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Welcome to Alan Nowell's homepage.

This website has been set up as a notice board to keep enquirers informed about the progress of his ancient dance research project
and to solicit feedback on a variety of related subjects.
He is working towards the publishing of a book entitled Timedance, which will summarise his findings.

Who is Alan Nowell and what is his research about?

Alan is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer living in Lancaster in the North of England. He has had a 30 year career in Experimental Stress Analysis. Back in the 1970s his hobbies included folk dance and silversmithing. Amongst the dances that he learned was the Wyresdale Greensleeves Dance which was a tradition among the farmers and shepherds in the Upper Wyresdale valley to the east of Lancaster.
Part of the dance has a very unmistakeable character as is shown in the photograph below.
quernmore dance
For his evening classes in silversmithing he was constantly on the lookout for design ideas and source material. In a local bookshop he came across the work of George Bain whose book "Celtic Art, The Methods of Construction" is a valuable source of Celtic designs.
One of the designs featured in the book is a roundel which Bain indicates is from the Book of Kells (when the original in the Book of Kells is referred to there are clear differences).
bain kells
He was struck by the common properties of the dance and the roundel but did nothing to investigate until 1993. Whilst at a dance festival in France that summer he tried the dance figure suggested by the roundel with two friends. The results were encouraging and back in Lancashire he embarked on an investigation, which was to lead to some surprising conclusions.

His first publication on the subject was an article entitled "Can a dance survive for 1200 years?" in English Dance and Song magazine, published by The English Folk Dance and Song Society, in Summer 1994.

 His article "The Dance of the Fer Cengail" was published in Archaeology Ireland magazine, Summer  2005.

  "Dance Traces Surviving In The Ritual Of Freemasonry"  was published in Archaeology Ireland, ,Spring 2010.

 "Babylon to Banagher"  was published in Archaeology Ireland, Spring 2012

 "Gilgamesh, Kells and Heysham"  was published in Archaeology Ireland, Summer 2014

Last updated 25/08/2014

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