Tuesday, 28 April 2009

When on Google Earth 26

Q: What is When on Google Earth?
A: It’s a game for archaeologists, or anybody else willing to have a go!

Q: How do you play it?
A: Simple, you try to identify the site in the picture.

Q: Who wins?
A: The first person to correctly identify the site, including its major period of occupation, wins the game.

Q: What does the winner get?
A: The winner gets bragging rights and the chance to host the next When on Google Earth on his/her own blog!

I took an interesting tour along the Euphrates, and identified this site:


So here's the follow-up, which, you might guess, is a little more recent (I'm sorry, I had to crop the scale as the image credit was too revealing).

I have no sense of how tricky or easy this might prove for people, so I'm going to leave it up without comment for a little while, but I do have a series of clues lined up...


1. It's a little outside my usual archaeological remit (continent).

2. But you're right that it's in a river, not on the coast...

3. It was actually destroyed by fire, though has a past association with explosives...

4. I don't believe that it's been subject to any excavation, though it is apparently in the process of being conserved.

5. It's not in Scotland, though there is a Scottish connection.

6. The neighbouring bank has a small clue to location too.

I'm trying to upload a broader view, but blogger is not currently cooperating. I'll try again later.


  1. Is this a Crusader's fortress, somewhere in Syria?

  2. It's very interesting that it looks like that. Sadly no, though.

    I should probably disclose that I chose something on a continent with which I am usually not (directly) archaeologically involved... some clues coming up...

  3. I was going for Lochleven Castle, but the island is a bit too rocky... and is that a flooded curtain wall around the island?

  4. You're right to think Scottish, but it is not *actually* in Scotland.

    What you're looking at in the water are mainly remains of bulkheads - I think they're more or less prominent with the tide.

    If you can work out what immediately borders it on the coastline, that is also a bit of a clue, although I don't want to give it away directly.

    Cryptic enough?

  5. Aha - game's up, somebody who's having difficulty posting has figured it out and emailed me. I'll repost her solution shortly.

    There was me trying to think up even more elaborate clues... 'the river has an anniversary this year...' etc.

  6. Andrea Kay writes (19.12 pm):

    "I figured it out but my comments aren't showing up!!

    It's Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River, New York. Built in the early 1900's"

    Here's some more info...

  7. Congratulations Andrea! Over to you for the next WOGE...

    Further explanation of this choice:

    I've taken a few trips on the rail line up the side of the Hudson, and the battlements are extremely striking as you travel north or south. The site is made even more dramatic by its proximity to Storm King Mountain, looming from the other bank.

    I'm rather fascinated by reconstructions and pastiches of ancient buildings at the moment, so this one was foremost in my mind...

  8. Also, I love the false trails that its 'pastiche-ness' sends out...

  9. Just found a picture of it - Bu**er too late again! Nice one

  10. Argh. Sorry Geoff. Good to know the clues were working though!

    Here's the next one:


  11. It was the miserable grey water that gave it away!

  12. Ha! It says either 'Scotland' or 'New York State'..!

  13. When on Google Earth 28 is at: