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

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Iron Age coins found in 1990s declared treasure trove

A hoard of 17 Iron Age coins has been declared treasure trove by a coroner.

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drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
9th May 2022ce


Flag Fen Iron Age roundhouse building work is under way

Work is under way on a replica Iron Age roundhouse on a large Bronze Age causeway dating back 3,500 years.

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drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th May 2022ce

Eildon Hills

Archaeologists dig into Eildon hillfort's secrets

Some of the country's leading archaeologists have spent the week on top of one of the south of Scotland's most iconic hills.

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drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
2nd May 2022ce

Callanish (Standing Stones)

Report of damage at the Cnoc An Tursa

Via Facebook, report and images of damage (presumably fire) at the Cnoc An Tursa. :-(
1speed Posted by 1speed
19th April 2022ce

Margaret Curtis obituary

Megalith enthusiast who did much to further understanding of the Calanais stone circle and other ancient sites of the Isle of Lewis

Mike Pitts

When Julian Cope, the musician and antiquary, met Margaret Curtis on the Isle of Lewis in the 1990s, he was impressed. Curtis, who has died aged 80, was a “living legend” and a “psychic queen”, said Cope, who filled him with “a real sense of awe”. He devoted a chapter in his bestselling 1998 book The Modern Antiquarian to her and to Calanais, one of the most extraordinary ancient monuments in Europe.

Near the Atlantic coast in the remote Outer Hebrides, Calanais (pronounced as in the anglicised spelling, Callanish) is a stone circle at the centre of five rows dating from around 3000BC. The tallest of nearly 50 megaliths is over five metres high, and all are made of a distinctive streaked gneiss that glows against stormy skies. Curtis did much to further understanding of this and other overlooked sites on Lewis, becoming the island’s unofficial archaeologist and sharing her enthusiasms with an appreciative visiting public.

She found many more stones under the peat as she walked the moorland, probing with a metal bar. One, at Calanais itself, was re-erected in 1982, and she spotted the broken tip of another in a wall.

Archaeologists sometimes followed up her suggestions. Patrick Ashmore, who led excavations at Calanais for what is now Historic Scotland in the 1980s, praised the fieldwork and record-keeping of Curtis and each of her two husbands. On one occasion, quartz pieces she found when a road near her house was straightened led to the discovery of a bronze age burial cairn.

ryaner Posted by ryaner
7th April 2022ce

Highland (Mainland)

Search for hunter-gatherer sites high in the Cairngorms

A new project has been set up to help uncover ancient hunter-gatherer sites high in the Cairngorm mountains.

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drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
17th March 2022ce


The Old Stones of the North Exhibition
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
2nd March 2022ce

Highland (Mainland)

New Caithness broch will reach 50 feet and follow plans devised in 600BC

If Ken McElroy gets his way, a very unusual feature will soon be added to the wild Caithness landscape at the northern edge of mainland Britain. He plans to re-create a 50ft-high iron age “skyscraper”, known as a broch, one of the most intriguing and mysterious types of building ever constructed in the British Isles.

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
21st February 2022ce

Fyfield Down (Natural Rock Feature)

Fyfield Down in Wiltshire delisted as a nature reserve

One of Wiltshire’s most important wild landscapes has been delisted as a nature reserve. Fyfield Down, just east of the famous stone circle at Avebury, was leased to the Nature Conservancy (a predecessor of Natural England) in 1955 and declared an NNR in 1956. It has been described as the “best assemblage of sarsen stones in England”. The site lies within the Avebury World Heritage Site and the North Wessex Downs AONB.
moss Posted by moss
17th February 2022ce

Ness of Brodgar (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

‘Every year it astounds us’: the Orkney dig uncovering Britain’s stone age culture

Archaeologists excavating the windswept Ness of Brodgar are unearthing a treasure trove of neolithic villages, tombs, weapons and mysterious religious artefacts, some to be displayed in a blockbuster exhibition

If you happen to imagine that there’s not much left to discover of Britain’s stone age, or that its relics consist of hard-to-love postholes and scraps of bones, then you need to find your way to Orkney, that scatter of islands off Scotland’s north-east coast. On the archipelago’s Mainland, out towards the windswept west coast with its wave-battered cliffs, you will come to the Ness of Brodgar, an isthmus separating a pair of sparkling lochs, one of saltwater and one of freshwater. Just before the way narrows you’ll see the Stones of Stenness rising up before you. This ancient stone circle’s monoliths were once more numerous, but they remain elegant and imposing. Like a gateway into a liminal world of theatricality and magic, they lead the eye to another, even larger neolithic monument beyond the isthmus, elevated in the landscape as if on a stage. This is the Ring of Brodgar, its sharply individuated stones like giant dancers arrested mid-step – as local legend, indeed, has it.

ryaner Posted by ryaner
15th February 2022ce
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