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

Isle of Portland


This is an island I know very well as I worked here for 5 years and can trace family back for several hundred years. I'm not surprised that Mr Hamhead couldn't find many sites in this pock marked landscape , it is after all a giant quarry, from which many millions of tons of stone have been removed. The Culverwell site, which he mentions is difficult to access , but is well worth the effort. It is a mesolithic " summer" camp of about 12000 years b.c.e. which has been a largely amateur labour of love , led by local archaeologist Susann Palmer. There is, albeit scant, evidence from paintings of the island that there was a major Durotrigian hillfort on the site of the Verne prison. The current prison is a converted Palmerstonian fortress , which when it's defensive ditch was dug by convicts in the 1860 / 70 period, was found to contain a great many burials which showed sword and spear wounds. Artifacts recovered from these burials were of the iron age period, and it is reckoned to be a war grave. Contemporary roman documentary evidence (Tacitus) nicknames the island the "isle of slingers", the nearby Chesil beach providing millions of pebbles as slingshot ammunition. Enormous caches of pebbles from chesil beach have been found in Dorset hillforts many miles inland. formicaant Posted by formicaant
18th April 2007ce
Edited 30th September 2009ce

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