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Archive for August, 2013

A planning application has been submitted to the local authority in Wiltshire to build a modern burial mound.

Developer Tim Daw  wants to construct a new “long barrow” mound near All Cannings to give people another place to leave cremated remains.

The monument is planned for land near Cannings Cross Farm near Devizes

The monument is planned for land near Cannings Cross Farm near Devizes

The ancient tradition of burying the remains of the dead within earth mounds dates to the early Neolithic period.
Mr Daw said his plan is for “a modern interpretation” of a long barrow.

Wiltshire is home to a number of long barrows, including one at West Kennett a few miles from where Mr Daw is planning his monument on land near Cannings Cross Farm.

Mr Daw said the boat-shaped structure will be made partly from sarsen stone, and will span “about the length of three buses”.

The interior will be made up of seven chambers within which box-shaped niches will be formed on up to four shelves.

Winter solstice
Each niche will be separated from the next and sealed with a lockable door.

Depending on the size of the vessel containing the cremated remains, each niche will provide storage for between six and eight containers for a family group.

Mr Daw said the monument will also be built to align directly with the sunrise of the winter solstice.

He said: “The sun rise will come up through the hills and shine right down through the length of the long barrow to the end of the passage way.”

Wiltshire Council is expected to decide on the planning application in mid-October.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23867760

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Where was the Stonehenge Festival?

Mike Pitts – Digging Deeper

 

All over the place really. On my first summer solstice visit in 1971 it was little more than a gaggle of people sleeping in the ditch around the stones. These two photos from Julian Richards’ excellent collection published by English Heritage show where it went from there: first immediately outside the earthwork to the south-west, so that it faced the rising sun on June 21; then across the road into what we call the Cursus field, National Trust land between Byway 12 and the Fargo Plantation. At its greatest extent it did run onto the Cursus itself (thanks for the comment, Francis Stoner), and spread eastwards into the Avenue field. Damage was reported at the time to the woodland at Fargo and to some of the barrows.

It’s high time a proper academic study was done of this story. There must be a great deal of information out there…

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Wiltshire, a county which has shaped my life

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Bite marks of the Big Society?

The Heritage Journal

It seems English Heritage has launched a new push to get more volunteers ….

EH Volunteering@EHVolunteering 28 June

Welcome to the official English Heritage volunteer twitter! Follow us to find out about volunteering at English Heritage 

Good luck to them, they have always relied on an army of dedicated volunteers. But note the timing, 28 June, just 2 days after Simon Thurley’s upbeat message to members announcing how he was “delighted” that half of EH was to be floated off as a charity. EH can’t say so of course but things are going to be very tough for them. It doesn’t need much working out to know the sums won’t add up unless the number of unpaid workers is increased and even then they won’t add up (there’s a limit to how much more you can charge for already…

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A first time visit to Old Sarum, Salisbury

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Telling the story of prehistoric Wiltshire.

Stonehenge News and Information

The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes is opening new prehistory galleries in the autumn.

The centrepiece of the stunning new displays are the objects buried with the Bush Barrow Chieftain almost 4,000 years ago. He was buried close to Stonehenge with the objects that showed his power and authority– a gold lozenge, a ceremonial mace and a gold-decorated dagger.These are just some of the rich Bronze Age objects that are on display for the first time in new high security showcases. Gold ornaments, amber necklaces, ritual costume, polished stone axes and bronze daggers tell the story of the people who lived at the time when Stonehenge, Avebury and Marden henges were great ceremonial centres.

 

The displays feature models and full-size reconstructions that bring archaeology to life. There is lots for children to do, with trails and quizzes, a chance to build Stonehenge and Bronze Age clothes to try on.

Some of…

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The major Roman fort complex was spotted on parched grassland near Brecon, Powys, and the marching camp near Caerwent in Monmouthshire.

A tip-off from Dr Jeffrey Davies studying coin finds in central Wales led to this discovery of a previously unrecorded Roman fort complex

A tip-off from Dr Jeffrey Davies studying coin finds in central Wales led to this discovery of a previously unrecorded Roman fort complex

Aerial archaeologist Toby Driver said he could not believe his eyes when he spotted the fort fromthe air.

Scores of Iron Age farms and forts were also found in Pembrokeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The crop of summer discoveries follow similarly exciting Bronze Age ones made during last winter’s snow.

Dr Driver, from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), said 2013’s spell of hot weather has left him reflecting on some of the most significant finds since 2006.

‘Rare discovery’

He targeted reconnaissance flights in a light aircraft to where the drought conditions were most severe across the length and breadth of Wales.

When crop marks show in drought conditions Dr Driver said the Royal Commission’s aerial survey only has a few weeks to record the sites before rain or harvest removes them.

The Roman fort complex discovery near Brecon was a “rare discovery for Wales” and was made following a tip from Dr Jeffrey Davies, who he has been working with on another project – the Abermagwr Roman villa excavations near Aberystwyth.

“Jeffrey Davies noticed an anomaly in Roman coin finds near Brecon, reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS),” explained the aerial archaeologist.

“He had a hunch that the coins, of the Emperor Claudius, could indicate a lost early Roman fort, and passed a grid reference to me the day before a flight into central Wales.

Iron Age settlement

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when the pilot and I approached the location and saw fading crop marks of a major Roman fort complex, lost beneath fields and a road for nearly 2,000 years.”

Between Caerwent and Chepstow, the aerial survey pinpointed only the second Roman overnight marching camp in Monmouthshire which Dr Driver said appears to show a small expeditionary force on manoeuvres, perhaps in the years around 50 AD.

“Because the campaigns against the tenacious Silures were documented by Roman historians, we expect more camps in south east Wales than we currently know about,” he added.

West of Caerwent, a “remarkable” Iron Age settlement was also revealed.

In Pembrokeshire, one of the largest and most complex Iron Age defended farms in Pembrokeshire was found at Conkland Hill, Wiston, while in the Vale of Glamorgan more Iron Age settlements were discovered close to the Roman villa at Caermead, Llantwit Major.

Dr Driver added: “Given the decades of aerial survey in the region around Caerwent, these surprise discoveries show the continuing need for aerial archaeology in Wales.”

In the winter, surveys in the snow uncovered Bronze Age burial mounds in the Vale of Glamorgan and a moated site at Llangorse lake, near Brecon.

The Royal Commission will now begin cataloguing and mapping the discoveries to make the information more widely available online.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23628630

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