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

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Showing 1-50 of 71 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Avebury (Circle henge) — Fieldnotes

Avebury somehow seems diminished these days. I suppose the world heritage status and higher public profile which have put it on the tourist map have had some positive effects but it's difficult somehow not to think that like at Stonehenge, they have simultaneously taken something away.

Anyway, we were struck again last weekend by the fact that in a way what is really important here is the Henge. It is apparent that at its original full height it would have created an artificial and perfect horizon - in other words, it would have engendered an idealised world view from within its circumference. As well as facilitating astronomical observances this would have created a psychological sense of 'interiorness' - a major step on the human journey from the purely instinctual through the communal to the individual and then to the personal. We felt this time more than at any other that Avebury's function is in the promotion of the 'artificial' -in the sense of artifice or artefact - an aesthetic appreciation of the world as embodying conciousness and human potential rather than merely survival and the randomness of action.

Bryn-yr-Ellyllon (Round Barrow(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Bryn-yr-Ellyllon</b>Posted by tuesday

Central London — Images

<b>Central London</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Central London</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Central London</b>Posted by tuesday

Central London — News

British Museum

The new prehistoric galleries are open - a limited amount of lovely things on show although sadly they seem smaller than they did previously.

Gelli (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

The more we visit Gelli, the more it seems that this place is at the centre of a complete ancient ritual landscape. It's very unusual in its riverside location - althoug it is possible that that uniqueness is a property of time rather than the tomb. Who knows what other burial sites have occupied places such as these but been eradiciated by the presence of people for millenia? It might be that more tombs survive in the uplands because the land is less obviously valuable but still, there is something strange and magical here which make you wonder whether the place itself was significant. It's absolutely beautiful of course and well located in so many ways, but perhaps also it served as a focus for the communities around and that's why it seems psychogeographically to be at the centre of a collection of sites including maen. hir, maen bach, cefn gwynnerd, Ty Newydd, crugiau merched etc.

Yetnessteen (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Yetnessteen</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Yetnessteen</b>Posted by tuesday

Ring of Brodgar (Circle henge) — Images

<b>Ring of Brodgar</b>Posted by tuesday

Nether Corskie (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nether Corskie</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Nether Corskie</b>Posted by tuesday

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region) — Images

<b>Avebury & the Marlborough Downs</b>Posted by tuesday

Nether Corskie (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Take the first left off the road between Dunecht and Kintore onto the minor road. The stones are on the left below you in a field a hundred yards on your left. You can park in the field entrance opposite the bunalow and walk between the furrows.

In fact, there are at least three stones - the recumbant and the flankers - and the farmer has given them a nice circular setting

Nether Corskie (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nether Corskie</b>Posted by tuesday

Grey Cairns of Camster (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Can't believe people find this a happy place. Coming back from the Orkney tombs which have such a loveliness, these tombs seemed dark and strange to us - particular the end chamber of the linked pair.

Something sad happened here I think - and I had bad dreams for three nights afterwards!

Extraordinary though..

Cnwch Eithinog (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Cnwch Eithinog</b>Posted by tuesday

Cnwch Eithinog (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cnwch Eithinog</b>Posted by tuesday

Cnwch Eithinog (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Cnwch Eithinog</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cnwch Eithinog</b>Posted by tuesday

Cnwch Eithinog (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cnwch Eithinog</b>Posted by tuesday

Cnwch Eithinog (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Another beautifully located single stone on the highest point of this extraordinary finger of land between two deep gorges. Like it's cousins Maen Bach and Maen Hir it stands marking an ancient trackway and point to the valleys below and beyond

The two cairns are next to the stone and nearby is what looks suspicously like a complex of round barrrow needing further investigation

1.6(h), 0.8m(w), 0.6m(d)

Gelli (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Gelli</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Gelli</b>Posted by tuesday

Berrisbrook (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Berrisbrook</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Berrisbrook</b>Posted by tuesday

Berrisbrook (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

There is a large menhir at Berrisbrook farm in a field boundary. There is another which has been has less convincingly been described as its pair which is now used as a gatepost in te adjacent road

1.8m(h),1.2m(w), 0.7m(d) the isolatesd stone
1.8m(h),0.7m(w), 0.7m(d) the gatepost

Cefn Gwernffrwd (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday

Cefn Gwernffrwd (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

The stones lie on a line tangential to the ring cairn and are roughly aligned in the directions of the midwinter setting or midsummer rising sun

3 stones av. 0.5m(h), 0.4m(w), 0.4m(d). 2.0m and 0.4m apart

Cefn Gwenffrwd (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Cefn Gwenffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cefn Gwenffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday

Cefn Gwenffrwd (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

This little barrow competes the complex of circle, ring and alignment. It has a small depression in the top which may be a sign of previous excavation

11m(diameter), 1.5m(h)

Cefn Gwernffrwd (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The cairn is buried and mainly hidden under the long grass and almost impossible to photograph although you can feel it under foot. Two crescent of stones remain. On one lies the quartz boulder thought to have possibly been a standing menhir

Cefn Gwernffrwd (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday

Poppy Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Poppy Stone</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Poppy Stone</b>Posted by tuesday

Poppy Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

This is another unrecognised site requiring confirmation. Set high on the hillside and orientated approximatley south west - north east, it marks the route to the Cefn Gwwynerd complex

0.8m(h),0.4m(w), 0.6m(d)

There is also a possible fallen and half buried alignment adjacent - again to be confirmed

Ty Newydd Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Ty Newydd Stone Row</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Ty Newydd Stone Row</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Ty Newydd Stone Row</b>Posted by tuesday

Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex</b>Posted by tuesday

Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

The site is hidden deep within a plantation on a ridge on what would have been open moorland. The stones are half buried. One was probably much higher but is shattered by frost. There is additional stone set within the circle.

How did something so delicate survive so long? It is almost impossible to photograph the small stones in the long grass. Some are so loose you could pluck them like teeth with one hand. Morgan and Ruggles examined this whole complex for astronomical significance in the seventies and Burl briefly became very excited about it but really, you would have to be a gnome to be able to use these stones for astronomical observation (I'm not discounting that possibility by the way - there are so many fly agarics around here and it feels so strange that this truly must be a fairy circle) - what could you do here but meet and dance?

20 stones of average height 0.4m in a diameter of 24.5m

Cefn Gwenffrwd (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Cefn Gwenffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday<b>Cefn Gwenffrwd</b>Posted by tuesday

Cefn Gwenffrwd (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Another large forgotten lonely slate flat slab on the upland plateau said to be an ancient boundary mark. Orientated approx. east-west and flanked by fence posts

2.0m(h),1.3m(w), 0.3m(d)

Ty Newydd Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Set adjacent to the present track and within the precinct of the nearby Ty Newyyd stone

approx 40m long with approx 20 stones up to a height of 0.8m

We discovered this recently and it needs to be confirmed by others with more expertise. If it is a stone row it is extraordinary - a Dartmoor sized hidden secret

Ty Newydd (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Ty Newydd</b>Posted by tuesday
Showing 1-50 of 71 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
"So, here are the dead fathers. Their spirit is entombed in the stone. It lies upon the land with the same weight and the same ubiquity. For whoever makes a shelter of reeds and hides has joined his spirit to the common destiny of creatures and he will subside back into the primal mud with scarcely a cry. But he who builds in stone seeks to alter the structure of the universe and so it was with these masons however primitive their works may seem to us"

That is the wonderful Cormac McCarthy writing on the context of one culture colliding with a predecessor and eloquently summing up my intuition of the prehistoric imagination.


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