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

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Tinkinswood (Burial Chamber) — News

Outrage at treatment of Tinkinswood ancient site

"When we arrived there, a man was burning a sack full of rubbish IN the burial chamber. Smoke was bellowing out from under the cap-stone and the smell of plastic was heavy in the air."

From a letter to the Glamorgan GEM

Follow up:

Tinkinswood fire reported to police

The Glamorgan GEM

Llyn Cerrig-bach — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Llyn Cerrig-bach</b>Posted by baza

Grianan of Ailech (Stone Fort / Dun) — News

Amazing Picture Captures Donegal's Ancient Miracle of Light

"Adam’s stunning picture shows a shaft of life entering one side of the historic fort, before creating a perfect line to the other side."

From The Donegal Daily

Finistère (29) (Departement) — News

14,000 year old engraved 'tablets' discovered in France

Some forty prehistoric engravings, more than 14,000 years old, have been discovered in Finistere, at the town of Plougastel-Daoulas, in Brittany (northwestern France).
Depicting several animals, these artistic vestiges date back to the Upper Palaeolithic period and are extremely rare in Europe.



Thompson's Rock (Holed Stone) — Images

<b>Thompson's Rock</b>Posted by baza<b>Thompson's Rock</b>Posted by baza


Ancient Britain Special Stamps

"The Special Stamps feature iconic sites such as Skara Brae and Avebury and exceptional artefacts including the Battersea shield and the Star Carr headdress. The stamps are all enhanced with illustrations that reveal how our ancient forebears lived and worked.

In addition to the Mint Stamps and Stamp Souvenir, the issue features an informative Presentation Pack - ideal gifts for anyone with an interest in prehistory."

On sale from 17th January 2017

More details from the Royal Mail here

Druids Temple, Yewcroft (Stone Circle) — Miscellaneous

Apparently, the Druids Temple stone circle has been "restored" and now has its own facebook page:

Cueva de la Menga (Chambered Tomb) — Images

<b>Cueva de la Menga</b>Posted by baza

Cerro de la Mina (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza<b>Cerro de la Mina</b>Posted by baza

High Park (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>High Park</b>Posted by baza

Sittaford (Stone Circle) — Links

Video of Sittaford stone circle from the air

Orkney — News

Riddle of the red deer: Orkney deer arrived by Neolithic ship, study reveals

Research has found that red deer were brought to the Scottish islands by humans, but the question remains: where did the Neolithic colonists come from?

The riddle of the red deer of Orkney and the Outer Hebrides has just become even more baffling. Stags and hinds arrived with humans – but not from Scandinavia, nor from the British mainland.

And they can only have arrived by ship: transported by enterprising Neolithic colonists who had learned to treat deer as livestock, long ago and far away in Europe.

Full The Guardian article:

And from BBC News :
'Mystery voyage' of Scottish islands' red deer

Science Magazine:
Red deer came to Scottish islands from unexpected places

The original paper published by The Royal Society:
Colonization of the Scottish islands via long-distance Neolithic transport of red deer

Soulbury (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

Ancient landmark in middle of road could be dug up after accident claim

A huge boulder which a road was bizarrely constructed around decades ago – could finally be removed after a motorist crashed into it.

The prospect of the ancient stone, thought to have been located in Chapel Hill, Soulbury, for millions of years, being taken away has prompted outrage from villagers as Bucks County Council finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Read more from Leighton Buzzard Online:

And from The Guardian:

Update from BBC News:
Soulbury stone: White lines 'horrific' and 'an eyesore'

White lines painted around a boulder, thought to have been in place 11,000 years in an attempt to make it safer, have been described as an "eyesore" and "horrific" on social media.

Lindholm Høje (Megalithic Cemetery) — Images

<b>Lindholm Høje</b>Posted by baza

Le Dolmen de Mont Ube (Passage Grave) — News

Vandals target Neolithic Dolmen

From the Jersey Evening Post:

"A DOLMEN that has stood for thousands of years in St Clement has been vandalised.

The Société Jersiaise is appealing for information after Dolmen de Mont Ubé was daubed in spray paint.

The Neolithic passage grave was built around 6,000 years ago and can be found in trees around 100 metres from Rue de la Blinerie."

Full story with picture

Pystyll Gwyn (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Pystyll Gwyn</b>Posted by baza

Y Garreg Goch (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Y Garreg Goch</b>Posted by baza

The Calderstones (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — News

Schoolboy makes amazing historical discovery

From the Liverpool Echo:

Liverpool schoolboy Connor Hannaway has made history after discovering a carving which had somehow escaped the notice of archaeologists for hundreds of years.

The 13-year-old only spotted the etching during a school trip to Calderstones Park by chance – after dropping his pencil on the floor while he was making some notes!

Connor, who lives in Aigburth and attends Calderstones School, saw the bird carving at the bottom of one of the six Neolithic calderstones his school is named after – but, initially, no one believed him.

He recalls: “I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t dropped my pencil. Because of the light I could only see the head of the bird, but then its back and tail became visible. I just thought that everyone must know it was there.”

Full Story:

Fingal's Rock (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Fingal's Rock</b>Posted by baza

Dhiseig (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Dhiseig</b>Posted by baza<b>Dhiseig</b>Posted by baza

Torralbet (Naveta) — Images

<b>Torralbet</b>Posted by baza<b>Torralbet</b>Posted by baza<b>Torralbet</b>Posted by baza

Cap de Forma (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Cap de Forma</b>Posted by baza<b>Cap de Forma</b>Posted by baza<b>Cap de Forma</b>Posted by baza

des Figueralet (Naveta) — Images

<b>des Figueralet</b>Posted by baza<b>des Figueralet</b>Posted by baza<b>des Figueralet</b>Posted by baza

Ses Arenes de Baix (Naveta) — Images

<b>Ses Arenes de Baix</b>Posted by baza<b>Ses Arenes de Baix</b>Posted by baza<b>Ses Arenes de Baix</b>Posted by baza

Cotaina de Can Rebasso (Naveta) — Images

<b>Cotaina de Can Rebasso</b>Posted by baza<b>Cotaina de Can Rebasso</b>Posted by baza<b>Cotaina de Can Rebasso</b>Posted by baza

Montple (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Montple</b>Posted by baza<b>Montple</b>Posted by baza

Giant's Grave (St John's) (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Giant's Grave (St John's)</b>Posted by baza

Cloven Stones (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Cloven Stones</b>Posted by baza<b>Cloven Stones</b>Posted by baza

Cloven Stones (Passage Grave) — Links

Google Street View

Google Street Map view of the Cloven Stones


Ancient farmers manured the land

'We're increasingly realising that there was a lot of violence in these early farming communities - they weren't peaceful hippie types,' says Amy Bogaard an archaeologist at the University of Oxford.

From Planet Earth Online

Europe's first farmers used sophisticated muckspreading techniques to keep their land fertile some eight millennia ago, according to new research. And this revolution in agriculture may have played an important part in the genesis of the violence between communities that's blighted human society ever since.

It seems people were manuring and watering their crops as long as 6000BC. Until recently, the consensus has been that farmers only started using animal dung during Iron Age or Roman times, and that more ancient farmers of the Neolithic used a slash-and-burn approach involving working a patch of land for a few years and then moving on once they'd exhausted its nutrients.

But a team of researchers has analysed charred pulse seeds and cereal grains from 13 Neolithic sites around Europe, looking at the relative proportions of several different forms of nitrogen, known as isotopes. They looked in particular at the relative abundance of the heavier nitrogen-15 isotope relative to its lighter sibling nitrogen-14.

Experiments on modern farms show that the more muck you spread on a field, and the more often you do it, the higher the ratio of N-15 to N-14 climbs. In crops across Europe, the paper's authors found clear evidence of that the locals were spreading the dung of goats, cattle, sheep and pigs on their fields much earlier than we'd assumed.

This suggests they understood how important the land's fertility was and tried to preserve or even increase it for the next generation, having noticed that animal dung let them grow bigger, healthier plants. This involved long-term investments of the time and effort needed to collect, transport and spread manure that would then slowly release its nutrients over years and decades.

This could have led to important social transformations; as farmers started to pass down fertile land to their children, some of the earliest divisions between rich and poor might have started to emerge. If heavy manuring had made one group's land unusually fertile, their neighbours might have been tempted to resort to violence to get it.

'The fact that farmers made long-term investments such as manuring their land sheds new light on the nature of the early farming landscapes in Neolithic times ,' says Dr Amy Bogaard, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford and lead author of the paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

'The idea that farmland could be cared for by the same family for generations seems quite an advanced notion, but rich fertile land would have been viewed as extremely valuable for growing crops,' she adds. 'We believe that as land was viewed as a commodity to be inherited, social differences in early European farming communities started to emerge between the haves and the have-nots.'

She cites the example of the Neolithic mass burial at Talheim in Germany, which holds the remains of a whole community who were massacred – men, women and children – with blows to the head from the stone axes that farmers used to clear land, arguing that this could have resulted from a raid intended to seize the community's land. 'We're increasingly realising that there was a lot of violence in these early farming communities - they weren't peaceful hippie types,' says Bogaard. 'Some of that violence was probably in the form of sporting or ritual contests between communities. But some of it was very deadly, like what we see at Talheim, where it looks like the attackers went in by night and killed everyone.'

The 124 samples of charred barley, wheat, lentils and peas the team examined came from harvested crops that were stored in buildings that then burned down. They came from sites dating from between 6000BC and 2400BC, and are taken from places across Europe including Hambledon Hill in Dorset and Lismore Fields in Derbyshire.

The NERC-funded study even suggests farmers understood which crops would benefit most from manure and concentrated their resources on them, leaving relatively hardy crops unfertilised; in one site in southern Greece, naked wheat had been heavily manured while barley had received very little fertilisation. Pulse crops, meanwhile, had received both manure and lots of water. 'Subsistence farmers are very observant of what we would see as very small differences in plant growth,' Bogaard explains. 'They would have noticed quickly that their middens and dung heaps produced much bigger, healthier plants, and later realised that certain crops benefited more from manure than others.'
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baza lives on the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire.

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