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Archive for July, 2013

Please respect Silbury Hill by not climbing

The Heritage Journal

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Whilst wider interest is particularly welcome in the jewel in the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site crown, as many may be attracted to visit yet remain unaware there is no public access to this ancient mound the following reminder of Silbury Hill’s history is perhaps in order:

This largest prehistoric chalk built structure in the world was started 4,500 years ago, but it has been closed to the public since 1974 due to the erosion of prehistoric archaeology by climbers. Having been purchased by Sir John Lubbock in the 1870s in order to protect it, Silbury Hill is still privately owned by Lord Avebury and is in the guardianship of English Heritage. Silbury Hill is safeguarded by legislation under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act, having been one of the first monuments placed under its protection in 1882, it is also protected by SSSI status because of its extraordinary long…

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The four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together in 2015 for the first time in history, the British Library has announced.

Magna Carta
Magna Carta inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The event will take place over three days and launch a year of celebrations across the UK and the world to mark the document’s 800th anniversary.

 

The document is seen as the cornerstone of Britain’s constitution, outlining a set of basic rights.

There are four surviving copies of Magna Carta – two copies belong to the British Library, one copy is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and one by Salisbury Cathedral.

All three organisations will be involved in the event, which will be held at the British Library in London.

‘National significance’

The library said it would be a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for researchers and the public to see the documents side-by-side”.

The manuscripts will be examined by some of the world’s leading experts.

The library said the unification of the documents would allow them to be studied much more closely, particularly faded or obscured parts of the text.

Historians would also be able to look for new clues about the identity of the writers of the texts, which is still unknown.

The charter was issued by King John as a way solving the political crisis he faced when powerful barons rebelled against him and captured London.

Although almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the document established a number of important principles that have been copied around the world.

These include the principle that no-one is above the law – including the king – the right to a fair trial, and limits on taxation without representation.

It inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Claire Breay, lead curator of medieval and earlier manuscripts at the British Library, said: “Magna Carta is the most popular item in the library’s treasures gallery, and is venerated around the world as marking the starting point for government under the law.”

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Reverend June Osborne, praised the values of social justice in Magna Carta and said she hoped the unification would increase awareness of the charter “to a huge new audience”.

The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, said bringing together all four copies would be of “national significance” and would mark a “pivotal point” in the anniversary year.

Lincoln Cathedral will be opening a new purpose-built Magna Carta centre in Lincoln Castle during the anniversary year

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23304764

Join us on a tour of Salisbury and see the Magna Carta on Salisbury Cathedral

Wessex Guided Tours
The Best Tours in British History

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You can get hands-on with history this summer with over 1,000 events nationwide bringing our archaeology to life during the 23rd Festival of Archaeology,13-28 July 2013.

“The Festival is a fantastic opportunity to get out, look at and do archaeology!” 

About the Festival of ArchaeologyThe Festival – coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology – is a great opportunity to discover your inner archaeologist and to meet the experts. Whether you are young or old, enthusiast or beginner, there will be something for everyone.

If you’ve always wanted to have a go at archaeology, handle real finds, try out calligraphy and potmaking or even shoot an arrow our hands-on events will give you a chance to experience the excitement of the past for yourself. We also have events where you can ask the experts about your own finds. You can even volunteer at a dig and see archaeology at work.

The events will kick off the summer holidays with excavation open days, behind-the-scenes tours and workshops, guided walks, talks and finds identifications, family fun days, and much more. Visit our EVENTS SEARCH to see what’’s on in your area!

If you enjoy the Festival why not check out Scottish Archaeology Month which takes place in September every year. More details can be found on Archaeology Scotland’s website here.

Mick Aston, Archaeologist

“Every time we walk through a street, across a field, down a country lane or hurtle along a motorway, the ghosts and fragments of the past are all around us. Archaeology is a brilliant way of understanding and appreciating this massively important connection.”

“The Festival of Archaeology gets us even closer and celebrates Britain’s incredibly rich archaeological inheritance. There are a whole series of events organised across the country for everyone from budding archaeologists, and historians to those who just want to have fun learning more about the world we live in.”

About the Festival of Archaeology

Dig into the past at the 23rd Festival of Archaeology! Co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, the Festival offers over 1,000 events nationwide, organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.

http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/

Wessex Guided Tours www.Histouries.co.uk
The Best Tours in British History

 

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