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Archive for June, 2013

Find out more about Stonehenge volunteering

PEOPLE interested in volunteering in the fields of conservation and heritage can find out more at a recruitment week starting on Monday, June 24.

Organisations working in and around the Stonehenge World Heritage Site have joined together to give potential volunteers an opportunity to meet with English Heritage, Wiltshire Museum, The National Trust and Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum to find out how they can get involved in conservation and heritage projects in the area.

With the new Stonehenge visitor centre set to open later this year there will be more chances for people to volunteer at the World Heritage Site and in the surrounding area.

Whether you are a student, retired or about to retire, unemployed or simply want to learn new skills and meet people, this event will give the opportunity for people of all ages to explore what opportunities will be available in the coming months. The volunteer recruitment event takes place at Amesbury Library from June 24 to 28.

To find out when each organisation will be represented, or for further information, contact stonehengewhs@english-heritage.org.uk or inquire at the library.

More info: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/10490725.Find_out_more_about_Stonehenge_volunteering/?ref=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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Stonehenge News and Information

Lead archaeologist at Stonehenge discusses his team’s discoveries in new book

The eerie megaliths of Stonehenge have inspired speculation for centuries.

Druids—and sometimes aliens—have been suspected of planting the 4,500-year-old stones. Is Stonehenge an astronomical calendar or a place of healing or a marker for magical energy lines in the ground? For a long time, no one really knew, though some theories were more grounded in reality than others.

But now, we may be a little bit closer to understanding the monumental Neolithic site. Archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson and his colleagues at the Stonehenge Riverside Project, whose research was funded in part by the National Geographic Society, spent seven years excavating Stonehenge and its surroundings. This month, Parker Pearson published the project’s findings in a new book, Stonehenge—A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument.

National Geographic writer Rachel Hartigan Shea spoke with Parker Pearson…

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What have we been up to?

Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

Since construction work on the houses ended in May, we’ve been using the Neolithic houses at Old Sarum for all kinds of activities, including the education workshops we’ve been explaining in the few previous posts. We’ve been busy!

Open days

We hosted two hugely successful open weekends over the two May bank holidays, helped by some lovely sunny weather. We had lots of visitors coming to see the houses, ask questions and find out about the project. As well as showing off our lovely houses, we’ve been using these open days to collect information about how visitors move around the houses, what sort of questions people are asking, and also asking people to fill in a survey about how they’d like to see the houses presented at the Stonehenge visitor centre. If you’ve received a survey in your e-mail inbox, please respond!

The good news is that we will be…

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  • The boats, the largest of them 28 feet long,  are thought to have been used for ferrying cargo and  passengers in the Fens  some 3,500 years ago
  • Now being preserved for future study and as  a tourist attraction
  • Log boats from the Bronze Age have been  found before, but never have so many been found in the same place
  • Each of the boats was hewn from a single  tree trunk, six of them oaks, one alder and one lime

Bronze age boats

Eight amazingly preserved log boats have been  hailed as ‘more important than the Mary Rose’ after being dug up from a  silted-up river.

The boats, the largest of them 28 feet (8.5m)  long, are thought to have been used for ferrying cargo and passengers in the  Fens some 3,500 years ago.

They are now being preserved for future study  and as a tourist attraction using the same conservation techniques that saved  the Mary Rose from falling apart when raised from the Solent.

One of them was decorated with a pattern of  crosses on the inside and outside of the log, but the significance is  unclear.

Quite why each of them ended up at the bottom  of an old course and now silted up course of the River Nene remains a  mystery.

It appears that they were all, separately,  sunk deliberately over a period of about 600 years when the transom board from  the stern was removed.

Because of the way the boats were made, they  had to have a transom fitted at one end to replace wood that would have rotted.  All eight have been found with a slot for the transom board.

‘All the transom boards have been removed and  we didn’t find them. That suggests they have been sunk intentionally,’ said Mr  Panter.

Aricle by Lewis Smith in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2335273/Eight-Bronze-Age-log-boats-important-Mary-Rose-emerge-silted-river-thousands-years-left-rot.html

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Ideas for what to do in Wiltshire in June

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