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

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Showing 1-20 of 39 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

Bones found at Stonehenge belonged to people from Wales


Tests show 5,000-year-old remains found at the world heritage site came from more than 100 miles away in west Wales

Maev Kennedy

The bones of people buried at Stonehenge, who died and were cremated about 5,000 years ago, have given up their secrets: like the bluestones, which form part of the famous prehistoric monument, they came from west Wales, near the Preseli Hills where the stones were quarried.

The remains of at least 10 of 25 individuals, whose brittle charred bones were buried at the monument, showed that they did not spend their lives on the Wessex chalk downland, but came from more than 100 miles away. Examination of the remains showed they were consistent with a region that includes west Wales, the most likely origin of at least some of these people.

Although the team, led by scientists from the University of Oxford with colleagues in Paris and Brussels, cannot prove that the remains are of people who actually built the monument, the earliest cremation dates are described as “tantalisingly” close to the date when the bluestones were brought into the earlier ditch and bank monument to form the first stone circle.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/aug/02/revealed-stonehenge-buried-welsh?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Dowth

‘The find of a lifetime': Megalithic passage tomb dating back 5,500 years found in Co Meath


To date, two burial chambers have been discovered within the western part of the main passage.

A MEGALITHIC PASSAGE tomb cemetery dating back some 5,500 years has been unearthed beside Dowth Hall in Co Meath.

The discovery is within the Brú na Bóinne heritage site. The excavation is being carried out by agri-technology company Devenish in partnership with UCD’s School of Archaeology.

More: http://www.thejournal.ie/megalithic-passage-tomb-meath-4130419-Jul2018/

Boyne Valley Complex

Recent drought led to archaeological discovery of circular enclosure near Newgrange


Anthony Murphy, founder of Mythical Ireland, made the discovery when flying drones in the Brú na Bóinne area yesterday evening.

A LARGE CIRCULAR enclosure, or henge, has been revealed near the UNESCO World Heritage Site close to Newgrange in Co Meath.

Anthony Murphy, founder of Mythical Ireland, made the discovery when flying drones in the Brú na Bóinne area yesterday evening with photographer Ken Williams.

More: http://www.thejournal.ie/newgrange-mythical-ireland-4123238-Jul2018/

County Donegal

Locals unearth 'significant' prehistoric hoard of gold bands in Donegal


Experts from the National Museum have begun an investigation into the exciting discovery of four prehistoric gold arm bands they believe date back to the Bronze Age.

The amazingly intact ornaments were found buried together several feet underground at an undisclosed location in Co Donegal earlier this week.
Maeve Sikora, keeper of Irish antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, credited local Donegal residents for finding the treasures and immediately reporting them to officials at the Donegal County Museum, who in turn alerted them to the find yesterday.

"These people were so helpful and quick to report it," she said.

More:
https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/locals-unearth-significant-prehistoric-hoard-of-gold-bands-in-donegal-37058447.html

Dunbeg (Cliff Fort)

'We cannot stress how dangerous it is': Ancient Kerry fort closed after storm damage


More serious problems at Dunbeg.

Full story:
http://www.thejournal.ie/kerry-fort-ancient-3781702-Jan2018/

News

How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago


The prehistoric shift towards cultivation began our preoccupation with hierarchy and growth – and even changed how we perceive the passage of time

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/05/how-neolithic-farming-sowed-the-seeds-of-modern-inequality-10000-years-ago

County Down

Save Knock Iveagh!


We all want to believe that the places and heritage we love will be protected by somebody else for our children to enjoy. Some really important places in the UK benefit from protection by law and are supposed to be kept safe by our government bodies for the benefit of everyone. One such place is the ancient Neolithic burial site on the hill at Knock Iveagh. Although the burial site (cairn) is older than the pyramids and should be treated as a gem in the crown of beautiful Co Down, right now unfortunately it looks like somebody has dropped the ball because it is under terrible threat. Our public bodies have the power to save the hill and it is up to us to make sure they do so. That is why we are asking for your contribution to this important fight. Legal advice costs money, but this is a fight we can and must win.

https://www.gofundme.com/saveknockiveagh

County Kerry

Danny Healy-Rae and the Little People: Fairies to blame for problems on bad road, says TD


It was a puzzling case of Danny Healy-Rae and the 'little people'.
The Kerry TD is blaming poor road conditions around Killarney on fairies, according to his daughter.

Mr Healy-Rae believes that mythical creatures are at work on the main route between Killarney and Cork and that they are responsible for the appalling condition of the road.

More
http://m.independent.ie/irish-news/danny-healyrae-and-the-little-people-fairies-to-blame-for-problems-on-bad-road-says-td-36009894.html

County Westmeath

Illegal metal detectors damage 3,000-year-old wooden road


Illegal metal detectors have caused irreparable damage to a prehistoric road in the Midlands with Ireland's leading heritage charity calling on the Government to intervene to save the road.

An Taisce: The National Trust for Ireland has written to the Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys to request that the oakwood-built roadway, located on Mayne Bog in Coole, Co. Westmeath, be protected fully by the laws of the State.

Its Antiquities and Monuments committee has criticised the Minister for "standing idly by" and wants a licensed metal detector survey carried out along the route.

Dr Mark Clinton of An Taisce said that the area is of international importance and should be placed on the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) list. Much of the 647-metre, 3,000-year-old wooden track has been dug up by workmen cutting peat.

More: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/illegal-metal-detectors-damage-3000yearold-wooden-road-35780708.html

Spain (Country)

Spanish archaeologists discover cave art to rival country's best


Paleolithic-era drawings found in Axturra cave are in ‘Champions League’ of cave art sites, team leader says

Spanish archaeologists say they have discovered an exceptional set of Paleolithic-era cave drawings that could rank among the best in a country that already boasts some of the world’s most important cave art.

Chief site archaeologist Diego Garate said that an estimated 70 drawings were found on ledges 300m (1,000 ft) underground in the Atxurra cave in the northern Basque region. He described the site as being in “the Champions League” of cave art and among the top 10 sites in Europe. The engravings and paintings feature horses, buffalo, goats and deer, dating back 12,500-14,500 years.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/may/27/spanish-archaeologists-discover-cave-art-axturra-paleolithic

Ceide Fields

Céide Fields may be 2,500 years younger than thought


NUI Galway archaeologist Andrew Whitefield disputes age of ancient north Mayo site.

More here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/c%C3%A9ide-fields-may-be-2-500-years-younger-than-thought-1.2961569

Cissbury Ring (Hillfort)

Illegal treasure hunters damage ancient hill fort on South Downs


An ancient hill fort dubbed "one of the jewels in the crown" of the South Downs National Park has been damaged, police have said.

Illegal metal detecting is believed to be behind the disturbance to the ground at the 5,000-year-old Cissbury Ring site near Worthing in West Sussex.

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/25/illegal-treasure-hunters-damage-ancient-hill-fort-south-downs/

Monpelier (Hell Fire Club) (Passage Grave)

Megalithic Art Discovered at the Hellfire Club


Sitting partially exposed in the hollow of the strange mound behind the Hellfire Club, a dark lump of igneous rock served as a handy border to many bonfires over the centuries. However, those who enjoyed the warmth of the fire while lying up against the comfortably curved bank of the mound may not have realised that the mound they rested upon was the remains of an ancient tomb, and that plain looking dark stone was carved with symbols and designs that are over 5,000 years old.

The discovery of the artwork was the result of incredible serendipity. The surface of the stone has been damaged by fires and weathering, so the artwork is almost completely imperceptible to the naked eye. Had we dug our trenches anywhere else on site we would not have discovered it, and had we excavated during the summer, the higher flatter sunlight may not have revealed the faint trace of the artwork.

As the stone was sitting in a disturbed modern layer of material relating to picnics and parties, it was outside of its original context. We removed it quite early in the dig, though due to the many fires that had been lit upon it, it fractured into four large fragments as we began to lift it from the trench. As we did not originally notice anything particularly unusual about the stone, we (with some difficulty) lifted it out of the trench and set it on the side, so it would be close at hand for when we began to backfill the trenches.

More here: http://www.abartaheritage.ie/megalithic-art-discovered-at-the-hellfire-club/

Brittas (Portal Tomb)

Investigation into Brittas Bay dolmen damage


Damage to an ancient dolmen in Brittas Bay has been reported to the gardaí and the National Monument Service.

The megalithic tomb named the Castletimon Dolmen dates back close to 4,000 years and is a protected monument.

Part of the structure appears to have been knocked down, while stones and earth have been pulled away.

Steven Brennan of the Brittas Bay Tourism Association said the destruction of the Dolmen has caused widespread local anger.

'I was pretty shocked when I first saw the damage. People are very annoyed. It's a very historic area and needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

'People are embarrassed by this incident. It's one of Wicklow's oldest human structures and is one of only four on the east coast of Ireland.'

The whole area is of significant historical importance with a number of standing stones, cairns, a fourth century Ogham stone and a recently newly discovered standing stone. There is also a sixth century monastery nearby which was second in importance only to Glendalough.

More:
http://www.independent.ie/regionals/wicklowpeople/news/investigation-into-brittas-bay-dolmen-damage-34563576.html

Germany (Country)

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle


By Andrew Curry
Mar. 24, 2016 , 9:30 AM

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.

Struggling to find solid footing on the banks of the Tollense River, a narrow ribbon of water that flows through the marshes of northern Germany toward the Baltic Sea, the armies fought hand-to-hand, maiming and killing with war clubs, spears, swords, and knives. Bronze- and flint-tipped arrows were loosed at close range, piercing skulls and lodging deep into the bones of young men. Horses belonging to high-ranking warriors crumpled into the muck, fatally speared. Not everyone stood their ground in the melee: Some warriors broke and ran, and were struck down from behind.

When the fighting was through, hundreds lay dead, littering the swampy valley. Some bodies were stripped of their valuables and left bobbing in shallow ponds; others sank to the bottom, protected from plundering by a meter or two of water. Peat slowly settled over the bones. Within centuries, the entire battle was forgotten.

More: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle?utm_source=sciencemagazine&utm_medium=facebook-text&utm_campaign=bronzeagebattle-3174

Eire

Bear bone discovery pushes back date of human existence in Ireland by 2,500 years


Scientists were astounded when tests showed the fragment, from a butchered brown bear, confirmed that humans were active in Ireland 2,500 years earlier than previously suspected.

The fragment was stored in a cardboard box in the National Museum for over 100 years but had only been subjected to detailed forensic tests over the past two years.

The incredible discovery by Dr Marion Dowd and Dr Ruth Carden will now re-write Ireland’s settlement history with the bone indicating that humans were hunting in Ireland in 10,500BC – some 2,500 years earlier that previously thought.

Amazingly, the bear bone was discovered in Clare back in 1903 but was left for over a century in a storage box in the National Museum without being forensically tested.

Dr Dowd of IT Sligo and Dr Carden of the National Museum decided to examine the bear bone and subject it to radiocarbon dating.

More: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/bear-bone-discovery-pushes-back-date-of-human-existence-in-ireland-by-2500-years-34556770.html

Cambridgeshire

Bronze Age houses uncovered in Cambridgeshire 'best ever'


Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe to be the "best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain".

More:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-35280290

County Sligo

Tomb thought to be more than 5,000 years old discovered


Site on Sligo/Leitrim border may not have been found until now due to mountain setting

A hilltop tomb recently discovered close to the edge of Tievebaun mountain on the Sligo/Leitrim border may be more than 5,000 years old , according to the archaeologist who found it.

Michael Gibbons said a series of discoveries in this area – including animal enclosures, field systems, and booley settlements – suggests that there are layers of history spanning the Neolithic period, the iron age, the bronze age and the post medieval period on these uplands.

Mr Gibbons, who discovered other tombs in this area a decade ago, said that the hilltop tomb, which was a sacred site up to 3,500 BC, was probably not discovered before now because of its dramatic setting on the edge of the mountain.

More: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/tomb-thought-to-be-more-than-5-000-years-old-discovered-1.2422061

County Westmeath

Bronze Age road in Midlands turned into potting compost


‘Scandal’ that oak road on Mayne Bog, dating to 1200-820 BC, not surveyed or preserved

The Midland bogs have always been places of mystery – vistas of burnt umber that every so often unearth prehistoric time capsules: vats of bog butter, golden hoards, the mummified remains of sacrificial corpses.

In Longford, the Iron Age road unearthed at Corlea Bog has become the county’s prime tourism attraction, with massive oak planks wide enough for two chariots to pass side by side. In 2005, the discovery of a grander and far longer oak road at Mayne Bog in Coole, Co Westmeath, was a cause of great excitement. The National Monuments Service established that it was no mere trackway, measuring up to 6m in width, and dating to 1200-820 BC – a 1,000 years older than Corlea.

Westland Horticulture, extracting peat from the site at the time, were expected to cease work immediately but the National Monuments Service did not issue a preservation order, nor record it in the Register of Historic Monuments.

More:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/bronze-age-road-in-midlands-turned-into-potting-compost-1.2368920

County Fermanagh

Mud, lies and hazard tape: Reviewing The Report on the Drumclay Crannog


(Slightly out of our timeline being early-medieval, and very long and detailed, but of interest to archaeological activists all the same)

I’ve written before about how a simple, unattributed blog post … just 178 words long … kicked off an advocacy campaign to ensure the correct management and archaeological excavation of a crannog at Drumclay, Co. Fermanagh. I’d had reports from trusted, experienced colleagues that the site was poorly run and equipped. Worse than that, the excavation appeared to be in imminent danger of hitting its arbitrarily allotted time limit, declared ‘complete’, and whatever else remained allowed to be destroyed … all so the road could continue. Well, we weren’t going to stand for that and, a large number of archaeologists and concerned members of the public banded together to cause a fuss. We were joined by a significant number of professional organisations, including the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, and the BAJR Federation. We set up a Facebook page, we ended up on radio and television talking about it, we eventually presented a paper at the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland conference in Belfast, and even wrote pieces about it for Archaeology Ireland magazine [here & here]. The initial reaction of the relevant government departments was to close ranks and claim that they were satisfied with the conduct of the excavation and that everything was running according to plan. When that failed, it was claimed that they were aware of the issues and were already working hard behind the scenes to resolve them. The significant breakthrough came when then Minister for the Environment, Alex Attwood, visited the crannog, was convinced of its importance and subsequently ordered an exclusion zone around the site, along with instituting a competent regime of excavation and management. To paraphrase Hunter S Thompson’s obituary of Nixon: ‘That is Drumclay, in a nut, for people with seriously diminished attention spans.’

More:
http://rmchapple.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/mud-lies-and-hazard-tape-reviewing.html
Showing 1-20 of 39 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Taxi-driving, graphic artist with a penchant for high hills and low boulders. Currently residing in Tallaght where I can escape to the wildernesses of Wicklow within 10 minutes.

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