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Unravelling Tolkien’s map

How were the dramatic landscapes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy formed?

An illustrated tour of the locations used in the epic will be given by University of St Andrews geologists next week (Wednesday 16 March 2005) as part of National Science Week.

The stunning landscapes of New Zealand were an incredibly dramatic setting for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But what are the geological stories behind the deep valleys and impressive mountains that Frodo, Sam and Gollum travelled across on their journey?

Dr Tony Prave of the School of Geography and Geosciences will examine the map of Middle Earth and how it dictated the route the Fellowship of the Ring took, and ‘test’ how realistic all the landforms are, given scientists’ understanding of plate tectonics and mountain building processes. Dr Prave will then show the landscapes of New Zealand that were used in filming and how they formed.

Dr Prave’s colleague Professor Michael Bird will then discuss the real ‘hobbit’ (Homo florensis) and use the death of King Theoden and the Nazgul on the battle of the Pelennor fields to illustrate the technique of carbon 14 dating and show how the age of the ‘hobbit’ was determined.

A brief question and answer session will follow.

The event ­ which is open to the public and free of charge – will take place in Lecture Theatre School III, St Salvator’s Quad, North Street, St Andrews at 5.15pm, Wednesday 16 March 2005.

Full details of the University’s events at <http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/admissions/nsw2005.sh tml>www.st- andrews.ac.uk/admissions/nsw2005.sh tml

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media

On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or <mailto:cg24@st- andrews.ac.uk>cg24@st- andrews.ac.uk; Ref: press releases/Tolkien View the latest University news at <http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/>http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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