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Archive for September, 2014

Stonehenge was constructed more than 4,600 years ago, but its mysterious aura continues to fascinate scientists and Druids alike. Now, new research finds that the story of this ancient site is far deeper than we thought — literally.

stonehenge

British researchers used high-tech archaeological sensing techniques to reveal hundreds of new features hidden beneath the dirt in lands surrounding Stonehenge, including 17 previously unknown circular monuments. Far from a solitary structure, Stonehenge appears to have been just one part of a much larger landscape of shrines. The results are being announced in a BBC feature to air tonight.

Going Deep Without Digging

The archaeological team used six different techniques to scan a 4.5-square-mile swath of land around Stonehenge, both by air and land, beginning in 2010. Magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar allowed researchers to compile three-dimensional information about structures hidden beneath the dirt. From the sky, laser scanning built precise topographic maps of the ground’s surface.

monument distribution

Seventeen smaller neolithic shrines were found scattered throughout the search area. Researchers’ data also revealed 60 huge stones and pillars that formed part of the previously identified “super henge” called Durrington Walls, Britain’s largest henge. Some of these stones were roughly 10 feet tall and likely stood upright like the iconic structure we all know. Durrington Walls is located roughly 2 miles northeast of Stonehenge.

They also found evidence of uses that predated Stonehenge itself. Prehistoric pits, burial mounds and a long “barrow” (a wooden building likely used for “defleshing” the dead in preparation for burial) were among the features discovered underground. You can learn more about their project and findings online.

Researchers believe the entire Stonehenge landscape developed over the past 11,000 years. They plan to continue poring over data to further understand the history and evolution of one of the world’s most intriguing sites.

Not-So-Ancient History

In addition to the stuff of ancient history, their investigation also revealed a few modern relics. Surveys produced detailed maps of practice trenches dug around Stonehenge by troops preparing for World War I, as well as the remnants of a military airbase used by the Royal Flying Corps.

Stonehenge, the 4,600-year-old gift that keeps on giving.

barrow

Top photo credit: Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock

By Carl Engelkin http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/09/11/lasers-reveal-underground-secrets-of-stonehenge/#.VBRsb_ldXwg

Wessex Guided Tours
Explore Stonehenge and the ancient landscape with a local expert

http://www.HisTOURies.co.uk

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Exploring London

Magna-Carta-1297_Copright-London-Metropolitan-Archives---CopyThe 13th century’s finest surviving copy of the Magna Carta is taking centre stage at the new City of London Heritage Gallery which opens to the public this Friday. The 1297 document, which bears a superimposed memo reading ‘make it happen’, is being featured as part of the Corporation’s efforts to mark next year’s 800th anniversary of the signing of the landmark document. Other items on display in the new permanent, purpose-built exhibition space at the Guildhall Art Gallery include the medieval Cartae Antiquae, a volume containing transcripts of charters and statues covering laws enacted between 1327 and 1425 – a period which includes the reign of King Richard III, a poster for a World War I recruitment meeting held at the Guildhall in 1914, and a series of paintings depicting the 25 City Aldermen who were in office in the mid-1400s. The gallery, admission to which is free, will in future feature a rotating selection of rare…

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Stonehenge News and Information

Bradford archaeologists are part of an international research team that has uncovered a host of previously unknown archaeological monuments around Stonehenge in a project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic site.

Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath, can be seen on BBC iPlaver here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04hc5v7/operation-stonehenge-what-lies-beneath-episode-1

Results from the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project are unveiled today at the Stonehenge_new_monumentsBritish Science Festival in Birmingham. They show how, using new remote sensing techniques and geophysical surveys, the team has uncovered 17 previously unknown ritual monuments around the site, along with dozens of burial mounds – all of which have been mapped in minute detail.

Researchers at the University of Bradford are partners in the project, which is led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, in Austria.

Alongside previously unknown features, the team has also uncovered new information on other monuments, including…

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See you there….Duloe or Rollrights (or both?!)

The Heritage Journal

It’s a weekend of Megameets!

Firstly on Saturday, there is an informal meet in the depths of Cornwall, at the stone circle in Duloe, south of Liskeard as part of the Mines and Megaliths walk. Combine a love of all things prehistoric with chat about the industrial archaeology of Cornwall – famed for it’s mining.

Mines and Megaliths. A walk in the shadow of Caradon Hill on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Footpaths and quiet country lanes lead to some well known sites, but also some hidden industrial remains that make up part of Cornwall’s World Heritage sites. Meet Outside the Crows Nest Inn (Please don’t use their carpark). 10am 574 Western Greyhound from Liskeard at 9.56am; 573 service from Looe at 9.02am connects with this. Walk will last approx 3 hours.

Duloe Circle. © AlanS Duloe Circle. © AlanS

Then on Sunday, it’s a final call for those intending to come along…

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