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

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The Ridgeway (Ancient Trackway) — News

Ridgeway under threat from high-speed rail link

Laura Barton, writing in the Guardian yesterday, reports on the route of the high-speed rail link that -

"At stake, too, is the preservation of the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road — a pathway followed since prehistoric times by herdsmen, travellers and soldiers, running from Wiltshire, along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs and on to the River Thames at the Goring Gap. It passes the stone circle at Avebury and the White Horse at Uffington, as well as Grim's Ditch, Wayland's Smithy and Barbury castle. It runs, too, right down Wendover high street, past the clock tower, built in 1842 and now repurposed as the visitor centre, then out towards Wendover woods. There is an ancient feel to this land, something rich and deep and solemn."

More here –

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

'Woodhenge' just a farmer's fence?

Not to be confused with the Woodhenge discovered in 1925 (see ) this Woodhenge was only discovered in July of this year. It "...was hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds for decades. But now experts are at loggerheads after claims that what was thought to be a Neolithic temple was a rather more humble affair – in fact the remains of a wooden fence."

More here -

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region) — Links

The Heritage Journal

My Life in Stone(s) by Chris Brooks

Chris outlines his life in stone(s) writing that, "Eventually we had our first field trip and were taken to Lanhill and Lugbury Longbarrows. These two places are just a few miles from my doorstep and I never knew they existed. I was particularly interested in Lanhill with its stone walled entrance and little chamber. This was my first barrow experience and until this day I feel quite protective about it. Our next field trip was to the Avebury Complex including Windmill Hill, Silbury and West Kennet which just blew me away. The lectures and the field trip had such a big impact on me and gave me a love of the Neolithic people and their awesome structures which has remained with me ever since."

Tirnoney (Portal Tomb) — Links

The Heritage Journal

"Time and the lack of written record, have tied a tight blindfold between us and prehistory, but occasionally we get the chance of a small nudge in the right direction. Following the recent collapse of its capstone, Tirnony portal tomb, in County Derry, is to be excavated in advance of restoration."

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — Links

The Heritage Journal

Chancellor says financial burden of protecting Stonehenge 'impossible' to take on...

111 years ago the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the price was "absolutely impossible for any purchaser to consider" (familiar or what?!) and thus it fell to Sir Edmund to save or spoil the monument. Whether he was a good guy or the reverse depends on your point of view.


Julian Cope's life to be filmed

All ready mentioned elsewhere but -

"...the curious story of Julian Cope, former Smash Hits cover star, practising druid and great British eccentric, is set to be turned into a feature film. David Morrissey, the award-winning actor, has secured the film rights to Head On, Cope's autobiography.

"A student of pagan ritual, Cope's most surprising career shift has been his emergence as an acclaimed expert on Britain's prehistoric stone circles; his book, The Modern Antiquarian, sold 40,000 copies, was adapted as a BBC documentary and prompted an invitation to lecture at the British Museum."

More here -

(Can we hope for a private viewing party ;-)

Avebury (Stone Circle) — Links

The Heritage Journal

Avebury: A Journey to the Past by Gordon Kingston.

Part 1 of Gordon's personal, and very sensitive account, of his homecoming journey to Avebury appears on the Heritage Journal today. Part 2 will appear on Tuesday, 28 September and Part 3 on Thursday, 30 September.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — News

Experts to gather for Stonehenge debate

"LEADING experts on Stonehenge will be gathering in Salisbury to debate the monument's purpose next weekend. The event, called Solving Stonehenge, is part of Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum's 150th anniversary conference on October 2 and 3. The main speakers will be Professor Tim Darvill, Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Mike Pitts and Julian Richards. The debate will be chaired by Andrew Lawson."

More here -

Fifty Constables to return to Salisbury

"The largest exhibition of John Constable work, ever exhibited in Wiltshire, is heading to Salisbury next summer.

"To mark the 200th anniversary of the artist's first visit to the city, the Salisbury and Wiltshire museum is hosting a multi-million pound exhibition of his paintings of Salisbury Cathedral, the city and Stonehenge."

More here -

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region) — News

Electricity cables finally removed

"The gateway to the Avebury World Heritage Site has been transformed after work to bury unsightly electricity cables was completed…"

"The project, which started over three years ago, was made possible by a partnership involving Wiltshire Council, the National Trust, North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, English Heritage and local farmers. Funding for the work was provided by Scottish and Southern Electricity…"

"The new cables have been buried underneath the major monuments at Overton Hills Seven Barrows Bronze Age barrow cemetery and beneath the Neolithic West Kennet Avenue which originally linked Avebury Stone Circle to the Sanctuary.

"Scottish and Southern Electricity employed archaeologists to examine all the entry and exit points for the moleing machinery to check for any archaeological remains.

"Their work has been monitored by Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist who said: "A major eyesore has been eliminated from the World Heritage Site with the removal or these power cables, bringing the landscape closer to its ancient appearance. We've also been able to record all the archaeology found during the works, which adds to our story of the development of Avebury.""

More here –

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

Stonehenge Visitors Centre to go ahead – but not till AFTER the Olympics?!!

"According to the Salisbury Journal the project might go ahead – but not till 2013.

"The newspaper says that on Thursday English Heritage project development manager Martin Harvey updated councillors and members of the public on progress made and quotes him as saying "If all goes well with the remainder of this year, we believe we can still start work on the site in 2012 and open for business the following year.""

More here -

The Ridgeway (Ancient Trackway) — News

Ridgeway: Barriers keep crime at bay

"BARRIERS installed along Britain's oldest road have helped cut poaching and hare-coursing, according to police.

"Oxfordshire County Council installed the temporary barriers between Hill Road, Lewknor and Hill Road, Watlington, on the Ridegway National Trail. And they have already seen results with a drop in crime. The blocks were fitted in April to stop poachers, harecoursers and deer stalkers in cars accessing the track, known as the Icknield Way, and to stop thieves driving to isolated farm buildings.

"The pre-historic Ridgeway track runs from Avebury, Wiltshire, to Ivinghoe near Dunstable, across South Oxfordshire."

More here -

See also -

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) — News

Field trip to archaeological excavation near the Monument

Field trip to the English Heritage archaeological excavation near Silbury Hill, Wiltshire and the Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury.

Wednesday 1 September 2010.
10.30am - 4pm.

"The Icon Archaeological Group field trip will be visiting a research excavation being undertaken by the Archaeological Projects team at English Heritage. The excavation is evaluation the recently revealed Romano-British settlement located in the fields surrounding Silbury Hill. The day will include a guided tour of the excavation by the project manager as well as the opportunity to hear about the recent Silbury Hill conservation project.

"In the afternoon the field trip will move on to the site of Avebury and a guided tour of the Alexander Keiller Museum.

"A buffet lunch will be provided at the Red Lion Pub, Avebury."

More here -

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow) — Links

Wiltshire Heritage Museum

"Included in the 3,500 records of items in the collections of Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes recently uploaded to the website, are records for the artefacts found at the 1969 excavation of Marden Henge, currently being excavated by English Heritage.

"The prehistoric site at Marden is 8 miles south east of Devizes and halfway between Avebury and Stonehenge. It is the largest henge monument in Britain, enclosing an area of around 14 hectares with its enormous bank and ditch. English Heritage's current excavations at Marden have resulted in more new and important discoveries being made, including the floor of a prehistoric rectangular building, estimated to be some 4,500 years old!"

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) — Links

Silbury Blog

Three films on Silbury, including the BBC 2 Chronicle Series, Silbury Dig: The Heart of the Mound. First Broadcast on 27 July 1968.

Boyne Valley Complex — News

Ancient dugout canoe discovered

"HISTORIANS are probing links between an ancient dugout canoe discovered on the banks of the Boyne and the landmark Newgrange site.

"The canoe, which has an unusual design and is believed to be unique in Ireland, was yesterday removed from the river by experts from the National Museum."

More here -

And here -

Moel y Gaer (Hillfort) — Links

Heritage Action

Off road bikers wrecking North Wales beauty and heritage spots:

"A campaign has been launched to crack down on illegal off-road bikers who are wrecking North Wales heritage sites.

"Moel y Gaer hillfort is just one of a number of historic locations across North Wales under siege from bikers and 4x4s carving up the countryside."

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — News

Bus to link Stonehenge and Avebury

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum is conducting a survey for a pilot, " bus service that will link Stonehenge, Devizes and Avebury." Results from the survey will help them plan the service.

More here -

Visitors' Centre Axed!

The new Stonehenge Visitors' Center is one of the first projects to fall victim of Government's cutbacks.

More here -

Carl Wark & Hathersage Moor — News

Moving Stone through the Ages

Moving Stone through the Ages: Carl Wark Hillfort and the Burbage Quarries.

"A walk taking in quarries, iron smelting a prehistoric cainfield and the enigmatic Carl Wark Hillfort."

Wednesday, 21 July. 10:30-16:00. Meet at the pay and display car park, west of Upper Burbage Ridge. Up-to-date information on 01626 816200.

Men-An-Tol (Holed Stone) — News

Men-an-Tol, Men Scryfa, and the Nine Maidens

An introduction to the three monuments of Men-an-Tol, Men Scryfa, and the Nine Maidens by guide Adrian Rodda on Thursday, 22 July.
Meet at the car park at 11:00 and follow the signs to the monuments.

Organised by the Cornwall Archaeological Society. Up-to-date information on 01872 572725.

Barbury Castle (Hillfort) — News

Walk: Barbury Castle and the Ridgeway

"A guided tour around Barbury Castle and along the Ridgeway to Hackpen Hill White Horse to discover some of the archeology of the Marlborough Downs."

Meet at Barbury Castle on Saturday, 31 July at 14:00 (walk lasts until approx. 17:00). Up-to-date info from Wiltshire Council on 01249 705504.

Avebury (Stone Circle) — News

Avebury: A Journey of Discovery

National Trust experts will, "…lead you on a half-day journey of discovery through this very special landscape."

Meet outside the Barn Gallery on Tuesday, 20 July and Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 10:00.

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region) — News

Avebury photo competition

The West Kennet Avenue at Avebury. Photo by Heritage Action member Jim Mitchell, one of the winners in this year's National Trust competition for photographs of Avebury.

Photo here -

And here -

(Well done Jim :-)

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — News

Outing to the Rollright Stones

Wiltshire Heritage Museum will be organising an outing to the Rollright Stone Circle on Saturday, 7 August 2010. The outing will be led by David Dawson, Director of the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society.

More here –
And here -

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Littlestone

Avebury (Stone Circle) — Links

Heritage Journal

Avebury and the Obelisk

High Bridestones (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>High Bridestones</b>Posted by Littlestone

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

London Stone: Making a Myth

Lecture. Museum of London, Tuesday, 13 April. 6.30-8pm. Free.

"John Clark has recently retired from a long and distinguished career as Senior Curator (Medieval) at the Museum of London. In this talk he investigates the strange history of London Stone, the mysterious block of limestone that currently sits, ignored by passers-by, in an alcove in the wall of a building opposite Cannon Street Station."

More here -

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — News

CABE hits out at plans for the proposed £20m visitor centre

"Its footpaths are "tortuous", the roof likely to "channel wind and rain" and its myriad columns – meant to evoke a forest – are incongruous with the vast landscape surrounding it."

"So says the government's design ­watchdog over plans for a controversial £20m visitor centre at Stonehenge, the megalithic jewel in England's cultural crown. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, has criticised the design of the proposed centre, claiming the futuristic building by Denton Corker Marshall does little to enhance the 5,000-year-old standing stones which attract more than 800,000 visitors each year."

More here –

Stonehenge surrounded by two circular hedges?

A survey of the Stonehenge landscape suggests the monument was surrounded by two circular hedges.

Writing in the Guardian yesterday, Maeve Kennedy reports on the startling evidence of a Great Stonehenge Hedge. "Inevitably dubbed Stonehedge, the evidence from a new survey of the Stonehenge landscape suggests that 4,000 years ago the world's most famous prehistoric monument was surrounded by two circular hedges, planted on low concentric banks."

More here -

Doctor Who at Stonehenge

"On Tuesday night, February 2, Wiltshire's ancient stone monument was taken over by a film crew..."

More here -

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) — News

Silbury Hill - new find in the archive!

"New information has emerged from letters written in 1776 about excavations at Silbury Hill and published for the first time in the new volume of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine."

More here -

Bremore (Passage Grave) — Links

The Heritage Journal

Bremore, Slane, Tara: How can we know the Dancer from the Dance?

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

English Heritage welcomes Stonehenge Vistor Centre decision

"English Heritage has welcomed yesterday's decision by Wiltshire Council's planning committee to approve plans for a new visitor centre for Stonehenge."

More here -

East Kennett (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>East Kennett</b>Posted by Littlestone

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — News

Wiltshire museums join forces to tell story of Stonehenge

"English Heritage, the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, and the Wiltshire Heritage Museum have agreed to collaborate on presenting and interpreting the story of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

"The two museums will make loans from their collections to English Heritage for display in the proposed new visitor centre, while English Heritage will assist the two museums with their own displays and enhancing their archives to support the co-ordinated approach."

More here -


Giants of the Royal Society

Bill Bryson, writing in The Times today, pays homage to (among others) John Lubbock who, "...was a banker by profession, but was in addition a distinguished botanist, astronomer, expert on the social behaviour of insects, politician and antiquarian. Among much else, he coined the terms palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic in 1865. But his real contribution to life was to push through Parliament the first Ancient Monuments Protection Act, which became law in 1882. People forget how much of Britain's historic fabric was nearly destroyed in the past. Before Lubbock's intervention, nearly half of Avebury was cleared away for housing, and at one point it was even threatened that Stonehenge, then still in private hands, might be dismantled and shipped to America. Without Lubbock, many stone circles, tumuli and other historical features of the landscape would have vanished long ago.

More here -

Burren — Links

The Heritage Journal

To Wedge Tombs and the Wild (and William O'Brien)

"The latest issue of Archaeology Ireland has reported the first dating evidence, ever, from a Burren area wedge tomb."

Breamore Down (Round Barrow(s)) — News

Magic mountain yields jade axes

"Jade is normally associated with imperial China, notably the Han Dynasty burial suits made up of hundreds of jade plaques linked with gold wire; or with the Ancient Maya in Central America, where royal burials were often smothered in jade necklaces and carved objects. Prehistoric Europe is not usually thought of as society that used jade, but recent studies have shown that superb polished axes of green jadeites were traded from the Alps to the Channel 6,500 years ago, reaching Britain shortly thereafter."

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes holds a superb example of a jadeite axe from Breamore (mentioned in The Times article above and here - )

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — Links

The Heritage Journal

Stargazing from inside Stonehenge: a unique winter solstice opportunity. But are you too late?

Hill of Tara — Links

The Heritage Journal

Tara: The Damage Forever Done

Emain Macha (Henge) — Links

The Heritage Journal

Bush Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Links

Insignia of Dignity

"Video about the finds from Bush Barrow, presented by Phil Harding of Wessex Achaeology, perhaps best known for his appearances on Time Team."


The power of dogu: ceramic figures from ancient Japan

"Dogu are from the earliest-dated tradition of pottery manufacture in the world, dating to the prehistoric Jomon period, which began 16,000 years ago. Most of the figures in the exhibition are from about 2500 BC to 1000 BC (the Middle and Late Jomon periods) and show the development of the sculptural form over time."

The exhibition is in Room 91 at the British Museum until 22 November 2009. Admission free.

More here -

Hill of Tara — News

M3, Co. Meath: The End of the Road

"These monuments were irretrievably damaged, however, in some cases destroyed and for what? The route chosen wasn't the only possibility, but viable alternatives were dismissed without a second look. In hindsight and given the collapse of the economy, the motorway itself may not even have been necessary. Some people obviously thought so. As has recently been revealed, Eurolink were given a minimum traffic guarantee, which surely indicates prior consideration, if not expectation, of low usage levels.

"Anyone with half an eye on national events will concede that this is a country where the elite are in and out of each others pockets, smoothing their respective ways along. You wouldn't have to be particularly conspiracy-minded to smell something fishy in the alterations of laws when they prove inconvenient to 'progress'. Or the swift 'about-face' of the Greens when they arrived in Government. Why was this route and project, opposed by the EU, prominent archaeologists and a significant body of the public, untouchable?"

More here -

Wiltshire — News

The Stonehenge Riverside Project - Recent Results

"The Annual General Meeting of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society will take place at Devizes Town Hall, commencing at 2.30pm (10 October, 2009). This will be followed by a lecture from Prof. Mike Parker Pearson.

"Mike's talk is entitled 'The Stonehenge Riverside Project - Recent Results'. It is sure to be very popular so advance booking is essential. If you are interested in attending the lecture contact 01380 727369..."

More here -


Toys or Mother Goddesses?

"They were carved out of stone and squeezed out of clay 9,000 years ago, at the very dawn of civilisation.

"Now archaeologists say these astonishing Stone Age statues could have been the world's first educational toys."

Read more:

Wiltshire — News

Keeping Up Appearances

"About 4,500 years ago some inhabitants of Britain suddenly started wearing and being buried with jewellery. Subsequent centuries saw objects being fashioned out of amber, jet, gold, copper, bone and faience in a bewildering variety of forms."

A lecture entitled 'Prehistoric Jewellery in Britain and Beyond' by Ben Roberts will be held at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes from 2:30 pm on Saturday, 24 October 2009. More here -

Grant for the Wiltshire Heritage Museum

Culture minister Barbara Follett has announced a £150,000 grant for the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes. The grant will be used to create a new Bronze Age Gallery to house material excavated from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

More here - and here -
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 166 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Studied art and design at Swindon School of Art, Wiltshire, England and afterwards Japanese painting and calligraphy at Kyoto University of Fine Arts, Kyoto, Japan.

In 1966 I was a lay monk at the Zen Buddhist temple of Ryozen-an in Kyoto and practiced under the guidance of its Director, Ruth Fuller-Sasaki and senior monk Dana R Fraser (co-translator of Layman P'ang: A Ninth Century Zen Classic).

Also present at Ryozen-an was the author and poet Gary Snyder. Gary Snyder was one of the first Westerners in Japan to study Zen Buddhism and was the inspiration for Jack Kerouac's book, The Dharma Bums.

I was assistant conservator (paintings) at Kyoto National Museum from 1969-1980 and Chief Conservator (Eastern Pictorial Art) at the British Museum from 1980-1986. Japan Foundation Fellow 1973-1974 and Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works since 1985.

Interests include ancient history, classical music, comparative religion, the fine arts, poetry and writing.

Home: North Yorkshire, ENGLAND


Avebury Matters
Megalithic Poems

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