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

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Merrivale Bridge Settlement (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Merrivale Bridge Settlement</b>Posted by Pilgrim

Stonehenge (Circle henge) — News

Stonehenge mystery could rest on ball bearings

"Neolithic engineers may have used ball bearings in the construction of Stonehenge, it was claimed today.

The same technique that allows vehicles and machinery to run smoothly today could have been used to transport the monument's massive standing stones more than 4,000 years ago, according to a new theory.

Scientists showed how balls placed in grooved wooden tracks would have allowed the easy movement of stones weighing many tons. "






Dartmoor — News

Ancient settlement found on Dartmoor

When the water levels at a Devon reservoir were lowered it revealed an unexpected prehistoric surprise. A previously unrecorded complex was discovered in the mud at the bottom of Tottiford Reservoir near Hennock on Dartmoor. The complex, which is believed to be 4,000 years old, is made up of stone rows, burial cairns and a stone circle. The discovery is being described as one of the most important on Dartmoor in recent times.




Stonehenge (Circle henge) — News

Stonehenge lays out the welcome mat

Stonehenge, Britain's most mysteriously resonant World Heritage Site, is finally going to get a visitor centre fit for the 21st century.

The fight to create it has been tortuous, but from the wreckage of the £0.5bn plans finally dumped in 2007 comes something that will settle, feather-light, in a shallow, grassy swale at Airman's Corner, a mile and a half west of the neolithic stones near Amesbury, Wiltshire.




Ffynnon Ishow (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

Back down the hill (25 metres?) from the church. As you approach the tight bend you traversed on the way up with its attendant layby (in which you may well have parked), on the inside of the bend at ground level just at the foot of the hill is a smallish stone with a cross carved in it. From here,a path leads (a few metres - tis nothing, really) to the confined space. Of course, this being hill country, you'll be surrounded by the friendly slurp and gurgle of running water. Oh..(and of course) once you find it, you'll see the faded tat (some of which will be evident in the piccie)


Ffynnon Ishow (Sacred Well) — Images

<b>Ffynnon Ishow</b>Posted by Pilgrim

Carn Blorenge (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Carn Blorenge</b>Posted by Pilgrim

Ceredigion (County) — News

1,000-year-old fishing trap found on Google Earth

Britain's most ancient fishing trap has been discovered off the coastline of Wales after research carried out on Google Earth.

The 853ft (260m) long construction is thought to have been built 1,000 years ago, around the time of the Domesday Book, using large rocks placed on a river bed.

Scientists believe large numbers of people worked together to erect the trap and it allowed them to catch plentiful numbers of fish for their supper.

London — News

Prehistoric axe and skeletons found at Olympic site in UK's largest archaeological dig

A 4,000-year-old flint axe, four prehistoric skeletons and a 19th century boat have been unearthed at the Olympic Park.

Preparations for the London 2012 Olympics have seen over 140 trenches dug on the 1.5 sq-mile site in Stratford, east London, turning it into Britain's largest archaeological dig, according to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Hembury Castle (Hillfort) — Links

Legendary Dartmoor

Opening lines of site:

'The intention of this web site is to provide an overview of the many aspects of Dartmoor in the hope that they will inspire people to visit the moor and discover the numerous, "Gems in a Granite Setting" for themselves. '

Hembury Castle (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Hembury Castle</b>Posted by Pilgrim

Cantrell Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

The row is listed in Volume IV of Jeremy Butler's 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities', page 33 et seq.

The turning off the Bittaford - Ivybridge road is hard by the (what used to be) the Cantrell Clay dries; you can't miss them, because there's a ruddy great kiln chimney pointing skywards.

Off the main road, and under the railway bridge, the lane becomes very narrow and high-banked, with a vicious reverse curve about halfway up. Drive up as far as you can - there's space for about 6 or 8 cars (at a pinch).

Carry on up the slope and take the left of the two gates onto the moor. There's what looks like the remains of something prehistoric and structured on your left.

Head diagonally up the slope to the course of the old Redlake Tramway; you can't miss it - it's the only flat thing around. It runs along the contour.

Perhaps no more than a minutes walk will bring you to a small scoop taken from the hillside. This was the site of the winding gear of an incline plane - the earthworks of which arrow southwards through the remaining abutments of a narrow gauge railway opposite.
At the eastern end of the small scooped area, at the point where the hillside meets the tramway, there sits a large, rounded, half-buried stone.

The row begins here.
It runs North East up the slope of the hill, ending in a very distressed (almost indecipherable) terminal cairn, of which 1 slab remains standing. Butler lists the cairn as:

SX 6570 5717

which I make to be:

Lat: 50.399023N Long: 3.890991W

Butler describes it as a double row, set 3 metres apart, 48 metres in length, and as having eighteen stones in it (of which - in 1991 - only 9 were erect). He lists the average height of these 9 as being 0.4 metres.

We found the 4 at the Southwestern end. The remainder - if they are still apparent - will have to wait for one of those cold, crisp, winter days and the enforced hiatus in the overpowering undergrowth.


Why Neanderthal man may not have been as stupid as he looks

Neanderthals were not as stupid as they have been portrayed, according to a study showing their stone tools were just as good as those made by the early ancestors of modern humans, Homo sapiens.

Scientists who spent years learning how to make replicas of the stone instruments used by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens have found the Neanderthal tools were just as efficient as anything made by Stone Age man.

Independent online article

Berwick Mound (Christianised Site) — Links

Berwick Church webpage

Berwick Mound (Christianised Site) — Fieldnotes

If you are in the area, and have a Woolfian bent, this little church is well worth a visit.

The church lies just south of the A27, a few hundred yards west of the Drusillas Corner roundabout, and about 3 kilometres west of the turning to the Long Man of Wilmington, and a short step northwards from the South Downs Way.

The mound is to the rear of the church, rearing away from the dead disciples that cling to its lower slopes.

The little church contains some amazing artwork by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell. For the full effect, remember to turn the lights on; the switch is by the entrance door.

Berwick Mound (Christianised Site) — Images

<b>Berwick Mound</b>Posted by Pilgrim<b>Berwick Mound</b>Posted by Pilgrim


Satellites spot lost Guatemala Mayan temples

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Ancient Mayan astronomers aligned their soaring temples with the stars and now modern archaeologists have found the ruins of hidden cities in the Guatemalan jungle by peering down from space.

archaeologists and NASA scientists began teaming up five years ago to search for clues about the mysterious collapse of the Mayan civilization that flourished in Central America and southern Mexico for 1,000 years.

The work is paying off, says archaeologist William Saturno, who recently discovered five sprawling sites with hundreds of buildings using a spy satellite that can see through clouds and forest to reveal differences in the vegetation below.

Lakehead Hill (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Lakehead Hill</b>Posted by Pilgrim


Intact 2,000-year old Etruscan tomb discovered

Archaelogists have discovered a more than 2,000-year-old Etruscan tomb perfectly preserved in the hills of Tuscany with a treasure trove of artifacts inside, including urns that hold the remains of about 30 people.

Rotherwas Ribbon — News

Two-week project to safeguard Rotherwas Ribbon

Herefordshire Council is implementing its plans to preserve the Rotherwas Ribbon archaeological find and protect it for future generations.

A full council meeting confirmed that work on the Rotherwas Relief Road had been stopped around the site since the discovery in April of the Bronze Age ribbon of fire-cracked stones.

The council also determined that no irreversible action be taken that could prejudice its preservation for future generations.

Flood fears for ancient 'Ribbon'

A 4,000-year-old stone feature in Herefordshire is being inspected to see if it has been affected by flood water over the weekend.


Modern Humans Came Out of Africa, "Definitive" Study Says

We are solely children of Africa—with no Neandertals or island-dwelling "hobbits" in our family tree, according to a new study.

Scientists who compared the skulls and DNA of human remains from around the world say their results point to modern humans (Homo sapiens) having a single origin in Africa.

Laid to rest after 4,000 years

THE ancient remains of four skeletons were interred at Highworth Cemetery last week to mark the summer solstice.

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

People urged to vote Stonehenge

English Heritage is urging as many people as possible to vote for Stonehenge to ensure it becomes one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

"Stonehenge represents something particularly special in our nation's history, " said Mr Carson.

But not special enough to warrant a special approach to it's problems, eh?


Roche Approves Resumption of Work at Tara

"It will be the first controversy to hit the new Government, as the Green Party has long held that the route of the M3 is wrong."

But they'll get over it no doubt.....

Iceman 'bled to death on glacier'

Massive blood loss from a ruptured artery killed the 5,300-year-old Alpine "Iceman" known as Oetzi, tests confirm.
A Swiss-Italian team says the arrow that struck him in the left shoulder slit the artery under his collar bone.

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) — News

Tunnel to re-open at mystery hill

Engineers are to re-open a tunnel that goes deep inside the ancient monument of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire.

Northumberland (County) — News

Novice tells of Bronze Age find

A metal-detecting novice who unearthed an "extremely important" hoard of Bronze Age artefacts has said his discovery was due to "sheer luck".


The Tooth, the (w)hole tooth....

Scientists are hoping to extract DNA from a piece of jawbone found in Devon thought to be from a Neanderthal man who roamed Britain 35,000 years ago.

Keep writing the tablets.....

`A jaw-dropping find'
A Mexican stone tablet with carvings of corn, insects and fish could be the earliest writing in the New World......,1,4800186.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

The Isle of Wight — News

Fears for Ancient Underwater Remains

DIVERS face a desperate race against time to recover 8,000-year-old artefacts from the bottom of The Solent before they are lost forever.


'Stone Henge' planned for Crick

The things people will do to make Daventry interesting.....

DAVENTRY District Council has agreed unusual plans to build a 'stone henge' at the top of a famous landmark near Crick.

The council last week debated plans to install four 10-tonne rocks at compass points around Cracks Hill to create a unique stone circle about 30 metres from the top of the hill.

Soussons Common Cairn Circle — Images

<b>Soussons Common Cairn Circle</b>Posted by Pilgrim

Soussons Common Cairn Circle — Fieldnotes

The Circle is a sweet spot – falsely so, sadly, due to the shelter and screening effect of the 60-year old plantation – but has fine views to the south and southwest. Jeremy Butler in Volume 5 of the Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities highlights that there was a triple stone row associated with the circle, but alas it has now gone – "site only: vicinity overplanted" - vanished beneath the serried ranks of pine. The grid reference of the row is listed as SX676799; well inside the plantation proper, half a mile or so northwards up the slope of Soussons Common: we looked, but in vain. Surrounded by conifers on three sides, it's difficult to see how the Circle may have looked in a cleaner landscape, but the row would most likely have been visible further up the hill.

The circle is described as a cairn circle; a delineating ring of closely-spaced (but not touching) small stones that enclosed a cairn-covered kist. However, to me it looks more like a kerb circle; a kist burial once covered by a more shallow stone covering (see Note below). I acknowledge that this difference may be nit-picking…...

Cornwall — News

Stone age discovery in roadworks


Archaeologists face a race against time after the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of a stone age settlement on the A30 in Cornwall.
The Highways Agency allowed the archaeologists access to the site ahead of the dualling next to Goss Moor.

Heavy machinery has already began stripping part of the route, leaving little time for the dig.

They are trying to record all signs of human activity and so far have come across a lot of evidence of mining.

Meanwhile, circular stone structures have been uncovered at Belowda, near Roche.

These ruins include old stream workings, some leats and culverts which may be tied in to more intensive tin workings, and the settlement.

College playing field surrenders its Iron Age treasures

From the Western Morning News, Tuesday June 7th:

The playing fields of Truro College have been excavated to reveal two Iron Age settlements. Finds include fragments of South Western decorated ware dating from 200 - 100 BCE and a "La Tene" Celtic brooch of similar age:

Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle — Links


A page about Yellowmead on this archive of over 5000 photos of stone circles and other megalithic monuments in the British Isles, Ireland and Europe.

Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

Thanks to the directions in Goffik's fieldnotes, I got here without incident: the sun was shining, and, as I tramped across the moor, Skylarks rose from the ground before me, singing their song, but finding little purchase in the gusting wind that blew cold from the south-east. The long grass was dry, flat and bleached white, but the peat beneath still held it's generous allotment of water, squelching beneath my Size 12's as I approached from the east.

The circles themselves, and the little avenue, sit well in the landscape, between the imposing mass of Sheepstor, and the lesser height of Gutter Tor. As the small stone row certainly seems to align through the circle to the smaller five stone circle slightly higher up the slope, and I believe towards a flat (fallen?) stone south-west of the circle (and the small stream) on the slope. One stone of the inner circle is recumbent: perhaps it was too heavy for the restorers of 1921?

It is a peaceful place, worth the twenty-minute tromp from the car park: stay a while and try to figure it out - you'll find yourself lost in a very simple landscape. A walk around four concentric circles* (all but the outer one complete) allow the visitor to view the moor in different aspects; the impressive grandeur of neighbouring Sheeps Tor, the greener enclosed land of the farm in the valley below, the gently sloping rough grassland that hides the circle from the east, and the distant granite tumble of Leather Tor. A marvellous place to recharge and ponder beneath the blue spring sky.

I walked out via Sheeps Tor, down into the green lushness of the valley beyond the farm; as I came out onto the road leading back to the car, I happened to look up to my left across the valley towards Sheeps Tor. Amazingly, a near-perfect circle of some sixty sheep were formed in a field below the Tor... synchronicity? No, they were being fed by a farmer on a quad bike!

* An interesting entry in Volume 5 of the Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities (Jeremy Butler, 1997, p186) notes that: "perhaps......multiple rings, such as the free-standing stone circles, represent a faint ancestral echo of those gigantic pillared monuments in stone or wood in Wessex."
Dartmoor is my home turf, but Wiltshire makes me calm and still.

I don't believe that we need to know everything about the past in order to connect with it.




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