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Stonehenge and its Environs

Stonehenge Exhibition at British Museum


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/07/stonehenge-exhibition-british-museum

The aim of the exhibition is to set Stonehenge into the context of an era during which there was great social and technological change. It will include the Nebra sky disc on loan from Halle Museum in Germany.

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

English Heritage to repair cracked lintels at Stonehenge


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-58547463

Wiltshire

'Ways of Seeing Wiltshire' exhibition at Wiltshire Museum


I visited this rather lovely exhibition yesterday - lots of quite old paintings of Stonehenge and Avebury plus other aspects the Wiltshire landscape, such as the white horses, which make Wiltshire a unique county.
Definitely worth a visit - very quiet when I visited but booking ahead is advised. Ends 30th August 2021.

https://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/?exhibition=ways-of-seeing-wiltshire

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region)

Man thrown down steep bank after altercation with off-road drivers in Wiltshire


Rogue 4x4 drivers a hazard at Avebury again.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident, which took place on a byway near Avebury.
At around 3.30pm on Sunday January 24 a man in his 50s - out walking with his family - was verbally and physically assaulted by another man belonging to a group of off-road drivers.
Following an altercation with the group, the victim was thrown down a steep bank and forced into a puddle; both he and his family were then verbally abused by members of the group. Fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured. The assault took place on the top of the byway which runs from Avebury Trusloe to the trees by Windmill Hill. Police are now hunting for a man they believe is responsible. He is described as white, in his mid-late 20s, 5ft 10ins tall, of heavy build with light brown hair, a goatee beard and moustache.
It's believed he was driving a Land Rover with customised wheels. There were other vehicles involved, some of which did not have registrations plates. However, police believe that one of the registration plates contained the numbers 141 and letters BRM. PC Angela Holden said: "Despite the remote location we are asking if anyone out for a walk or run in this part of rural Wiltshire heard or saw anything suspicious during this afternoon.
"Perhaps you saw a convoy of off-road vehicles in the area or recognise the descriptions given.
"Please contact us on 101, quoting crime reference number 54210008149, if you can help."

You can also report anonymously via Crime
stoppers on 0800 555 111.
......

https://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/19064478.man-thrown-steep-bank-altercation-off-road-drivers-wiltshire/?ref=ebmpn&fbclid=IwAR1wLDHQ8pwhW4K-ZZgEsE2adbO4ahgFTssjjXcY-ZiLtIi3pvSe1kZxxyI

News

England's Rock Art (ERA) website to close


The Scottish Rock Art Project have issued the following statement on their Facebook page:

Today we have had the astonishing news that the England’s Rock Art (ERA) website is going to be closed down on 15 January, with no warning or explanation. Those of you that are familiar with the ERA website https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/era/
will know that, since its launch in 2008, has been the key source of detailed information and images of rock art in England. These detailed records were compiled by trained community teams during the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project (NADRAP) and Carved Stones Investigation: Rombalds Moor, and built on the pioneering work of Stan Beckensall and many others, including the Ilkley Archaeology Group and Paul and Barbara Brown. The ERA website also incorporates the digital Beckensall Archive, produced by Aron Mazel of Newcastle University. With the closure of the website, this wealth of information will no longer be publicly accessible.
Let us know what you think, and we'll keep you posted!

Avebury (Circle henge)

Avebury closed for Summer Solstice


It will come as no surprise - car parks, Red Lion and all facilities will be closed and over the Solstice. For anyone wanting a solitary walk, the 49 bus from Swindon and Devizes is still running a 2 hourly service (face masks and hand sanitizer not supplied).
https://heritageaction.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/avebury-closed-for-summer-solstice/

Also applies to Stonehenge.

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region)

Avebury byways becoming impassable ...


... Rogue 4x4 drivers are blamed.

https://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/18287094.avebury-byways-becoming-impassable-rogue-4x4-drivers-blamed/?ref=fbshr&fbclid=IwAR2CVZyr_8DWkTnWjz7cEzCyM2AnhksJfRSpOKjSJ3VeZHrRtlSUJl1sNyY

AVEBURY is leading the charge to get damaged byways fixed and protected.
Routes around the village, and the nearby ancient historic site of Windmill Hill are now so badly damaged that they have become impassable.
Rogue 4 x 4 enthusiasts - some who travel from as far afield as Germany to drive some of Wiltshire's 695km of by ways - are being blamed for the damage.
The campaign is being supported by the countryside charity CPRE. Anne Henshaw, the Wiltshire representative said:

"I am trying to form a charity/community not for profit group of parishes and other interested parties to set up something similar to the Cotswold Warden scheme," she said.
This could see some of the byways closed to traffic at certain times of the year to protect them from heavy traffic use.
Stephen Stacey, chairman of Avebury Parish Council said:
"These by ways are for everyone's use, but the actions of a few selfish people have made them inaccessible.
"We would like interested parties like ramblers, horse and bike riders and other local authorities to work together, and perhaps work with Wiltshire Council to see if we can come up with a solution between us."
Some of the byways are so badly damaged that tree roots are exposed, and the ruts are more than two feet deep in places.
Solutions, he said, could include a volunteer force using council equipment and materials to make repairs as he says cut backs at Wiltshire Council are to blame for the disrepair.
Contd.

Wiltshire

Bush Barrow dagger studs - gold analysis


https://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/2019/11/18/bush-barrow-dagger-studs-gold-analysis/?fbclid=IwAR1GLNV8PO8NeavNneSH01aG5p1Ca9Zjtk1CCty2GNkhjtC_Ck4ee16n1eU

The results are now in! Did the Bronze Age gold, found in a burial close to Stonehenge, came from Britain, Ireland or Brittany.
Located close to Stonehenge, Bush Barrow is Britain's richest Bronze Age burial. The most remarkable discovery was a gold-studded dagger pommel, set with thousands of microscopic gold studs thinner than a human hair. Using a recently developed scientific technique, Dr Chris Standish of Southampton University, has identified the most likely source of the gold used to make this amazing object - answering a question that has puzzled archaeologists for decades?

Dr Standish has developed a metallurgical technique that analyses the proportions of different isotopes within the lead impurities in the gold. These proportions were compared with information about gold from known sources in Ireland, Cornwall, Wales and Brittany. A single gold stud was used for the analysis using X-ray Fluorescence - a non-destructive technique.
The blade of the Bush Barrow dagger is of a type found in both Brittany and Britain and gold-studded pommels have been found on both sides of the English Channel. Some archaeologists have thought that the dagger pommel was made in Brittany as more have been found in Brittany but the craft skills needed to make the dagger pommel are higher than used in any other goldwork in either Britain or France at this early date.

The dagger was buried with a Chieftain who died in about 1950BC at a time when Stonehenge was at the centre of an internationally important ceremonial landscape - the sarsen stone trilithons were erected in about 2,500BC and the bluestones from Wales were placed in their final positions at the site in about 1,600BC before Stonehenge finally went out of use in about 1,500BC.

Analysis undertaken 30 years ago of gold objects from burials in the Stonehenge landscape suggested that the gold used came from Ireland. Analysis by Dr Standish of gold objects found in Ireland has shown that many are made of gold from Cornwall (see this article in the Independent by David Keys) and gold from Cornwall was also used in the famous Nebra Sky Disk found in Germany and displayed at the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle (see this article about the analysis of the Sky Disk).

West Kennet (Long Barrow)

"Extinction Rebellion" graffiti condemned


https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/17723559.swindon-extinction-rebellion-condemn-logo-graffiti-on-west-kennet-long-barrow/?fbclid=IwAR3mtk5yO2QtQaa00czwA7-XDN3OEg4scOhryKd1NhSAoMKXF-Z-S675E9o

Recent graffiti depicting the Extinction Rebellion logo which has appeared in West Kennet Long Barrow has been condemned by the Swindon Branch of ER.

Eire

Sixty Bronze Age bodies found on land owned by former Taoiseach


https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/sixty-bodies-from-bronze-age-found-on-taoiseach-liam-cosgraves-former-land-37770727.html?fbclid=IwAR3IALIxE1XruFkHw4-BeQ3g_7d67fTdssUvkBGw2s38pQ2N3r7XW9FayQw

"The bodies of an estimated 60 people from the Bronze Age have been found during an archaeological dig on land in Templeogue where former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave lived.
The land, which is earmarked for housing development, is also believed to have evidence of Iron Age occupation and a ring fort and is being looked on as a very significant historical find.
Last week Independent.ie reported how the excavations being carried out on the land were a mystery to locals since work began last October.
South Dublin County Council would not comment on the dig, and local councillors could not get answers to their questions on the project.
But sources have now revealed that the site, on the Scholarstown Road close to Knocklyon, is of major significance.
“It is believed this was a Bronze Age burial site, and that people from the Iron Age used the site as a shrine or place of some sort of place of gathering,” the source said.
Evidence of a ring fort was also uncovered by archaeologists, the source added.
The Bronze Age in Ireland lasted from about 2000BC to 500BC. The Iron Age followed, lasting until around 400AD.Former Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave lived in a humble bungalow called Beech Park on the 16 acres of prime residential zoned land until his death in 2017 at the age of 97 .... "

Wiltshire

Hoards ... exhibition at Salisbury Museum


https://salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/hoards-hidden-history-ancient-britain

In partnership with the British Museum
Hoards: a Hidden History of Ancient Britain.
Salisbury Museum - until Jan 5th 2019

"In partnership with the British Museum, this exhibition traces the story of hoarding from Bronze Age weapons discovered in the river Thames and the first Iron Age coin hoards, through to hoards buried after the collapse of Roman rule in Britain and in more recent times. It will showcase recent discoveries of hoards reported by finders and archaeologists through the Treasure Act and brings together objects from the British Museum and Salisbury Museum, including the spectacular Ipswich Iron Age gold torcs and new prehistoric and Roman finds from Wessex."

Why have ancient people placed precious objects underwater or in the ground? Were they accidentally lost or stolen, discarded as worthless, saved for recycling, hidden for safekeeping, or offered up to the gods? The archaeological evidence may point to different explanations for the burial of these hoards. Come and find out what careful study of these finds has revealed about the past."

- Saw this today, definitely worth a trip to the historic city of Salisbury.

See British Museum link below for other dates and venues later in 2019, including Ulster Museum, Buxton Museum, IoW and Peterborough.
https://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/tours_and_loans/uk_loans_and_tours/current_tours_and_loans/hoards.aspx

The Burren

Bear skull from Aillwee Cave over 10,000yrs old


https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0704/976284-bear-skull/
"New analysis of the skull of a brown bear discovered in Aillwee Cave in Co Clare over four decades ago has found that it is more than 10,400 years old.
The study by researchers at IT Sligo also made the surprising finding that a collection of other bones found with the bear skull include those of a second bear dated to the late Neolithic period, 4,600 years ago.
The discovery was made using radiocarbon dating during the re-analysis of more than 450 bones originally collected from the cave system in Co Clare.
The Early Mesolithic or Stone Age bones were first found when the cave was being developed as a tourist attraction in 1976.
The research was led by Dr Marion Dowd, Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Centre of Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS), at IT Sligo.

Eire

History of Ireland in 100 0bjects on postage stamps


http://100objects.ie/stamps/

An Post’s Ninth Definitive Stamp Series, A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, a selection, began life as an original series by Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times. Over time, the stamp series will feature many of the objects from the fully illustrated hardback book of the series, A History of Ireland in 100 Objects. Starting with the issue of the first 12 stamps and continuing over five years to when the final stamps are issued, you’ll discover more and more about our island’s long history from c.5000BC to the early 21st century.

Jersey

Jersey calls for return of dolmen


This news item appeared in Saturday's Times and was passed to me today. Regret Times online link is only available by subscription so will have to make do with this one.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5116637/Jersey-calls-return-dolmen-stones-Oxfordshire.html
Jersey calls for the return of its 'Elgin Marbles' monument that was taken and rebuilt in Oxfordshire as a governor's retirement gift
- The dolmen stones were discovered in 1785 near the Jersey capital St Helier
- Monument was uprooted and taken to Oxfordshire estate of retiring governor
- Templecombe House in Henley-on-Thames which is on the market for £7million
- It has given the residents of Jersey a new hope that they could buy back the stones and return them to the island

One local man named Neil Holmes is planning to raise £8million through an online crowdfunder in a bid to purchase the estate.
He said: 'The aim of this is to buy the property that the neolithic Jersey dolmen currently resides on, repatriate the dolmen, then resell the estate.'

The stones were one of dozens of dolmens placed across the island which were shrouded in legend and thought to be 'the home of sprites and fairies'.
But many were broken up for building materials in the 17th and 18th century amid waning interest in the mythology surrounding the stunning monuments, according to local history experts.
General Conway was persuaded by his cousin - author Horace Walpole - to pay for the transport of his gift.
Note: There have been several previous attempts to reclaim the dolmen and the issue was raised in the House of Commons as far back as 1928.

County Kerry

Illuminating discovery at megalithic tomb in Kerry


https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2017/0925/907390-megalithic/

A hillwalker in west Kerry has made a stunning discovery which connects a 4,000-year-old tomb with the equinox. The megalithic tomb, known as the Giant’s Grave, is situated in the valley of Loch an Dúin on the eastern side of the Conor Pass.
Ancient rock art can be found within the tomb, including a cup and circle near the head of the tomb.
For the past 14 years Daithí Ó Conaill, a retired school principal, has visited the site during the winter and summer solstice hoping to make a connection between the tomb and the sun.
He has now discovered that the wedge tomb is actually aligned to the setting sun of the equinox, which last occurred on Friday 22 September.

As the sun sets directly into a 'V' shaped valley in the distant Brandon mountain range, a shaft of light enters the wedge tomb, illuminating the chamber and the rock art at the head of the tomb. The event can be witnessed at sunset for a number of days either side of the equinox.
Archaeologist Míchéal Ó Coiléain who has carried out extensive surveys in Loch an Dúin said it was a stunning discovery, providing a fine example of the engineering brilliance demonstrated by the people who constructed it.

"Daithí's discovery is wonderful and it goes to show that people living 4000 years ago are aware of movements of the sun. They are agricultural communities, so to know when the longest days of the year, the shortest, and when the equinoxes fall is so important. To construct such a perfectly positioned monument required remarkable expertise and knowledge."

The Equinox occurs twice a year when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes directly through the centre of the Sun’s disc. During an equinox, night and day are approximately the same duration.

Scotland (Country)

"Return" of 2,500 yr old Ballachulish Goddess


http://www.scotsman.com/news/the-return-of-the-2-500-year-old-ballachulish-goddess-1-4542330

The 2,500-year-old Ballachulish Goddess has “returned” to the Highland lochside where she was found after the Iron Age figure was recreated by a team of archaeologists. The life-size carving, which dates to around 600BC, was discovered face down in Highland peat by workmen in 1880 .....

Spain (Country)

Elba, the 9,300-year old Spanish cowherd who was lactose intolerant


https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/12/inenglish/1494584904_820305.html

"Death caught up with Elba on a Spanish hillside 9,300 years ago. She is thought to have been following her herd of aurochs, an extinct breed of large cattle, along an ancestral trail that is now a paved road. In fact, it is the same road that Google suggests as the best route between the localities of O Courel and Pedrafita do Cebreiro, in Galicia’s Lugo province, in northwestern Spain.

Her herd was made up of three aurochs: an enormous male with massive horns and two younger specimens. It might have been early spring or early winter, and the ground was covered by a blanket of snow thin enough to make for easy walking, yet thick enough to conceal some of the geographical features lying beneath.

As a result, she did not see the hole that had opened up in the earth. All four of them fell into the gap created by the collapse of the roof of a cave known today as Cova do Uro, or Aurochs’ Cave in the regional Galician language .... "

Buckland Rings (Hillfort)

Archaeologists unearth ancient origins of New Forest Town


http://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/07/archaeologists-unearth-ancient-origins-new-forest-town/115980

A high-tech survey at Buckland Rings Iron Age hillfort in Lymington has revealed evidence of 2,000 year old roundhouses within the fort’s ramparts.
The geophysical survey was led by the New Forest National Park Authority with local volunteers and students from Bournemouth University.
Up to seven prehistoric dwellings were identified, which would have once housed a community of hunters and farmers that would grow into the modern Lymington. Trading throughout Britain and across the sea, these ancient ancestors would have lived in round wooden buildings caked in a soil-based mixture.

Continued ....

Cumbria

Lake District gets World Heritage status


As expected UNESCO award World Heritage status to the Lake District.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-40547691

Avebury (Circle henge)

NT have bought the URC Chapel


Predictably perhaps, the National Trust has purchased the historic URC Chapel which stands within the Avebury Stone Circle. They are inviting people to come along in the afternoon and early evening (up to 7.00pm) on 5th July to share their views about its future use.
Showing 1-20 of 115 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Passionate about:
Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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