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

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Stanwell Cursus

Heathrow airport expansion "masterplan" opts for runway over cursus

Sadly, the chosen runway location is confirmed to be the option that goes over the only remaining section of cursus.

Switzerland (Country)

Bronze Age lunchbox emerges from the ice

From the New Yorker:

France (Country)

Possibly Neanderthal cave structures in the Pyrenees

300 meters from the surface, circles of broken-off stalagmites stacked against each other, dated at 176,000 years old. There's a nice 3-D rendering in Nature and a nice photo in The Atlantic.


Marine Mapping Helps Uncover the Past in the New Forest

Hampshire, UK, 08 September 2009 -
The New Forest National Park Authority is using detailed marine mapping from SeaZone to undertake an archaeological assessment of its coastline in response to changing sea levels. Part of a nationwide programme of Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Surveys supported by English Heritage, the study will help with the development of long term coastal management plans by identifying archaeological and historic sites, and protecting them where possible or making provision for their recording where this may not be possible. There is a need to protect archaeological sites and artifacts from rising sea level and flooding as well as increasing pressures from industrial, residential and leisure developments.

Using SeaZone HydroSpatial together with additional historic records such as aerial photographs many dating back over 90 years, the study aims to identify and record previously undiscovered archaeological sites and artifacts along the 86 kilometres of New Forest and National Park coastline. Supplied as a multi layered theme the digital data is easily used in the Authority's Geographical Information System (GIS).

'The SeaZone data is invaluable in identifying changes to the landscape over the past 8,000 years,' commented Mark James, Maritime Archaeology Project Officer. 'For example the bathymetric layer gives us a greater understanding of the sea bed and helps us identify previous water courses and ancient river and stream channels that are now submerged in the Solent. In addition the Wrecks and Obstruction data has the potential for discovering archaeological sites helping us identify locations for further investigation.'

[from on 14 Sept 09 - not much in the way of news, more a product placement, but hopefully more will emerge in due course]

Stonehenge and its Environs

Funding shortfall threatens visitor centre?

The Grauniad have a front page story today about a "black hole" in funding at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which threatens funding promised to a number of major arts and culture projects - including building the new Stonehenge visitors' centre.

The proportion of the £25m Stonehenge budget which is actually going to come from the DCMS is not clear, but it appears to be the cheapest of the various projects listed in the article. That, and the fact that some wiseguy in Whitehall linked it to the holy of holies, the 2012 Olympics(TM) probably makes it safer than most. Fingers crossed (or not, if you are an indomitable local older lady with photocopied road plans to hand out).

St Catherine's Hill (Hillfort)

University to digitalise archive material from UK's first road protest camp at Twyford Down

The Uni of Winchester (or King Alfred's College to locals) have started work on a publically accessible digital archive of the prolonged battle over the re-routing of the M3 motorway. This culminated in a stand-off at the protest camp on the building site in the early 90s, but the digging went ahead and took out earthworks associated with a Neolithic settlement as well as part of the Dongas (see fieldnotes and pics under this site). Rescue excavations took place and found some burials of Iron Age date if my memory serves me correctly. Read all about it at
Twice and future Wintonian

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