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‘Clouds have Rocks in Them’ Lecture next in MNH Winter Programme 6 November 2008

The second public lecture in Manx National Heritage’s Winter Programme will be an illustrated talk on the greatest mountain range in the world, the Himalaya. The lecture, ‘Clouds have Rocks in Them’, will take place in the Manx Museum Lecture Theatre on Friday 14th November at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm and admission is free of charge. Looking towards Everest.

The illustrated talk will be presented by MNH Field Archaeologist and part-time trekker Andrew Johnson. He will draw from his recent visits to the Himalaya Mountains, and focus upon the peoples and cultures associated with the area.

Although an archaeologist by training and profession, Andrew has been fascinated with mountains since his childhood. Andrew has walked - and sometimes climbed - extensively on the Island, in the Lake District, and in various parts of Scotland:

“It’s by far the best way to understand a landscape, its character, its geology, and to spot the archaeological remains.”

After spending his holidays broadening his hill-walking skills, particularly on the highly exposed Cuillin Ridge on Skye, Andrew went winter climbing in Glen Coe:

Trekkers climbing at 20,000 feet, Nepal 2007. “That was it. I’ve read about climbing exploits in Scotland, the Alps and the Himalaya since I was about 8 years old - people call it armchair mountaineering - but once I’d discovered what it was like to climb in snow and ice, I knew I had to go and experience some really big mountains at first-hand.”

Andrew first visited the Himalaya thirteen years ago, and he has now completed five high altitude trekking holidays to the area. He began by visiting the western end of the Himalaya - known as the Karakoram, which lies in northern Pakistan. Recently Andrew has travelled to Himalayan foothills in India, and, following that, to the larger mountains in Nepal. These were his first experiences of Hindu and Buddhist culture, and of Tibetan refugees.

Says Andrew: 2)	The Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.

“As you travel further into these mountain ranges you find yourself passing through areas where the process of occupying or farming a landscape becomes increasingly difficult. It’s interesting to apply an archaeological eye to this process and to see how much, or how little, people can change an increasingly harsh environment. The more one sees of it, the more one realises that there are similarities in how mountain landscapes on opposite sides of the world have been, or still are, exploited.”

In his lecture, Andrew hopes to emphasise the parallels between Eastern and Western peoples living in mountainous areas, as well as showing some truly beautiful mountain scenery on the other side of the world.

For anyone wishing to find out more about the lecture programme, together with events and exhibitions at the Manx Museum or House of Manannan over the winter months, Manx National Heritage invite you to collect a free What’s On leaflet from either site. Full details are also available on www.storyofmann.com.

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