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

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DNA study deals blow to theory of European origins

From the BBC-

'A new study deals a blow to the idea that most European men are descended from farmers who migrated from the Near East 5,000-10,000 years ago.

The findings challenge previous research showing that the genetic signature of the farmers displaced that of Europe's indigenous hunters.

The latest research leans towards the idea that most of Europe's males trace a line of descent to stone-age hunters.'

So the argument continues to go back and forth but the most telling line in the article is -

'But the authors say more work is needed to answer this question'

Weston Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Weston Moor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Weston Moor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Middleton Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Middleton Moor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Middleton Moor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Middleton Moor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Nottinghamshire — News

Man builds Romano-British home in his garden

A Nottinghamshire farmer is building a Romano-British dwelling in his back garden in Calverton. Grahame Watson said he had started the project because he wanted to learn more from experimental archaeology.

Photo story from the BBC. Apparently he's already built an Iron Age round house - for his universiry dissertation. Obviously doesn't do things by halfs.


Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank

"Fractured human remains found on a German river bank could provide the first compelling evidence of a major Bronze Age battle.

Archaeological excavations of the Tollense Valley in northern Germany unearthed fractured skulls, wooden clubs and horse remains dating from around 1200 BC.

The injuries to the skulls suggest face-to-face combat in a battle perhaps fought between warring tribes, say the researchers."

Full story-

United Kingdom — News

What caused Britain's Bronze Age 'recession'?

A large gap in pre-history could signal that Britain underwent an economic downturn over 2,500 years ago.

In history lessons, the three ages of pre-history - Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age - seem to flow together without a gap.

But there is a 300-year period in British history between around 800 BC and 500 BC where experts still struggle to explain what happened, where bronze is in decline and iron was not widely used.

"By 1000 BC the bronze axe had become almost a proto-currency," says historian and presenter Neil Oliver.

"It was wealth that was divorced from its use as a metal. And, a little like economic bubbles that we see today, it spelt danger."

Interesting piece from the BBC that seems to be a promo for A History of Celtic Britain

Nottinghamshire — News

Archaeologists look to protect rare prehistoric site

A group of amateur archaeologists are hoping to help protect a rare prehistoric site in Nottinghamshire.

They are bidding for funding to further investigate the fields around Farndon, where archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of Ice Age flint tools.

Spain (Country) — News

Neanderthal family found cannibalised in cave in Spain

Archaeologists in Spain have unearthed the remains of a possible family of 12 Neanderthals who were killed 49,000 years ago.

Markings on the bones show the unmistakeable signs of cannibal activity, say the researchers, with the group having probably been killed by their peers.

Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure) — Images

<b>Uffington White Horse</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Callanish (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Callanish</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

The Standing Stones of Stenness (Circle henge) — Images

<b>The Standing Stones of Stenness</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Newgrange</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Essex — News

Bronze Age hoard found intact in Essex field

"Archaeologists have unearthed a collection of Bronze Age axe heads, spear tips and other 3,000-year-old metal objects buried in an Essex field."

From the BBC

Mam Tor (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Mam Tor</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Bodowyr (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Bodowyr</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Bodowyr</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Ty Mawr (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Ty Mawr</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Arthur's Stone (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Arthur's Stone</b>Posted by Chris Collyer


Neanderthals were 'tech savvy'

From the BBC website-

Neanderthals were able to 'develop their own tools'

Neanderthals were keen on innovation and technology and developed tools all on their own, scientists say.

A new study challenges the view that our close relatives could advance only through contact with Homo sapiens.

Full story at

Duddo Five Stones (Stone Circle) — Links

360 degree panorama of Duddo.

Gled Law (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Links

360 degree panorama from beside Gled Law 2a.

Battlestone (Humbleton) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

MAGIC seems to back up Stan about this stone calling it a Bronze Age standing stone associated with a cist a couple of metres away.

Wallis Grange (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

This is the only 'securely identified oval barrow' in Humberside according to EH but I've seen very similar long barrows elsewhere . In the scheduling of 1995 they give its height as 1.75 metres but it didn't look much over a metre to me while the 52m east-west and 30m north-south looked about right.
The mound is on private land with notices of a bull in the field, although I didn't see one.

Wallis Grange (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Wallis Grange</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Wallis Grange</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

East Yorkshire — Images

<b>East Yorkshire</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Guisecliff Wood (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Guisecliff Wood</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Guisecliff Wood</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Fairy Stone (Cottingley) (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Fairy Stone (Cottingley)</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Fairy Stone (Cottingley)</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Fairy Stone (Cottingley)</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Fairy Stone (Cottingley)</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Fairy Stone (Cottingley)</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Star Carr (Mesolithic site) — Miscellaneous

Due to current renewed interest in Star Carr I've added the following text I wrote elsewhere.

Star Carr must be one of the most unassuming yet archaeologically important sites it is possible to visit in the British Isles. An empty field hides below its surface the waterlogged remains of what was once a Mesolithic settlement standing on the eastern shores of the now vanished Lake Pickering, a glacial lake formed by meltwaters at the end of the last ice age that stretched as far west as the Hambleton and Howardian Hills towards the north of York. At this time lower sea levels meant Britain was not yet an island being still connected to the continent and as the ice retreated hunters followed herds of migrating animals across land which is now under the North Sea and began to move into new territories. One of these that seems to have been particularly to their liking was beside Lake Pickering where they burned back the sedges and rushes on the marshy edges of its shore and laid down mats of brushwood and a trackway of split timbers to make a platform out into the clearer water - evidence of a wooden oar suggests they also used boats to move out onto the lake to fish.

It is thought that the edge of the lake was not used as a habitation area but that camps would have been set up a short distance to the north on slightly raised ground. These would probably have been temporary seasonal camps and archaeologists seem to be divided on when the site would have been in use, analysis of plant remains suggests the main activity taking place here was during the summer months while finds of worked and natural deer antler suggest people were hunting here during winter.

Although animals such as auroch, elk and boar were taken as food sources it seems that red deer held a special place in the Mesolithic world view of these people. Not only were they hunted in large numbers but they are also responsible for the most famous finds at Star Carr - the antler headdresses. These consisted of the frontal forehead bone of red deer stags with the longer parts of the antler trimmed off and holes drilled through the bone to form either eye-holes or to tie the headdress to the wearer. What these were used for has fired the imagination of many writers (this one included) - were they worn as disguises to allow the hunters to get close to their prey or were they worn during ceremonies where perhaps a tribal leader would enter a trance state to try to commune with the spirit of the animal? Whatever their purpose it seems to have been an important one as twenty one of these headdresses where found here and it appears that they were placed into the wet areas of the site perhaps as an offerings after use. A more pragmatic reason could be they they were submerged to soften the bone prior to it being further worked and what we could be looking at is Star Carr as a production centre with the headdresses being traded further afield.

This theory could be supported by the finds of nearly two hundred barbed antler points which would have been tied to the end of poles to make spears or harpoons for catching fish. Other finds from the site include many flint artifacts such such as scrapers, burins and microliths, pieces of worked and unworked antler and bone as well as wood working tools. Several perforated stone beads, perhaps used as jewelry, hint at the more personal lives of the occupants of the site.

At some point the site was abandoned, perhaps the settlers moved elsewhere as the level of the lake fell although luckily the ground remained waterlogged and a layer of peat slowly formed helping to preserve so much of the organic remains that make Star Carr such a unique and archaeologically rich resource. It slipped from memory until it was rediscovered in 1947 by local archaeologist John Moore and was then excavated between 1949-1951 by Sir Grahame Clark whose discoveries, particularly of the headdresses, sparked so much interest in this quiet corner of Yorkshire. Further excavation work during the 1980's and within the last ten years have helped to shine more light on the activities that were taking place on this shore line and carbon dating of organic remains have given us a date range of activity at Star Carr of between 8770BC-8460BC suggesting that the site remained important for many generations of Mesolithic families.

Despite all that has been learned from the study of the area much remains unexcavated and the true extent of the site has yet to be discovered however recent research indicate that drainage is now threatening the very existence of Star Carr. Falling water levels mean that the water-logged peats that have protected the bone and wooden artifacts that make the site so important are now drying up leading to the decay and destruction of these irreplaceable items with some experts predicting that much will be lost within 5-10 years. To lose all that can be learned from this unique 10000 year old site would be a real archaeological shame.

The Goatstones (Stone Circle) — Links

360 degree panorama taken from beside the Goatstones.

Fylingdales Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Links

Stoupe Brow Panorama

360 degree panorama from beside the walkers cairn on the edge of Stoupe Brow.



A small pdf leaflet written by Blaise Vyner.

Little Argham Henge — Images

<b>Little Argham Henge</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Man Stone (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Man Stone</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Dane's Graves (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Miscellaneous

From Mortimer, 1897-

These mounds, covered by the trees of an old plantation, may be seen in a little valley within the boundaries of the Lordships of Driffield and Kilham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, nearly four miles due north of Driffield.

They measure from 1 ft. to 3½ ft. in height and 9 ft. to 33 ft. in diameter. The place has from time immemorial been called " Danes' Graves " and " Danesdale." Some accounts say there were originally 500 at least of these mounds; but on the Ordnance Map 197 is the number given. Their comparative preservation seems to be due entirely to the protection afforded by the old trees growing on them. Very probably they once extended, on two sides at least, beyond the boundary of the plantation into the adjoining fields, but there the plough has obliterated all surface trace of them. Many of them within the plantation have been more or less levelled, and some wholly obliterated by persons digging for rabbits ; while others have been frequently excavated at various periods by relic seekers and the otherwise curious, who have left no authentic account of their finds.
The first written record respecting these barrow is given by Leland more than 300 years ago.

Willerby Wold (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Willerby Wold</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Butt Hills (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Butt Hills</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Creswell Crags (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Creswell Crags</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Creswell Crags</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Star Carr (Mesolithic site) — Images

<b>Star Carr</b>Posted by Chris Collyer<b>Star Carr</b>Posted by Chris Collyer
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