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County Kerry

Illuminating discovery at megalithic tomb in Kerry


https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2017/0925/907390-megalithic/

A hillwalker in west Kerry has made a stunning discovery which connects a 4,000-year-old tomb with the equinox. The megalithic tomb, known as the Giant’s Grave, is situated in the valley of Loch an Dúin on the eastern side of the Conor Pass.
Ancient rock art can be found within the tomb, including a cup and circle near the head of the tomb.
For the past 14 years Daithí Ó Conaill, a retired school principal, has visited the site during the winter and summer solstice hoping to make a connection between the tomb and the sun.
He has now discovered that the wedge tomb is actually aligned to the setting sun of the equinox, which last occurred on Friday 22 September.

As the sun sets directly into a 'V' shaped valley in the distant Brandon mountain range, a shaft of light enters the wedge tomb, illuminating the chamber and the rock art at the head of the tomb. The event can be witnessed at sunset for a number of days either side of the equinox.
Archaeologist Míchéal Ó Coiléain who has carried out extensive surveys in Loch an Dúin said it was a stunning discovery, providing a fine example of the engineering brilliance demonstrated by the people who constructed it.

"Daithí's discovery is wonderful and it goes to show that people living 4000 years ago are aware of movements of the sun. They are agricultural communities, so to know when the longest days of the year, the shortest, and when the equinoxes fall is so important. To construct such a perfectly positioned monument required remarkable expertise and knowledge."

The Equinox occurs twice a year when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes directly through the centre of the Sun’s disc. During an equinox, night and day are approximately the same duration.

Scotland (Country)

"Return" of 2,500 yr old Ballachulish Goddess


http://www.scotsman.com/news/the-return-of-the-2-500-year-old-ballachulish-goddess-1-4542330

The 2,500-year-old Ballachulish Goddess has “returned” to the Highland lochside where she was found after the Iron Age figure was recreated by a team of archaeologists. The life-size carving, which dates to around 600BC, was discovered face down in Highland peat by workmen in 1880 .....

Spain (Country)

Elba, the 9,300-year old Spanish cowherd who was lactose intolerant


https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/12/inenglish/1494584904_820305.html

"Death caught up with Elba on a Spanish hillside 9,300 years ago. She is thought to have been following her herd of aurochs, an extinct breed of large cattle, along an ancestral trail that is now a paved road. In fact, it is the same road that Google suggests as the best route between the localities of O Courel and Pedrafita do Cebreiro, in Galicia’s Lugo province, in northwestern Spain.

Her herd was made up of three aurochs: an enormous male with massive horns and two younger specimens. It might have been early spring or early winter, and the ground was covered by a blanket of snow thin enough to make for easy walking, yet thick enough to conceal some of the geographical features lying beneath.

As a result, she did not see the hole that had opened up in the earth. All four of them fell into the gap created by the collapse of the roof of a cave known today as Cova do Uro, or Aurochs’ Cave in the regional Galician language .... "

Buckland Rings (Hillfort)

Archaeologists unearth ancient origins of New Forest Town


http://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/07/archaeologists-unearth-ancient-origins-new-forest-town/115980

A high-tech survey at Buckland Rings Iron Age hillfort in Lymington has revealed evidence of 2,000 year old roundhouses within the fort’s ramparts.
The geophysical survey was led by the New Forest National Park Authority with local volunteers and students from Bournemouth University.
Up to seven prehistoric dwellings were identified, which would have once housed a community of hunters and farmers that would grow into the modern Lymington. Trading throughout Britain and across the sea, these ancient ancestors would have lived in round wooden buildings caked in a soil-based mixture.

Continued ....

Cumbria

Lake District gets World Heritage status


As expected UNESCO award World Heritage status to the Lake District.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-40547691

Avebury (Stone Circle)

NT have bought the URC Chapel


Predictably perhaps, the National Trust has purchased the historic URC Chapel which stands within the Avebury Stone Circle. They are inviting people to come along in the afternoon and early evening (up to 7.00pm) on 5th July to share their views about its future use.

Wiltshire

British Art: Ancient Landscapes


http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/british-art-ancient-landscapes

On currently until Sunday, September 3, 2017

Booking: No booking required.
Cost: Normal admission charges apply.

"The British landscape has been a continual inspiration to artists across the centuries and particularly the landscapes shaped and marked by our distant ancestors. The megaliths, stone circles and chalk-cut hill figures that survive from Neolithic and Bronze Age times have stimulated many artists to make a response. In this major new exhibition curated by Professor Sam Smiles, these unique artistic responses have been brought together to create a new discussion. Featuring the work of some of the greatest names in British art from the last 250 years, see John Constable, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Richard Long, Derek Jarman and more, as their work records and reflects on some of our most treasured ancient landscapes."

I had a look at the catalogue yesterday which is available at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes. The word catalogue does not do it justice - a very beautiful book to own, though at £25 not cheap. Several of the artworks owned by Wiltshire Museum are in the exhibition, including David Inshaw.

Coll (Island)

Coll Hoard Conservation campaign exceeds target


Not my patch by a great distance but am following Kilmartin Museum on FB and was pleased to read their following statement:
"We are delighted to announced we have reached and EXCEEDED our £10,000 goal for our Coll Hoard Conservation campaign! A huge huge thank you to everyone who donated, shared and in any way helped us to achieve this. Rewards and official thank yous will be issued soon. This is extremely exciting as now these fantastic artefacts can be sent to the Scottish Conservation Studio in Edinburgh to be conserved properly. We've already raised £905 over the amount needed, and our campaign does run until tomorrow morning so we have decided any extra money we make will go towards preserving an early Christian cross slab fragment which comes from a ruined Chapel in Kilmartin Glen. If this is something you are interested in supporting you can still donate at:"
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/coll-hoard-conservation

Wiltshire

Weird Wiltshire Exhibition - featuring Julian Cope at Avebury


An art exhibition at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6AA features a portrait of Julian Cope by the Avebury Stones - artist as yet unknown.

Exhibition is called 'Weird Wiltshire' - celebrating the "myth, magic and mystery of Wiltshire" in art form.
http://swindonopenstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/weird-wiltshire-exhibition.html?spref=fb

From 1st - 29th April. Entry Free.
Opening times vary so, if planning a visit please call 01793-466571 or see web-site:
http://richardjefferiessociety.co.uk/RJmuseum.html

Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon 2017 - cancelled


Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have made the following announcement:

"It is with much regret that we must cancel the 2017 Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.

Unfortunately there is now going to be a major military exercise on Salisbury Plain with live firing. As a result we will be unable to access the Plain or Old Carter Barracks at Bulford (the finish) on 30th April, the planned date of our Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.
We have overcome many challenges in the 29 years of running this event but after looking at alternatives including changing the date and route, none of these options are viable.

To find out more information, how to claim a refund or how to donate your entry fee please call 01380 829084."

Avebury (Stone Circle)

Changes to Sunday bus service to Avebury


As helpfully pointed out by thesweetcheat on TMA Forum, there have been some seemingly sudden changes to the 49 bus service from Swindon Bus Station to Avebury.

Anyone planning a bus trip to Avebury from Sunday 2nd April 2017, they now only run every two hours. Here are the times:
From Swindon Bus Station: 08.15, 10.15, 12.15, 14.15, 16.15, 18.15
Return from Avebury: 09.34, 11.34, 13.34, 15.34, 17.34, 19.34 (leaving Devizes at 11 minutes past the hour - every two hours).

Staffordshire

Detectorists strike gold in Staffordshire field


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/28/detectorists-strike-iron-age-gold-staffordshire-field

"Two metal detecting friends have found a hoard of superb Iron Age gold jewellery after returning to a Staffordshire field where they previously found nothing and became so bored that they gave up the hobby and turned to fishing for 20 years.
The four Iron Age gold torcs – three collars and a bracelet-sized piece, including two made of twisted gold wire, two with trumpet shaped finials and one with beautiful Celtic ornament – are of international importance.
The pieces were made in present-day Germany or France, possibly in the third or fourth century BC and, according to Julia Farley of the British Museum, are some of the oldest examples of Iron Age gold, and of Celtic ornament, ever found in Britain. They could have arrived through trade or on the neck and arms of an extremely wealthy immigrant ...."

Must Farm Logboats

National BA Museum proposed for Peterborough


"A number of organisations, including Peterborough City Council, Vivacity, the British Museum and The University of Cambridge, are in discussions about how best to display the discoveries found at Must Farm and Flag Fen.
Last January the world’s media was amazed by the archeological dig at Must Farm, near Whittlesey, which saw ancient round houses preserved in the clay. The discovery has been described as ‘the Pompei of the Fens’ because of the way the finds had been preserved, and what they told archeologists about life in the Fens 3,000 years ago. Wooden roundhouses, which were destroyed by a fire thousands of years ago, where uncovered, as were tools, bones and even pots still containing food. Journalists and historians from across the world descended on the Must Farm Quarry to see the operation to recover the finds. A report looking at the possibility of creating a National Bronze Age museum for the city had been prepared in 2014, with the discoveries at Flag Fen being at the heart of the plans - but now the report is being looked at again, to take into account the new discoveries. "

Read more at: http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/national-bronze-age-museum-could-be-built-in-city-1-7794984

Stonehenge and its Environs

Salisbury by-pass considered as an alternative to tunnel


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35322444

Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust posted the above news link on FB this morning with the following statement:

"Two years ago today, the government lost its credibility here when, in a moment of pre election spin it pledged that a tunnel should be ploughed through the Stonehenge landscape so that public can no longer slow traffic down to see them, so that people in the West Country will vote for them and reap huge! benefits from saving 30 mins traffic delays on a Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Bank holidays and so that over the coming century arguably one of the most significant Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape in Europe if not the World will be desecrated and our past consigned to the past. Once a concrete structure replaces a cubic kilometre of chalk there is no return, the chalk lands and natural aquifers will be altered, water flows will change and unless maintained for perpetuity, once the tunnel comes to the end of its 125yr life design, it will become the biggest man made headache for future generations to deal with. If by some pure act of vandalism the Government manage to continue to deliver this outrageous ill conceived scheme, they and those who support it will be named, published and go down in history as the vandals who destroyed Stonehenge and Britain's heritage.
The Trust will continue to support a southern bypass reroute that provides a sustainable long term solution for South Wiltshire, the living, as well as the dead. This alternative solution would do what the tunnel won't do and open up fully the Stonehenge Landscape without destroying it. We hope when a public consultation is eventually launched, common sense prevails and credibility is restored."

Iona

Prehistoric village found on Iona


It was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for four centuries and the home of St Columba. But now the site of what is believed to be a prehistoric village has been found on the island of Iona. The “exciting” discovery is close to the site of the isle’s primary school.
Pottery, flints and other prehistoric materials found during the archaeological dig could take its history back more than 2,500 years.
The items unearthed, and believed to be five times older than the settlement of St Columba’s time in 563 AD, were made during excavation works for the building of an extension to the island’s primary school.
The island is best known for its monastery founded by the monk Columba, also known as Colm Cille, who had been exiled from his native Ireland as a result of his involvement in the Battle of Cul Dreimhne. But now a new find on the holy island has excited archaeologists from across Scotland and throughout the world.
An archaeological team have discovered two different periods of building on top of the original village mound of more than 1,000 years, and a previously unknown extension to the medieval vallum, or wall, has all been found in a shallow ditch next to the school.
The extent of the wall may rewrite experts’ understanding of the way in which the community on the island in 600 and 700 AD worked together.
The archaeological work has been carried out by Dr Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology Ltd.
She said: ‘It seems very likely that the turf bank and ditch are early medieval in date, perhaps 7th or 8th century, and may represent the remains of an unknown monastic boundary, while the underlying soils appear likely to date from the late Bronze Age or Iron Age.
‘What is most exciting to me is that the lines of the property that exist now are very similar to the property lines that existed more than 2,000 years ago.”

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1002459/prehistoric-village-found-on-iona/

Wiltshire

Wiltshire's Story in a 100 Objects - Wiltshire Museum, Devizes


http://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/news/index.php?Action=8&id=174&page=0

I visited this exhibition in Devizes Museum yesterday - it wasn't an exhibition in the regular sense as, although the items were numbered, they were interspersed among the museum's excellent permanent collection. There were some surprises - a bowl from West Kennet Long Barrow, the Roundway Down Archer (neither of which I had seen before).

It seems to be a county wide project so worth checking the other museums too.

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

London Stone to go on show in museum


An ancient and obscured piece of limestone has long guarded Cannon Street. It's called simply London Stone (never 'the' London Stone). It might be a Roman milestone or druidic monument. Nobody knows. Very few people ever notice the venerable rock, which has long languished in a woefully unworthy niche opposite the station.
From this Friday, the mysterious artefact will finally get some attention when it goes on show as part of the the Museum of London's War, Plague & Fire gallery.
London Stone was once much larger and more prominently positioned. The monument is mentioned in Shakespeare, and was first referenced in the 12th century. It is undoubtedly much older, and has been incorporated in the foundation myths of our city.
Display at the museum will finally bring London Stone back into public awareness after its long slumber. It will remain at the museum while work is carried out to rebuild its existing home.
The stone is shifting to the museum for temporary display, while its existing home is knocked down and rebuilt.
See London Stone at the Museum of London from Friday 13 May 2016. Entrance is free.

http://londonist.com/2016/05/london-stone-to-go-on-show-at-the-museum-of-london?utm_content=bufferf9f1f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Scotland (Country)

Nan Shepherd to appear on Scottish bank note


Great news! Scientist Mary Somerville too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36111759

Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, welcomed the choice of Ms Shepherd for the £5 note.
He said: "It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way.
"Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today."

Wiltshire

5,000 years of history unearthed on MOD land in Bulford


http://www.insidewiltshire.co.uk/5000-years-of-history-unearthed-at-site-for-new-army-homes/

“The archaeological work that uncovered these exciting remains was undertaken as part of the normal planning process and we are pleased that, as a result, it has been agreed some of the most significant archaeology will be preserved within the planned open space. The remains date from the prehistoric to the modern periods and add new chapters to the story of Bulford. These finds are a great example of the fantastic range of archaeology that lies unseen under our county waiting to be rediscovered, and how sustainable development can help to tell us more about our past.”

A further phase of excavation is planned to examine the two prehistoric monuments beside which the Saxon cemetery was established. These appear to consist of Early Bronze Age round barrows that may have earlier, Neolithic origins. They are likely to be granted scheduled monument protection by Historic England and will be preserved in situ in a part of the site that will remain undeveloped. Neolithic pits outside the monuments contained decorated ‘Grooved Ware’ pottery, stone and flint axes, a finely made disc-shaped flint knife, a chalk bowl, and the bones of red deer, roe deer and aurochs (extinct wild cattle).

Stonehenge and its Environs

Booze banned from summer solstice celebrations


http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/14411283.Booze_banned_from_summer_solstice_at_Stonehenge_and___15_parking_charge_confirmed/?ref=fbshr

BOOZE will be banned from summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, English Heritage has confirmed.
And drivers will have to fork out £15 to park at the Stones, in a bid to reduce the number of cars at the event.
When the plans were unveiled in February it led to a "pay to pray policy" accusation from senior druid King Arthur Pendragon.
Bosses at Stonehenge say the reason behind introducing a £15 parking charge is encourage more people to car share and use public transport.
They also believe that banning alcohol will "reduce the risk to those attending and to the monument itself". Drinking will not be allowed anywhere in the monument field.

Part of the reasons for the changes is the increase in numbers to Stonehenge for the summer solstice. In 2000, approximately 10,000 people attended while in 2014, the figure was close to 40,000. That same year, the stones were vandalised during both the summer and winter solstice celebrations.

Money raised from the new charges would go towards supporting £60,000 a year cost of maintaining the visitor centre car park. Kate Davies, Stonehenge’s General Manager, said: “Over the last 15 years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge. We have limited parking facilities and we believe the parking charge will encourage more people to car share or travel by bus.

“We’ve also seen more drunken and disrespectful behaviour. Something has to be done or we risk losing what makes solstice at Stonehenge so special.
“These changes will help us to better look after both those attending the solstice and the ancient monument itself.
“Since we proposed these changes, we’ve had a lot of support from the public and from across all the different groups who help to organise the solstice celebrations.”

English Heritage also said it was mindful of how alcohol was used by some druids during ceremonial practice and would be consulting with the community on how moderate use of ritual alcohol.
Showing 1-20 of 102 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Passionate about:
Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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