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

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Wentwood Barrows (Round Barrow(s)) — News

'Appalling damage' to Newport ancient burial mound

Bennachie — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Bennachie</b>Posted by nix

Mither Tap (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Mither Tap</b>Posted by nix

Cefn Gwernffrwd (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Wow. It is over 11 years since we last visited. But noticed there is much more information online about this complex since then

Dyfed / Cambria Archaeology carried out a survey in 2007 which says there was another stone row recorded in 1975 which is no linger visible. Lots of detailed info, references and drawings here:

Some notes / images on the Stone Rows blog:

They still haven't linked it to this though

The Nine Stones of Winterbourne Abbas (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

It is no longer possible to visit the circle via the A35 and over the little bridge which is gone.

The gate is sealed and a sign directs to access via the Little chef and path- a bit late if you didn't know! But probably a good thing as it had to be one of them more dangerous routes to a circle.

Overton Hill (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Images

<b>Overton Hill</b>Posted by nix

The Standing Stones of Stenness (Circle henge) — Images

<b>The Standing Stones of Stenness</b>Posted by nix

Ivinghoe Beacon (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Ivinghoe Beacon</b>Posted by nix<b>Ivinghoe Beacon</b>Posted by nix

Ivinghoe Beacon (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

The hand axe in the photos above is actually a cast taken from a mould originally made in the mid-seventies for Luton museum who hold (but don't currently display) the actual axe.

It is a beautiful thing but most wonderful is the way it fits perfectly into your hand with places for each finger.
A truly aesthetic pleasure.

Lud's Church (Natural Rock Feature) — Miscellaneous

Alan Garner's latest novel Boneland features this as an important location. Drawing on its probable provenance as the place that Gawain meets the Green Knight in Hugh Massey's mediaeval poem, he has speculated that it will prove to be a major site of pre-historic rock art.

He discovered a 19th century document describing the descent of a miner into a crevice now hidden by earth movement. The miner reported seeing significant 'druidical remains'

Kingston Russell (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Kingston Russell</b>Posted by nix

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

New Exhibition in London 9 MAY - 24 JUNE

Clava Cairns — Fieldnotes

We stumbled over various large stones with possible cup marks in the meadow and found a couple of the same built into garden walls.

See what you think

Mains of Clava NE (Clava Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Never noticed before but the stone is aligned exactly east west.

Mains of Clava NE (Clava Cairn) — Images

<b>Mains of Clava NE</b>Posted by nix

Vauxhall Cross (Ancient Trackway) — Miscellaneous

The dig is here in their Bronze Age Compilation:

Central London — Images

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

Italy (Country) — News

Eternal Embrace

It could be humanity's oldest story of doomed love. Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in an eternal embrace and buried outside Mantua, Italy, just 25 miles south of Verona, the city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet.
After being found at the site where a factory is planned, people worldwide have speculated on the circumstances surrounding the couple's deaths. They are thought to have died young because they both had all their teeth intact. But beyond that, the skeletons are a mystery. Archaeologists announced Monday that they will move the entire block of earth the skeletons are resting in for further study and eventual display in a museum.

Read more:;1n#ixzz1E0j2dJfI


Sacred remains or study materials?

Severe restrictions on scientists' freedom to study bones and skulls from ancient graves are putting archaeological research in Britain at risk, according to experts.

The Longstone Cove (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by nix

Clava Cairns — Images

<b>Clava Cairns</b>Posted by nix<b>Clava Cairns</b>Posted by nix

Alderley Edge (Ancient Mine / Quarry) — News


The Alderley Edge Landscape Project has:

"tentatively confirmed the place of Alderley Edge at the dawn of metal working. The members of the project team believe that metal prospectors came to Alderley Edge at the beginning of the Bronze Age."


There are some very interesting connectione being made between this and the legend of the sleeping armoured knights and their treasure

The Clerk's Well (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

If you wish to inspect the well at close quarter. Contact the local historian at Finsbury Library. They have a key and will open the space by arrangement.

There is little about any pre-historic provenance but the little exhibition next to the well is interesting.

The room housing the well is suffering from subsidence and will undergo restoration and be closed for a period soon.

The Clerk's Well (Sacred Well) — Images

<b>The Clerk's Well</b>Posted by nix

Central London — News

MUSEUM OF LONDON - new galleries

The new galleries are open.
The London before London display is great.

New online fabulous collection of images of the masses of prehistoric artefacts found in the area:

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

London Stone to cross the road

The American property developer Gerald Hines is trying to persuade the City of London authority to let him re-house the stone in the foyer of the redeveloped Cannon Street station.

It's true that this is nearer to it's original horizontal position - albeit several meters up in the air from the original ground height where it stood.

There hasn't been any movement on the proposed relocation of the stone to the Museum of London and almost anything would be preferable to the way it is currently housed.

Vauxhall Cross (Ancient Trackway) — Images

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Vauxhall Cross (Ancient Trackway) — Fieldnotes

To view the site of the timber structure, walk north east along the embankment road from the southern end of Vauxhall bridge past the MI5 building. This is easy to spot as it looks exactly like a secret services building. Between Mi5 and the adjacent office building is a short road which leads to a ramp down into the river. This is the route used by the amphibious London 'Duck' tours.

You will need to go at very low tide. Tide times can be found here:

(Add an hour or so onto the Tower Pier times).

Turn left at the bottom and walk under the bridge. On either side of the bridge in the embankment wall you will pass the outfalls of the river Effra. (Opposite further upstream on the north bank you will see an arched opening which is one of the outfalls of the river Tyburn). The structure is visible as a collection of timber stumps in the river just beyond the huge green glass St George's apartment development which is above you on your left.

The timbers can also be seen from above - again only at very low tide - from the raised embankment path to the south west of the bridge at the end of the St George's development - not where the information board claims.

Vauxhall Cross (Ancient Trackway) — Miscellaneous

Standing at Vauxhall cross - a large busy intersection of railway lines, an underground station, bus station a traffic roundabout and the home of MI5 - it is difficult to imagine that this is a site of some prehistoric significance. But take the ramp down to the relative peace of the Thames foreshore at low tide and things become clearer.

In 1999, following the discovery of neolithic axe heads by a member of the public, the remains of a bronze age timber structure were found - revealed by the eroding river bank. The site was partially explored further by Time Team in 2002 (Series Nine Episode 1) who found further axe heads and investigated one of the posts. The structure is considered to either be an early bridge across the river or possibly a jetty intended to connect the shore with an island which is now lost. The Thames at the period in question would have been much shallower and many such Eyots - raised gravel mounds - exist under the water. Bronze spears were also discovered - apparently intentionally placed into the river bed.

This location is topographically significant - it is the point where the tidal Thames turns - where salt water meets fresh and the place where the rivers Effra, on the south bank and Tyburn, on the north, (both now subterranean) empty into the greater river. These outfalls can also be seen at low tide.

As these rivers were once navigable, it is likely that the area was a focus of some activity and it appears that several ancient routes converged upon it - as their contemporary equivalents still do. A southern projection of the Roman Watling street reaches the river on the bank north of Vauxhall.

In this analysis:
the author attributes Kennington lane as being on the route of a raised pre-roman trackway between the site of the original Kennington settlement (on a gravel hill above the Thames flood plain) and Vauxhall. The timber bridge / jetty would then be a continuation of this route - linking the Kennington settlement either with the 'holy' island or the north bank of the Thames.

There are two rows of about twenty stumps - leaning inwards and giving an estimated jetty width of about four meters. Each is approximately 400mm in diameter.

The structure may be soon gone because now exposed, it is subject to erosion - although Time team established that the posts are deeply grounded. The mystery is at least as much as how timber can survive for thousands of years - particularly in a situation like this.

For further info, refer to:

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

Stow describes London Stone as:

''standing in Walbrook, on the south side of this High Street, neere unto the Channell, is pitched upright a great stone called London Stone, fixed in the ground very deep, fastened with bars of iron, and otherwise so stronlglie set that if cartes do runne against it through negligence the wheeles be broken, and the stone itself unshaken. The cause why this stone was there set, the verie time when, or other mermorie thereof, is there none. "

The Sweet Track (Ancient Trackway) — Miscellaneous

The Sweet Track is an ancient causeway in the Somerset Levels, England. It is one of the oldest engineered roads known and the oldest timber trackway discovered in Northern Europe. Tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) of the timbers has enabled very precise dating of the track, showing it was built in 3807 or 3806 BC. It has been claimed to be the oldest road in the world.
The track was discovered in the course of peat digging in 1970, and is named after its discoverer, Ray Sweet. It extended across the marsh between what was then an island at Westhay, and a ridge of high ground at Shapwick, a distance close to 2,000 metres (about 1.24 miles). The track is one of a network of tracks that once crossed the Levels.
Built in the 39th century BC, during the Neolithic period, the track consisted of crossed poles of ash, oak and lime (Tilia) which were driven into the waterlogged soil to support a walkway that mainly consisted of oak planks laid end-to-end. Curves at the bases of the poles show that they were from coppiced woodland.
Due to the wetland setting, the components must have been prefabricated elsewhere.
Most of the track remains in its original location, and several hundred metres of it are now actively conserved using a pumped water distribution system. Other portions are stored at the British Museum, London, while a reconstruction can be seen at the Peat Moors Centre near Glastonbury.
Since the discovery of the Sweet Track, it has been determined that it was actually built along the route of an even earlier track, the Post Track, dating from 3838 BC and so 30 years older.

The Sweet Track (Ancient Trackway) — Images

<b>The Sweet Track</b>Posted by nix

Stonehenge (Circle henge) — Miscellaneous

Can be had out of hours for £17.50 via English Heritage website:

Tenants Hill (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

In case it isn't obvious, this enclosure and the adjacent hut circle are a short walk from the Kingston Russell stone circle.

Walk down the hill towards Little Bredy. There is a fence with two gates in it. Take the right hand and walk straight ahead. The hut circle (5m diameter) is the raised green doughnut in front with the similarly shaped but larger (15m diameter) enclosure a little further on and to the left.

The entrances of both (like the Grey Mare and possibly the circle) are aligned South East

They are beautifully sited on the slope of this amazing valley and, with the stone circle, grey mare and other adjacent tumuli, form part of a little Neolithic sequence - and presumably once, a linked community

The stone here is a real mixture of Oolite, flint and quartz. Pick a pebble up and you can see the sparks dance in the sunlight.

Central London — Miscellaneous

This newish exhibition at The Museum of London has an amazing collection of mesolithic, neolithic, bronze and iron age artefacts - together lots of very good information on the periods and the history of the Thames Valley and the area of the city in particular.


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