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Hundreds of treasures from the golden age of Stonehenge have gone on permanent display in England, revealing the story of the people who lived amidst the area when the monument was one of the great religious focal points of western Europe.

Housed in a large, specially-designed high security and humidity-controlled exhibition facility inside the Wiltshire2013-10-stonehenge-object-overlay-jpg Museum in Devizes, 15 miles north of the megalithic stone circle, the objects make England’s largest collection of early Bronze-Age gold.

“Stonehenge is an iconic monument, but this is the first time that such a wide range of high status objects from the spectacular burials of the people who used it, has ever been put on permanent display,” David Dawson, director of the Wiltshire Museum.

PHOTOS: Stonehenge Made to Glisten

Most of the 500 Neolithic objects on show were unearthed within a half mile radius of Stonehenge, including 30 gold pieces which were excavated in 1808 from a burial mound known as Bush Barrow.

Found by William Cunnington, Britain’s first professional archaeologist, the objects became known as the crown jewels of the “King of Stonehenge.”

Overlooking Stonehenge itself, the burial indeed contained the skeleton of a chieftain who lived almost 4,000 years ago. He was buried in regal splendor with the objects that showed his power and authority.

Among the treasures on display are a magnificent bronze dagger with a gold covered haft, a golden sheath for a dagger, a ceremonial axe, gold beads, necklaces, earrings, pendants and other gold jewellery, a unique jet disc (used to fasten a luxury garment), rare traces of ancient textiles and two of the finest prehistoric flint arrow head ever found.

ANALYSIS: Stonehenge Settled 5,000 Years Earlier Than Thought

“Many of the items may well have been worn by Bronze Age priests and chieftains as they worshiped inside Stonehenge,” Dawson said.

“Axes and daggers on display are identical to images of weapons carved into the giant stones of Stonehenge itself,” he added.

The exhibition’s centerpiece is the beautifully decorated gold lozenge found on the chest of the “King of Stonehenge.”

Although the purpose of the gold lozenge remains a mystery — interpretations have ranged from an elaborate button to an astronomical instrument — its precise decorations, made of impressed lines, reveals a detailed knowledge of mathematics and geometry.

“All this was done with the naked eye as there were no magnifying glasses or microscopes,” Dawson told London’s Times.

ANALYSIS: Understanding Stonehenge: Two Explanations

The museum hopes that the $1.2 million exhibition will help attract more tourists to Devizes, generating jobs in the local community.

“Devizes is mid-way between two of the world’s most important ancient monuments — the great prehistoric stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury. Visiting the Wiltshire Museum completes the experience of seeing these two iconic sites,” Dawson said.

Image: Some of the objects on display. Credit: Wiltshire Museum

Artcle source here: http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/stonehenge-treasures-reveal-worshippers-sophistication-131017.htm

‘We now visit the Wiltshire Museum on our private guided tours of Stonehenge’

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VisitWiltshire has launched the county’s first ever tourism App, which showcases the best of the Wiltshire tourism offering and provides unique content, including App-only special offers, and will be an interactive and invaluable source of information for visitors.

The App is part of VisitWiltshire’s marketing strategy to boost tourism visits and spend to the county. Wiltshire snow

The mobile app is now available to download for free from the Apple and Google Play stores. The wide range of content on the app will reflect the breadth of attractions and activities the county has to offer, including Salisbury Cathedral; the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site; Longleat and Wiltshire’s renowned white horses; the Kennett and Avon Canal and Caen Hill Locks; and Wiltshire’s variety of scenic villages and historic market towns.

It also includes details of all VisitWiltshire’s 480+ tourism partners, as well as sections on towns and villages, things to do, accommodation, shopping, food and drink, outdoor activities, and what’s on in the county. Other features include interactive mapping – so visitors will be able to find places nearby, special offers, Wiltshire-themed games, and weather updates.

Fiona Errington, Marketing Manager, VisitWiltshire said:

We’re delighted to be launching our new VisitWiltshire App, which will showcase Wiltshire as a fantastic tourist destination and offer visitors a wealth of ideas and information on what to see and do when out and about or planning a visit to our county. The VisitWiltshire App shows visitors our fantastic attractions, great range of accommodation, restaurants, pubs, great shops, and many other highlights and locations. Having over 480 Wiltshire tourism businesses contribute makes this a tremendous resource for our visitors.

Almost a third of visitors to visitwiltshire.co.uk now use a smart phone or tablet and are increasingly looking for tourist information in their hand and on the move. This new App gives them access to the best of Wiltshire at their fingertips .”
Wiltshire tourism business interested in being included on the App should contact Fiona Errington on: fionaerrington@visitwiltshire.co.uk

Full story: http://www.heart.co.uk/wiltshire/news/local/first-tourism-app-wiltshire/

Wessex Guided Tours
Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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A BUS company taking tourists to Stonehenge has said it will make scheduled stops in Amesbury again after residents expressed outrage over the lack of public transport links to the world heritage site.

Stonehenge Tour BusWilts & Dorset, which runs the Stonehenge Tour, currently only has a request stop in Amesbury for the tour, meaning many tourists dropped off by other coach companies often have to pay for a taxi to Stonehenge or are forced to walk there. For Amesbury, which is promoting itself as the centre of the Stonehenge region and encouraging tourists to visit, the lack of joined-up public transport has provided a “very bad image”.

Concerned residents told the Journal small groups of young tourists from abroad were often seen in Amesbury asking how they could get to Stonehenge.

Ann Riordan, who lives in the town said: “They are often confused about directions and I have come to fear greatly for their safety in walking along and then crossing the very busy A303.” Amesbury’s mayor Jan Swindlehurst welcomed the news from the bus company, saying: “I think the whole town council will be overjoyed – no-one could understand why Wilts & Dorset stopped it in the first place.

Stonehenge is a 365 day a year attraction – some days there may be no-one but on others there can be six or eight people, if it’s pouring with rain the last thing you want to do is walk there.

“It’s in our parish and yet we seem to be the only ones who can’t get people there.”

A spokesman for Wilts & Dorset said the bus stop in High Street near the bus station would be reinstated in about a week’s time.

Article Source: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/10015192.Stonehenge_bus_link_restored/ (Elizabeth Kemble

 

The Stonehenge Tour Bus

The Stonehenge Tour Bus pictured above is the only regular public transport to Stonehenge itself. It normally runs at least hourly and more frequently in the summer months. The Stonehenge Tour Bus also allows you to stop over at Old Sarum, which is worthwhile.

 

The journey itself is quite scenic. The Stonehenge Tour Bus starts from Salisbury Rail Station and also picks up at the Bus Station. There is no left luggage facility at the train station but the Cat Tavern, a pub about 100 yards down the approach road of the rail station acts as the left luggage service for Salisbury – though its not advertised on the outside of the premises.

 

The bus works on a hop on, hop off principle. You can spend as long as you like at Stonehenge or Old Sarum, you do not have to ride on a particular schedule.
Buses depart Salisbury Station hourly from 10 a.m. daily stopping broadly in-line with the closing time of Stonehenge. You could not use this service for Special Access visits outside normal opening hours of Stonehenge.

The buses are double deck buses, so you get a great view of the countryside too. You also get a very informative commentary as you go along about Stonehenge, Salisbury and much else besides.

 

You can purchase tickets both on-line in advance or from the bus itself on the day.
There are several ticket options. You can opt to pay just for the tour bus or a ticket that combines the tour bus with admission to Stonehenge and Old Sarum or Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral.

 

Visiting all three attractions is very much a rewarding full day out. At the end of the day do explore the centre of town and ideally find a pub or restaurant to relax before a late train out

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Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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