarily accurate measurements of Stonehenge in 1877. Actually, Petrie (1853–1942) made these measurements in 1872 (when he was just 19 years old). The book Stonehenge: Plans, Description, and Theories mentioned by Indy is an actual book authored by Petrie in 1880.


    Indy's statement that Stonehenge was once suggested to have been built by Druids but which has since been dismissed, as the ruins are much older than the Druids, is true. Druids were high-ranking priests among the ancient Celts.

   Parts of Stonehenge are orientated towards the midsummer's solstice, just as mentioned by Indy here.


On page 39, during Indy's Stonehenge lecture, a student asks him about all the modern Druids who gather at the site for rituals now and then. Indy dismisses it with, "They're misguided mystics. They claim the site as their own and they're wrong." Indy witnessed a pseudo-gathering of alleged Druids at Stonehenge during the events of the aforementioned Circle of Death.


Indy meets up with Dr. Milford again at the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a castle on the bank of the River Thames in London that served as a prison from 1100-1952. It was built by the Norman invader William the Conqueror (1028-1087) some time after his success in the Battle of Hastings against the English army, as stated on page 41. The White Tower mentioned here is the central keep of the grounds and is the actual "tower" of the Tower of London. Bishop Ranulf Flambard (1060-1128), though he finished the construction in 1100, became the first prisoner of the tower at that time as well.


The list of noteworthy prisoners of the tower given by the tour guide Indy eavesdrops on is accurate. The information given by the tour guide on page 42 is also accurate.


Dr. Milford quotes Samuel Johnson as saying, "All that is really known of the ancient state of Britain is contained in a few pages." Johnson (1709-1784) was an English writer who did, in fact, make this statement.


On page 43, hoping to spur Dr. Milford's thoughts on the Arthurian legends, Indy remarks to him as they enter the tower, "Too bad they don't have Excalibur here." Excalibur is the name of the sword won and wielded by King Arthur in legend.


On page 44, Dr. Milford quotes from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) and Indy recognizes the citation, as his father had insisted he read and understand the book when he was a boy. Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1095-1155) was a Welsh cleric and chronicler of tales of Britain's past, including the Historia Regum Britanniae. The quote of Dr. Milford is an actual one from the book.


The quote Milford makes on page 45 and asks Indy if he recognizes is from the works of Edmund Spenser, as Milford says when Indy is not able to identify it. Specifically, it is part of a stanza from his epic 1590 poem The Faerie Queene. Spenser was an English poet.


On page 45, Indy looks up at the Tower of London and sees the rampart known as Princess Elizabeth's Walk, the extent of the princess's roaming privileges while she was imprisoned at the tower for two months by her half-sister, Queen Mary I, in 1554.


Chapter 6: Deirdre's Mistake


Page 47 reveals that Deirdre lives with her mother on Notting Hill. This is a district of West London.


Deirdre's grandfather, who died when she was 15 years old, had been the English ambassador to China.


On page 52, Deirdre thinks of Dr. Mahoney's beginning psychology class, with him droning on about Freudian analysis. Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a world-renowned Austrian psychoanalyst in the early decades of the 20th century. Indy met him in "The Perils of Cupid".


The mythological tale of the origin of Stonehenge that Indy tells on pages 54-55 is from the Arthurian legends. The Antiquaries Journal article he mentions by Dr. Herbert Thomas is also an actual article. Thomas (1876-1935) was a British geologist.


Chapter 7: Scorpions in London


No notes.


Chapter 8: Esplumoir


The title of this chapter, "Esplumoir", is from Arthurian legend. The esplumoir is the location where Merlin is said to have resumed human form after having spent some time in the magical form of a bird, which he often did. The word esplumoir is a French term for a cage in which a bird is kept during molting.


While reading Deirdre's term paper on Merlin, Indy makes a note in the section on Merlin's biography that the legend of Merlin may have been derived from a Welsh bard called Myrrdin Embreis. "Myrrdin Embreis" is actually another mythological character, one seemingly based on Ambrosius Aurelianus, a war leader of the Britons against the Saxons, and Aurelianus may have also been part of the inspiration for Geoffrey of Monmouth's Merlin in The History of the Kings of Britain.


The legend of Merlin's death or retirement on pages 64-65 is accurate to the various Arthur legends.


On page 66, Deirdre, in her term paper, has translated from Latin a letter written by a monk, Father James Thomas Mathers, to Pope Alexander VI in the 15th century, that was found in the archives of Priory Church in Whithorn, Scotland. This presumably refers to St. Ninian's Priory Church of the Church of Scotland. Pope Alexander VI was head of the Catholic Church from 1492-1503. As far as I can tell, Father James Thomas Mathers is fictitious.


In the monk's letter, "Candida Casa" is an earlier name for St Ninians’s Priory Church.


On page 69, Indy tells Dr. Campbell that he spoke to Prof. Stottlemire about working with him at the Herefordshire Beacon hillfort digs. This is an actual historic site in the UK.


Chapter 9: The "Cruc"


On page 71, MP Powell, on a radio program, asserts that it is imperative Parliament join together to prevent "this menace known as the Commonwealth...ever coming into being, it would be the first step in the dissolution of the British Empire." He is referring to the prospect of the formation of the British Commonwealth of Nations, which, to his presumed dismay, did come into being in 1926. It acknowledged that British colonies of the time were granted equal status to each other and allied themselves to the British Crown out of choice for mutual benefit. As time went on, many of these colonies did leave the Commonwealth completely, resulting in a gradual dissolution of the British Empire.


Dr. Milford is staying at the Empire Club during his visit to London. This is a real world gentlemen's club formed in 1904, now known as the United Empire Club.


On page 74, Indy finds Milford at Madame Tussauds.


On page 75, Indy and Milford admire the wax statues of Robespierre and Marat. Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) and Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) were important influencers on the French Revolution of 1789-1799.


Also on page 75, Milford laments the barbaric behavior of people, including during the recent Great War. "The Great War" was the common epithet of what became more commonly known as World War I once World War II started. Indy, of course, participated in the war as an enlistee of the Belgian Army, as seen in episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, beginning in "Trenches of Hell".


On page 77, Le Cri de Merlin is French for Merlin's Cry.


On page 78, Milford mentions the cutting off of Hengist's head by Eldol. Eldol, Duke of Gloucester, is said to have beheaded the Saxon warlord Hengist during the Saxon invasions of Britain in the 5th century.


Page 82 reveals that Father Mather's letter to the Pope never made it to the Vatican since it was found buried in Ninian's Cave in Whithorn.


Chapter 10: Whithorn Welcome


Pages 84 and 95 describe Indy as having grown up in the desert of the American Southwest. This would have been the common assumption at the time this novel was written in 1990 due to the "young Indy" scene in Utah at the beginning of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (see "The Cross of Cornado"), but the Young Indy novels and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series shows that he lived there only about 2 years, during his 8th and 9th grade years of school.


Page 85 tells the reader that Indy had read up on everything he could about Candida Casa and Ninian's Cave in the days before heading to Whithorn with Deirdre. Specifically mentioned is a report by the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Scotland from 1914. This may refer to the report found in the 1921 book The Arts in Early England by G. Baldwin Brown, M.A. (The entire book is available at the Internet Archive.)


On page 89, Father Byrne tells an anecdote of a time when Deirdre was 12 years old and she and a dance group of parish girls danced for King George in Edinburgh. King George V ruled the United Kingdom from 1910-1936.


Chapter 11: Merlin's Cave


Page 94 reveals that besides its general usefulness in his adventures, Indy considers his bullwhip to be a good luck charm, a rare superstition he's allowed himself.


Page 95 has Indy and Deirdre arriving at Whithorn Isle, where Ninian's Cave itself exists. Whithorn Isle is more commonly called the Isle of Whithorn and is actually not an island, but a peninsula.


The brothers, Carl and Richard, who are building a work table and storage cabinets at the cave site for excavations, are members of the Scottish Amateur Archaeology League. This appears to be a fictitious organization.


On page 96, Deirdre remarks to Indy that the cave stays around 60° temperature year-round. It is true that caves tend to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year.


In the book, St. Ninian's Cave is described as much larger than it is in real life, with multiple chambers and wide rooms. As one tourist has put it on TripAdvisor, "this cave is barely a scratch on the cliff side, just large enough for a Celtic Saint to huddle inside and pray."


Chapter 12: Bad Air


No notes.


Chapter 13: Visitors


When Deirdre wakes up after her rescue from the cave explosion, she looks out a window and sees the Machars, realizing she is in her old bedroom in the house where she grew up in Whithorn. The Machars is a peninsula of small, undulating hills in the area.


Chapter 14: Arachne


On page 118, Carl discovers an expended chlorine gas canister in the dirt of the cave-in and explains to Indy what it is, knowing it from his experiences in the war. Indy should already know too, from his own time in the war! Of course, as stated before, this novel was written before the revelation of Indy's duty in the war in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.


The origin of the Greek mythological character of Arachne being turned into a spider as related on page 123 is accurate.


Chapter 15: After Dark


Page 132 reveals it is the month of August.


Chapter 16: Revelations


On page 144, Indy compares the relationship between Deirdre and Adrian as half-siblings to that of King Arthur and his half-sister Morgan Le Fay. Morgan Le Fay is a witch in Arthurian legend, most versions also calling her Arthur's half-sister.


Chapter 17: The Cave of Death


On page 157, Jack, seeing the danger Indy and the others are in from the Hyperboreans, thinks of how a hero in the serials would rescue them. "Serials" refers to "movie serials", short movies, usually action-oriented and often featuring cliffhanger endings, that continued a storyline from one (usually weekly) installment to the next. Movie serials were popular from about 1910 to the early 1950s.


The parchment left by the ancient monk in the cave reads, in Latin, that he has left the gold scroll at the convent in Amesbury. Amesbury is said to be the oldest occupied town in Britain and its parish is also the site of Stonehenge. The Avon River flows nearby, as stated on page 165. There is an ancient convent in the town, which is said in some legends to be the one Guinevere joined after leaving Arthur.


Chapter 18: The Downs


As the chapter opens, Father Byrne's and Dr. Campbell's bodies have been buried in Whithorn Cemetery. This is an actual cemetery in the town, near the priory, and has existed for centuries.


Carl gives Indy a gun he refers to as a .455 Webley before he heads for a likely confrontation with Adrian in Amesbury. This is actually a designation for a British handgun cartridge, not a gun itself. The handgun given to Indy may be a Webley "WG" Army revolver, which he is seen to carry in The Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.


On page 163, Indy and Deirdre take a train through the Western Downs of Salisbury Plain. Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the county of Wiltshire, where Stonehenge is located. The Western Downs are an area of chalk hills.


On page 165, Indy proposes to Deirdre and she agrees to marry him. This is the third time that Indy has proposed to someone. The first was to Vicky Prentiss in "Love's Sweet Song", who turned him down, as he was about to go off to war and she had her own plans to become a writer and wherever that led her. The second was to Molly Walder in "The Wolves", who accepted, but was shot dead by enemy spies during the war just days later. Indy and Deirdre do get married in The Seven Veils, but tragedy soon strikes.


A solar eclipse takes place at 3:22 p.m. on the day Indy and Deirdre arrive in Amesbury. In reality, no such eclipse took place in August of 1925.


Chapter 19: Eclipse at Stonehenge


On page 171, Indy ponders whether they should just return to London and tell Scotland Yard what had happened to Dr. Campbell and the sham investigation conducted by the local constabulary. Scotland Yard is the name for the headquarters building of the Metropolitan Police of London.


Arriving at Stonehenge and attempting to infiltrate the druid ceremony taking place there for the eclipse, Indy tells a pair of druids that he and Deirdre overslept and forgot their robes and asks if there are any extra robes they can borrow, adding they are with the Order of Bards and Ovates. The author may be referring to the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD), a real world neo-druidic organization based in England, but it was not founded until 1964.


Page 175 mentions the Slaughter Stone at Stonehenge. As pointed out in the study of Circle of Death, some researchers believe it had been used for animal sacrifice; human sacrifice was probably not practiced. Other researchers believe the so-called Slaughter Stone is just a fallen upright stone, as mentioned in this novel.


The story Adrian tells of druid warriors travelling to Greece in an attempt to steal the Omphalos in 280 BC is fictitious.


Jack has Randy give Indy a message from the code name "Freddie Keppard", and Indy recognizes it as one of Jack's favorite cornet players in Chicago. We learned this in The Peril at Delphi. Keppard (1890-1933) was an American jazz cornetist.


Chapter 20: The Convent


Indy's explanation of the metonic cycle of lunar phases and for whom it was named on page 184 is accurate.


On page 190, Indy finds that the gold scroll is dated in the Julian calendar, which he explains was adopted in 46 BC. This is correct.


Chapter 21: Wicker Walls


No notes.


Chapter 22: Milford Remembers


On page 201, Adrian tells Indy the Omphalos will be buried in the center of Merlin's Precinct. "Merlin's Precinct" is an old term for "Britain".


Indy tells Deirdre, and later, Williams, that druids in ancient times practiced animal and even human sacrifice. The ancient Greeks and Romans claimed this was so and many scholars since have believed it, though more modern researchers say the evidence for it is ambiguous.


Chapter 23: Revelry


Indy notes to himself that the Omphalos seems to have been worked into its decorative shape from a meteorite. The real world Omphalos is of marble. 


Indy is able to put the Omphalos in his jacket pocket, but the real Omphalos is about 4 feet in height!


Chapter 24: Axis Mundi


The title of this chapter, Axis Mundi, is Latin for "axis of Earth" or "center of the world".


On page 217, Adrian tells our captured heroes he's got to wassail for a while. "Wassail" means to revel with drinking.


Once again under the influence of the Omphalos, Indy sees the eagle that is his alleged spirit guardian, as he previously did in The Peril at Delphi.


On page 224, the Merlin figure Indy sees in his Omphalos vision says, "You've read my tale, false as you believe it to be. I have many names, and in not too may years will be reborn again in lore as Gandalf. I like that name." "Gandalf" is the name of the main wizard in J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novels The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954).


On page 225, Indy worries that Adrian may still become British prime minister, since the prophecy foretells that a druid will one day become prime minister. The Merlin figure reassures Indy there will be a prime minister who will be a strong leader, but not much of a druid, stroking the owl on his shoulder and saying, "Isn't that right, Churchill?" The owl's name would seem to be a reference to Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom two separate times, 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. During his first term as PM, he was known for his inspirational leadership of the country through WWII. He was not experienced in druidry at all, as far as I can find, and was not particularly enamored of religion in general.


Chapter 25: Apollo's Arrow


On pages 229-230, Indy sees a symbol of a dagger carved into the stone of one of the trilithons of Stonehenge. It is likely that he saw the dagger carving that was officially discovered in 1953 by archaeologist Richard Atkinson on stone 53. The carving is pictured below. Deirdre remarks that it looks like an arrow to her, and Indy responds that maybe it's Apollo's arrow, given by the god to the magician Abaris. According to myth, Apollo gave the arrow which he had used to slay the Cyclopes (plural of Cyclops), which was originally said to be buried in Hyperborea. (Photo by Ranger Steve from Wikipedia.)

The dagger reminds Indy of Aegean daggers he'd studied in the past, dating back to the 2nd Century BC. This may be a reference by the author to DNA research that show the people who built Stonehenge were predominantly of Aegean ancestry, who were believed to have arrived in Britain around 4000 BC.


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