The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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D45 Emmen (Emmerdennen) (Hunebed) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>D45 Emmen (Emmerdennen)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>D45 Emmen (Emmerdennen)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>D45 Emmen (Emmerdennen)</b>Posted by LesHamilton

D50 Noord sleen (Hunebed) — Images

<b>D50 Noord sleen</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>D50 Noord sleen</b>Posted by LesHamilton

D50 Noord sleen (Hunebed) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 17, 2017

On this, my third visit to the superb Hunebed D50 at Noord Sleen, I was at last blessed with warm summer weather and was able to enjoy the stones in glorious sunshine (last year heavy rain and gales forced me to retreat).

This excursion was pursued in a manner designed to allow several hours of pleasant woodland walking, and is one which I thoroughly recommend. I took the No 21 bus from Assen and alighted at the Voshaar bus halt, beside Recreation Center Rijmaaran (just south of the village of Schoonoord).

The walk started by entering the grounds of the Center and following the Hunebed sign directing visitors into the woodland and on to Hunebed D49 (the so-called Papeloze Kerk - blue marker). After inspecting the hunebed, I continued in the same direction for about 110 metres to a forestry road and headed south to Galgenberg, a large Bronze-Age burial mound (red marker).

From here, the walk continued through airy woodlands until the N381 highway was reached. Here a path leads left to a stile at the point where the woodland gives way to fields.

Cross the highway and straddle (or duck under) the single strand fence on the far side to gain the metalled road (Hunebedweg) leading to Hunebed D50, 400 metres farther on (green marker).

The total distance walked was just under 5 kilometres.
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To complete my day, I continued south to the end of Hunebedweg and turned left along Zweelooerstraat into the village of Noord Sleen to catch the No 21 bus to Emmen, where I spent a further hour visiting Hunebed D43 Schimmeres (the langgraaf) and Hunebed D45 Emmerdennen.

Moray — News

Archaeologists discover Pictish remains at Moray fort


New Pictish remains have been discovered at a fort thought to have been largely destroyed by a 19th-century development.

Archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen uncovered a longhouse and an 1,100-year-old anglo Saxon coin in a dig at Burghead Fort near Lossiemouth, Moray.

Experts believe the fort was a significant seat of power within the Pictish Kingdom, dating between 500 CE and 1000 CE.


Read the STV News Report.

Kampsheide (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Images

<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Kampsheide</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Kampsheide (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 17, 2017

Less than a half kilometre north of Tumulibos lies Kampsheide, a beautiful, compact region surrounding a large kettle-hole lake. The area is a mix of woodland and heath, and paths abound making it a delightful area for walking and enjoying wildlife. The map below illustrates the area and its surroundings, just west of the village of Balloo and a kilometre north of the main Assen-Rolde road. Kampsheide takes its name from the neighbouring Kamps Farm (Bourderij Kamps), and means simply Kamps heathland (not a campsite at all).



Kampsheide is but a remnant of a former much larger cemetery, and contains some fifty grave mounds of varying sizes as well as traces of Celtic Fields. The markers on the map above, shown in greater detail below, indicate the locations of some of the more prominent mounds.



Whatever your interests, this is a wonderful area to explore. I only encountered five of the grave mounds: the determined explorer will surely locate many more.

Information plaques are found by some of the mounds, stating roughly:
The grave mounds that lie in this part of Kampsheide make up part of a much larger prehistoric cemetery that stretched farther to the southwest. Already, by 1833 at the request of C J C Reuvens, the first professor of archeology in the world, a drawing had been made of the environment of this cemetery

Most likely the mounds that you see here today are grave monuments from the Iron Age, between 800 BC and the beginning of the Christian Era. During this period, it was usual to collect the remains of the cremated dead and bury them in an urn. The interment was then covered by a mound. This kind of mound is called a brandheuvel (fire hill). The simple objects that the dead took with them were usually burned (with the bodies).

Galgenberg (Sleenerzand) (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Galgenberg (Sleenerzand)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Galgenberg (Sleenerzand)</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Tumulibos (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Images

<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tumulibos</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Tumulibos (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 17, 2017

More than 35 prehistoric tombs have been preserved in the Tumulibos, a small wooded area located immediately north of the the Assen-Rolde road, less than two kilometres west of the village of Rolde.

Originally a much larger cemetery existed here, and as recently as 1833 over 150 grave mounds still existed. But countless graves have fallen victim to local exploitation over the years and today only these 35 or so mounds remain. The graves in this group span a period of roughly 2500 years, the oldest ones dating from around 2900 BCE. The most recent mounds—those dating since 1100 BCE—contain exclusively cremated remains, and are referred to as 'fire hills'.

It's thanks to the Province of Drenthe that this group of prehistoric graves has survived at all, as they had the foresight to purchase the area in 1856, thus guaranteeing its future safety. Stichting Het Drentse Landschap has administered the Tumulibos since 2001. The word tumulibos simply means a ‘wood with grave mounds’—tumulus being Latin for grave mound.

To visit the Tumulibos, take either the No 21 or No 24 bus from Assen and alight at the stop: 'Weg naar Balloo'. Immediately north, across the main road, is Tumuliboslaan, the lane that borders Tumulibos on its east. The entire woodland is very compact, measuring only 240 × 280 metres.

As you walk up Tumuliboslaan you will see several grave mounds under the trees just a few metres into the woodland on your left. Just short of the northern boundary of the woodland, a footpath leads left and meanders between the tall beech trees, taking you past numerous impressive graves, most carpeted with fallen beech leaves. You just cannot miss them.

Offerberg (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 17. 2017

Just a couple of kilometres west of the village of Rolde in Drenthe, in a secluded field, stands a striking Iron Age tomb called the Offerberg. This name means 'Hill of Sacrifices' on account of the ancient cremation remains found there.

The site stands immediately west of Tumulibos, beneath the canopy of a large tree in the middle of a large field of grazing cattle, but cannot be approached directly on account of a perimeter electric fence.

Offerberg (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Offerberg</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Offerberg</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Offerberg</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Craig (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 25, 2017

This small ruined dun stands on a grassy knoll about 30 metres above the coast, to the southeast of Dun Maraig, on the South Cuidrach estate. There is little of note to record, except that Dun Craig occupies a fine vantage point towards the coast.

Dun Craig is hardly worth visiting on its own, but makes a fine walk when combined with other local antiquities (Dun Maraig, Dun Borve, Dun View and the Cuidrach Stone Setting).

A good path, with a stout fence to its east lies between the coast and Dun Craig, but there are stiles both before and after the dun to help you through.

Dun Craig (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Dun Craig</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Craig</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Craig</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Craig</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Craig</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Isle of Skye — News

The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland


https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk/

I have spent some time examining this database, which was released into the public domain in June 2017, most particularly with respect with the area I am most familiar with: The Isle of Skye.

You would have anticipated that, following five years in its compilation, this atlas would be fully comprehensive. Despite claiming to be an atlas of hillforts, the 51 entries for Skye consist of an eclectic mix of hillforts, promontory forts and brochs. In total there are actually over 90 such sites on the island known to me, though to be fair, the Atlas does include seven entries that are not indicated on the OS maps, and which are new to me.

The actual selection of sites shows remarkable inconsistency. Along the east coast of Sleat, at the south of Skye, are the sites of at least ten known promontory forts yet the Atlas includes only four! In Waternish in the north, brochs Dun Gearymore and Dun Hallin are included yet Dun Borrafiach which lies between them is not. In Duirinish, Dun Colbost is included while the much more deserving Dun Boreraig is not. The latter is a particularly fine example of a coastal broch. These selections defy reason.

And most curious of all, just across the water on the mainland, the Atlas lists Eilan Donan Castle, apparently on a whim, because it: "may have occupied the site of an earlier fort" (something that has not been established).

Personally, I'm mightily disappointed. Canmore is far more comprehensive and will remain my primary source of information on hillforts. It is to be hoped that other areas within the British Isles have been much more carefully compiled, and provide the user with all the information they require.

Dun Creagach (Broch) — Fieldnotes

I had intended to visit this broch during June 2017 but having lost a day of my trip north to atrocious weather, had to leave this for a future visit. However, I did gain a chance view of Dun Creagach from across Loch Naver when visiting Grummore broch.

Canmore tells that this is a 'well preserved and comparatively undisturbed' broch which has been built on a small island, and which is connected to the shore by a causeway. Although much rubble surrounds the structure, the walling still stands over three metres tall in places and can be traced almost all round the broch.

Dun Creagach (Broch) — Images

<b>Dun Creagach</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Carn Liath, Farr (Broch) — Images

<b>Carn Liath, Farr</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carn Liath, Farr</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carn Liath, Farr</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Carn Liath, Farr (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 5, 2017

When motoring north along the A897 from Helmsdale to Melvich, and just over a kilometre north of The Borg, I came across the remains of Carn Liath broch nestling behind Trantlemore cemetery.

Not much to look at, this broch has been extensively robbed, and on approach is just a grassy mound with a scattering of foundation stones littered around it.
The interior has been gouged of much of its detail. It's almost as if a road had been cut through it, but there is a stretch of basal walling to be seen to its south.

This broch is certainly not worth going out of your way for a visit but, as a quick stop on a long drive north, it offers a short excursion to stretch the legs.

Allt an Duin (Skelpick) (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 7, 2017

Located atop a conical knoll, some 85 metres above the river Naver and about a mile east of it, Allt an Duin is protected by steep slopes, and in summer, a jungle of bracken. This is not a target for the casual walker as the ascent is demandingly steep, though it can be eased by making for the southern ridge and completing the ascent from there. Most of the ascent was through dense bracken, until almost at the broch, when heather took over.

The broch is built from large blocks of igneous or metamorphic rock and much of its structure is concealed under a massive expanse of tumbled masonry. Hardly any structure remains in view on the exterior, although the entrance passage on the west is still discernable. Within the broch there are a few stretches of the inner wall that still reach up to eight courses high.

This must have originally been a superb fastness, not only because of its situation—defended by steep slopes—but because of the amount of rock here. If all the rocks that have cascaded down from the hilltop were replaced in the broch, it would be a mighty structure indeed.

Access to Allt an Duin is along the single-track road to Skelpick, which follows the east bank of the River Naver from the point where the A836 from Bettyhill swings to the west.

Follow the Skelpich road for almost three kilometres, passing Lochan Duinte on the way, and park in the large sand-pit on the right of the road. Immediately across the road is a farm road and the broch is prominent on its knoll about 600 metres ahead.

Allt an Duin (Skelpick) (Broch) — Images

<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Allt an Duin (Skelpick)</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Beag, Balmeanach (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton
Showing 1-50 of 1,303 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
A keen hillwalker most of my life, my interest was restricted when the need arose to care for an ageing parent.

With limited opportunities to travel far from home, I 'discovered' the world of stone circles, mainly in my native Aberdeenshire.

This provided the ideal opportunity for short walks of just a few hours duration, and resulted in me visiting many places of interest that I had never considered previously.

Website:
Stone Circles of NE Scotland
Here you will find both Google and Bing maps displaying more than 100 sites of stone circles, the majority in my native Aberdeenshire. The markers on the maps are clickable, to reveal a photo of the stone circle and a link to RCAHMS-Carnmore's Site Record.

A menu at the side of the maps allows you to zoom in to any individual circle, viewing its environs as a zoomable aerial photograph (Google) or an OS Map (Bing).

Hunebedden
I've since extended my interest to the megalithic remains in The Netherlands, where there are some magnificent passage graves known as hunebedden (giant's beds). Despite the fact that The Netherlands is essentially flat and sandy, these 5000 year old monuments from the Funnel Beaker Culture are often found in exquisite woodland settings, nearly all of them in the province of Drenthe. There are almost limitless opportunities for delightful walks between small villages, taking in a diversion to a hunebed here and there.

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