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The Thornborough Henges


Rescuing History For The North

Newcastle scientists are helping to save an ancient North site from destruction.

The archaeologists will help promote the little-known henges in Thornborough, near Ripon, North Yorkshire as tourist attractions.

The Neolithic site is said to be equal in importance to Stonehenge. Constructed in 3,000 BC, the triple henge occupies an area larger than Stonehenge itself.

Jan Harding, an archaeologist at Newcastle University, has spent six years leading a research project into the three henges.

Only limited archaeological work was done at Thornborough from the late 19th Century to the 1950s but Dr Harding's research involved extensive surveys and field walking which yielded a number of flint tools.

Her work coincides with a BBC 2 series in which TV presenter and archaeologist Mark Horton expressed his horror that one of the most important ancient sites in the region will be destroyed.

During the making of the Time Flyers programme, Dr Horton tells of his shock at current proposals to quarry the entire surrounding area, "which will leave the henges on an `island' surrounded by open gravel pits".

He was horrified to discover the extent that quarrying to date had already removed substantial areas of the surrounding landscape, during which a vast amount of related archaeology was destroyed.

Dr Horton, head of archaeology at Bristol University, said: "I've been appalled by what I've seen at Thornborough. Archaeological sites like this should be protected and plans such as these shouldn't even be proposed. That such destruction could even be considered around Stonehenge, or even lesser-known sites in the South, is unthinkable".

Original article - Newcastle Evening Chronicle
Posted by BrigantesNation
31st October 2003ce
Edited 12th November 2003ce

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