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Showing 1-20 of 236 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

Source of sarsen stones pinpointed

David Nash and his team of researchers believe the sarsens come from West Woods, south west of Marlborough, and 25km from the circle. They've geochemically matched the site using a chip from Stonehenge that was taken during a restoration project in the 1950s. Two of the fifty remaining stones at Stonehenge don't match the West Woods site though...
Article on today's Guardian website.
The research paper can be read here in Science Advances.

Vespasian's Camp and Blick Mead (Hillfort)

Mesolithic dog on long walk from Yorkshire?

David Jacques and his team have found a dog's tooth at Blick Mead. It dates from 7000 years ago. So people had dogs at the site all that time ago, it's a nice thought. But more interestingly, they found that the isotopes in its enamel match those in the water in the Vale of York. Suggesting that dog and owner had walked all that way.

Which, one might suggest, wouldn't be unreasonable if you were a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer roaming around Britain? And maybe that if you were in Wiltshire that year you might pop in. But Jacques suggests Yorkshire's too far away for that and they must have deliberately been drawn in from a long way away, as were others, especially for whatever exciting and famous stuff was going on at Amesbury at that time.

The article also includes a nice bit of anti-tunnel sentiment.

Skipsea Castle (Artificial Mound)

Skipsea Castle based on Iron Age mound

Jim Leary spoke more about this on the Today programme at 6.55
( ). His team took a core down through the mound to ascertain its age, as part of the 'Round Mounds' project. They've been looking at others and he's got others in mind for the future...
more details at

Spain (Country)

Palaeolithic art in Atxurra caves, Basque region

I'm not exactly sure why this is back in the news today - I'm guessing there's a report or paper somewhere that's just been released. The paintings are said to be amongst the best in Europe.

(The discovery of the paintings is mentioned in Goffik's 2011 post below.)

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

English Heritage analysis of 3D scanning

"The laser scan has revealed significant differences in the way the stones were shaped and worked. These differences show that Stonehenge was not only aligned with the solstices, but that the view of the monument from the Avenue, its ancient processional way to the north east, was particularly important. "

Also they have discovered 71 ! new carvings of axes.

Flag Fen (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

New finds from Flag Fen

Six dug out boats in excellent condition, textiles, woven fish baskets, wooden sword handles, a bowl of nettle stew complete with spoon...

Kent's Cavern (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Bone is from earliest humans in NW Europe

The age of a piece of jawbone found at Kent's Cavern in the 1920s has been reassessed, and is said to 'represent the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe'.

A preview of the paper in Nature is here:

but this newspaper article is a friendlier summary:

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

£10m grant for centre from Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund announced last night that they'd be giving ten million pounds towards the Stonehenge visitor centre improvements. Government axes £10m. HLF provides £10m. See we're all in this together and charities can make up the slack. Keep buying those scratchcards. Yes I am being sarcastic. By the way, if you've got a spare nine million pounds then that'll make up the total that EH are going for.
Nothing on the EH website yet though, slightly curiously.

Cheddar Gorge and Gough's Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

New information about life in Gough's Cave

A new carbon dating technique ('ultra filtration') has suggested that the cave was colonised very quickly from further south in Europe after the retreat of the glaciers. It was inhabited for a few hundred years c. 14,700 years ago (a shorter time than previously thought), and it was probably only a intermittent retreat, not a permanent home. Human bones from the cave show traces of being butchered just like animal bones, to remove the flesh and marrow (and the brain, tongue and eyes, for those wanting more gruesome detail) - but still, it's not possible to say whether this was due to hunger or cultural practice. After this period the ice returned and Britain was completely depopulated again. Chilly.

Retesting of bones gives new occupation date

Bones from Gough's Cave have been re-radiocarbon-dated, giving a new date 14,700 years ago. This matches the archaeological evidence better than the previous radiocarbon tests.

The date suggests Cheddar Gorge was one of the earliest places in Britain that was colonised after the Ice Age.Members of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project now think the bones from Gough's Cave could have accumulated over just two or three human generations. The occupants might have been following horse migrations across Doggerland. After this there was a very short period of rapid climate warming, in which birch forests flourished, and the horses were less numerous. People then moved out of the caves to look for other food.

North Somerset, Bath and North-East Somerset

Free lecture on Monkswood Hoard

"The Monkswood hoard was found in the St Catherine's valley near Bath during the construction of a reservoir in the 1930s. It contains 38 pieces of Bronze age metalwork. This talk by Stephen Clews, Manager of the Roman Baths & Pump Room, looks at the objects in the hoard from the perspective of what they can tell us about people and society in the area around Bath nearly 3,000 years ago."

The Guildhall, Bath
Tuesday 17 February 2009, 1.10- 1.45pm
Refreshments on sale from 12.45pm
Admission free

Simonside (Sacred Hill)

Discovery day at Simonside, 1st August

Archaeology, ecology, local food and folklore - this Friday at Simonside, organised by Northumberland National Park with support from the Forestry Commission and local landowners.

Kendrick's Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Talk on Cave project, 1st April

There has been a major research project on Kendrick's Cave, and this talk explaining it will be by Jill Cook, the deputy keeper of prehistory and early Europe at the British Museum. She will also reinterpret the 19th century excavations by Thomas Kendrick.

Meanwhile, the 'Sharing Treasures' exhibition will open at Llandudno Museum, at which the mesolithic finds from the cave (including art and jewellery) have been reunited from various collections 'for the first time in 100 years'.

Was the cave just a campsite or a place of more special significance?

Sounds all very interesting. The talk is at 7pm, in Llandudno Town Hall, on Tuesday 1st April. Entry is free but donations to the Museum are welcome.

More about the art on a horse's jawbone found in the cave at
- it's thought to be 13,000 years old!

South Ronaldsay

Rare rock art found on beach after storm

Local plumber David Barnes saw the circular markings in the low afternoon light on Sandwick Bay. Julie Gibson, the county archaeologist, suggests it could come from a chambered tomb.

No picture at the link though, sadly.


Prehistoric finds at new M62 junction

Ron Cowell, the curator of prehistoric archaeology at Liverpool Museum, describes the finds of prehistoric flints and burnt hazelnuts. They're an unusual discovery because of their lowland location. The site will be buried by a new link road for J6 on the M62 near Huyton. There'll be a museum display of all the artefacts found.

The Isle of Purbeck

Metal detectorist finds bronze axe hoard

Tom Peirce found the axe heads (over 260 of them) on farmland near Swanage. They were in three locations 50m apart. Wessex Archaeology have since been excavating the site.
There's a photo of some of them at
on the Daily Mail website.

Paviland Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

New date for Paviland skeleton

Apparently, because of contaminants from preservatives used in the 19th century, previous tests have underestimated the age of the skeleton. It's now thought that he's 29,000 years old (4000 years older than before!).

This could mean that people living in these islands were the first in Europe to bury their dead in such a way, and that perhaps the custom spread from here (ah it's always seen to be a bonus when a Briton invents something).

It also means that Mr Paviland would have lived in a warm era, rather than a cold period as previously thought.

He will be going back to Wales for an exhibition at the National Museum in Cardiff, starting on December 8th. The 'Origins' gallery has been redeveloped. It's got some very interesting things.

information from C4 article at:


Tomorrow - Julian Richards lecture on Stonehenge

Julian Richards is giving a talk on Stonehenge at the Newark Millgate Museum, tomorrow Friday 19th October at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 or £4. "Advance booking is essential" so you'd better be quick.

On Saturday, he is hosting a workshop with Newark and District Young Archaeologists.

This is the museum's webpage.
and this their list of events:

Hill of Allen (Sacred Hill)

Protest group claim Roadstone ignored monuments

This article at the Kildare Nationalist reports on recent claims by the Hill of Allen Action Group. They say that the hill is the site of two National Monuments (a cist and a barrow), which are within the land being quarried by Roadstone. They say that when Roadstone registered the quarry with Kildare County Council in 2006, neither of those sites appeared on their registration papers or maps. The Council in turn made no mention of the monuments. However, it is the landowner's responsibility to be aware of their presence. Damage to a site listed on the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) is a criminal offence. It seems that the required legal procedures involving planning and environmental impact assessment were not carried out.

Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway's archaeology to go on line

A website is to be developed which will give access to all the lovely archaeological objects in the region's Museum Service's collections.

"The collection is one of the largest in Scotland and described as a "comprehensive collection of Dumfries and Galloway's material culture over an 8,000-year period"."
Showing 1-20 of 236 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.

...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.

I'm currently mad on visiting Anglo-Saxon and Norman carvings and enjoy the process of drawing them:

and I've been helping digitise the Schools' Collection of the National Folklore Collection of Ireland... you can also at

Some interesting websites with landscape and fairy folklore:

My TMA Content: