The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

News Items by Rhiannon

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County Tipperary

Iron Age discoveries at Two-Mile-Borris. Or not.


Interesting excavations have been made at Two-Mile-Borris, near the river behind Black Castle. A large central structure with surrounding huts has been discovered - houses for a chieftain and his family? There also seems to be evidence of some Iron Age technology - a water irrigation system. There are also fulachta fia, wood-lined cooking pits which are usually found near water. A cremation area and graves have also been unearthed.

The settlement has been revealed as part of excavation on the Thurles link road, part of the N8 Cullohill to Cashel motorway project. But of course, the road must prevail and although local Dail deputy, Michael Lowry, said the find "is of huge important historical and archaeological significance for the area" he then added that it would not "in any way hinder progress on the link road". What a relief, eh.

Landowner Pierce Duggan was suitably amazed and said he was "certainly not aware that a find of such significance was on his doorstep".

But since the announcements, another archaeologist has disputed there's anything exciting there at all, as you can read at
http://www.tipperarytoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=3162&ArticleID=1698822

Summarised from the article at
http://www.tipperarytoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=3162&ArticleID=1685756

Perth and Kinross

Bronze Age boat to be lifted from Tay mud


From the Courier
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2006/07/29/newsstory8595566t0.asp

Archaeologists have been working this week on a 30ft long Bronze age log boat, which is in the tidal mudflats of the Tay near Abernethy. A radiocarbon test has dated it to 1000BC, so it is among the oldest ever found in Scotland. It was probably used for fishing and wildfowling.

It will be lifted by a floating cradle and transported to the National Museum of Scotland, where it will be conserved over three years before display.

(edit) there's a picture of the boat, in the mud, here:
http://heritage.scotsman.com/places.cfm?id=1111362006

Hill of Tara

Tara Protesters Ordered to Leave by OPW


Protestors who have been camping on the Hill of Tara since the Summer Solstice on June 21, have been ordered to leave by the Office of Public Works (OPW), according to protest group TaraWatch.

From BreakingNews.ie
http://www.breakingnews.ie/2006/07/14/story267769.html

Barbury Castle (Hillfort)

Round house to be built at Barbury


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/5114602.stm

"Construction work begins on Monday and volunteers are invited to help and also learn about archaeological theory on roundhouse design.

Throughout the building work, which is due to be completed by the end of July, there will be a series of walks and talks for families, schools and colleges to find out more about the project."

Stirling

Important pottery finds at Kincardine


Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the broadest range of elaborately decorated prehistoric pottery ever found in Scotland, at the site for the new Kincardine Bridge. Other finds included ceremonial and working axes made with stone from the Ochil Hills.

The finds demonstrate just how far the River Forth has receded, as the "highly cultivated" site, which is three-quarters of a mile inland, was once on the waterfront.

see the rest of the article by George Mair at the Scotsman.com
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=900472006

County Dublin

Kingship and Sacrifice Exhibition


"Kingship & Sacrifice" will be officially opened by Arts Minister John O'Donoghue this afternoon at the Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

It'll include the recently found bog bodies from Oldcroghan, Co Offaly and Clonycavan, Co Meath.

Admission is free. There's a tour on the 24th June from 14:00-15:00.
http://www.museum.ie/index.asp

(spotted at online.ie
http://www.online.ie/News/News.aspx?newsId=385385

Galley Hill (Sandy) (Hillfort)

Tour of Newly Excavated Bedfordshire Hillfort


It seems you can go on a tour of the fort on the 29th June:
http://www.rspb.org.uk/england/central/events/index.asp?id=tcm:5-99339

also, from Biggleswade Today
http://www.biggleswadetoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=182&ArticleID=1529221

Excavations to try and unearth buried secrets of an Iron Age fort began at a Sandy nature reserve this week.

Archaeologists are carrying out a one-week dig on Sandy Warren's Galley Hill Fort in a joint project between English Heritage and the RSPB.

It is hoped the £12,000 project will shed light on who lived there and what the area, believed to date back to 250BC, was used for.

Peter Bradley, RSPB site manager, said: "The reason for the work is, as far as we know, it has never been dug in the past and we would like to know more about it, particularly for when it is opened up to the public in a couple of years' time.

"The idea is it would be seen from a very long way away by other tribes. It could have been defensive or a market place, or where people lived. We don't know yet what use this fort had."

A JCB digger is being used to excavate the banks and bore holes will be dug to uncover any remains.


[Lots of the land at the RSPB site here is being cleared of trees to return it to heathland - so it should be easier to see how it fits into the local landscape?]

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

August Exhibition of Aerial Photos


"Aerial Photography and Archaeology - 100 Years of Discovery"

This travelling exhibition will display historic and modern photos and illustrations. It will be at Stonehenge from August 1-7, when a Virgin balloon will give 'some visitors'* the chance to take their own aerial snaps.

The exhibition will also be shown at Old Sarum, the Alexander Keiller Museum in Avebury, Salisbury Museum, Devizes Museum, and the Royal Engineers' Museum in Gillingham.

*whatever that means.

courtesy of Hob, two links to more information:
http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/nwh_gfx_en/ART38599.html

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.6591

Barclodiad-y-Gawres (Chambered Cairn)

New Carvings Found


A new pecked chevron design has been found at Barclodiad y Gawres - bringing the total of decorated slabs at the site to six. It was initially discovered by amateur archaeologists Maggie and Keith Davidson, and officially recorded by rock art experts this month. The carving is very faint, which is why it was probably overlooked when the tomb was excavated in the 1950s.

see
http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1760335,00.html

The Thornborough Henges

Coming Soon: Thornborough Theme Park


(Well. Probably not.)

The man who created the Lightwater Valley theme park wants to turn the ancient Thornborough Henges into a tourist attraction.
Landowner Robert Staveley outlined his ideas at a public meeting called by West Tanfield Parish Council on Wednesday.

Mr Staveley said he aimed to create a car park and visitor centre, build a 'transport system' around the site and recreate the southernmost henge so visitors could see how it would have looked when it was built more than 5,000 years ago.

He said the henge mound would be covered in a membrane and earth added on top so as not to harm the archaeology.

"At the moment, when people come here they are so disappointed because there is so little there," he said.

He added his plans were at a very early stage and more discussion would need to take place.

George Chaplain, of heritage campaign group, TimeWatch, who was at Wednesday's meeting, said: "Mr Staveley's proposals were not quite as frightening as they could have been.

"But I am concerned about recreating the southern henge. I would like to see entry to Thornborough Henges remain free of charge – I worry he is looking at it purely from a commercial perspective."

Last week quarry firm Tarmac was refused planning permission to expand its current operations near the henges because of the importance of the site.

Commenting on Mr Staveley's tourism scheme, a spokesman for the firm said: "We see no conflict in principle between tourists visiting the henges and continuation of our quarry at Nosterfield with the useful employment it provides.

"Visitors already come to the Nosterfield Quarry visitor centre and viewing area which opened last year – it is free and is popular with birdwatchers and walkers."
03 March 2006
http://www.nidderdaletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=22&ArticleID=1372826

Lincolnshire and Humberside

Iron Age boat goes on display


A boat dating back to the Iron Age has gone on show at a Lincoln museum. The log boat, which has undergone four years of conservation work, is now on display at the city's new archaeological museum - The Collection.

It was discovered in Fiskerton, Nottinghamshire in 2001, while the Environment Agency was carrying out improvement work on flood defences.

The 7m-long (23ft) oak boat will complete the museum's display of Iron Age finds from the region.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/4756986.stm

The gallery's website is
http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/ccm/
There is a search facility so you can see some of their archaeological objects.

Angus

Polished axehead found at site near Forfar


See a picture of the beautiful stripey (part-of-an) axehead at The Courier:
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2006/02/12/newsstory8018512t0.asp

There are contact details if you want to go on the next visit to the find site with the Kinnettles and District Heritage Group, on the 19th Feb.

News

Oldest European cave paintings found


From the TimesOnline article at
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,61-2037531,00.html

At the Fumane cave on the southern edge of the Alps, an occupation with tools of Aurignacian type has been radiocarbon dated to between 34,000 and 32,000 years ago. In the Aurignacian deposits painted rock fragments were found which had spalled off the walls of the cave because of the freezing of water in cracks: erosion of the paint showed that the art, in red and yellow ochre lines, had been on the walls for some time before it fell and was buried.

Among the motifs is an "anthropomorph", a humanoid figure, according to Dr Alberto Broglio. It is full face, with two horns which "may be a mask" on its head; the arms are by its side and the legs are spread. "The right hand is holding something which is hanging downwards, probably a ritual object," Dr Broglio says. Another figure shows a four-legged animal seen from the side and "resembles the profile of a small statuette from Vogelherd". Radiocarbon dates from the Vogelherd caves, near Ulm on the upper Danube, also give dates between 36,000 and 30,000 years ago...

Fan Foel (Cairn(s))

Traces of flowers from Bronze Age cairn


Archaeologists examining a Bronze Age burial mound on the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire found meadowsweet pollen grains.
"Adam Gwilt, curator of the Bronze and Iron Age Collection at the National Museum of Wales, said the discovery shed new light on ancient burials. He said: "It gives tenderness to otherwise remote and impersonal burial rites". Mr Gwilt said the same burial ritual had been found as far away as the Orkney Islands in Scotland. "(does this mean using meadowsweet specifically?)

More at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/4697748.stm
and
http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba88/news.shtml#item1

(If you want to grumble about geocaching at the site also page down and read at
http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba78/news.shtml

The Thornborough Henges

Timewatch expresses dismay at latest plan


Groups campaigning to stop quarrying around Thornborough Henges have slammed a recently published conservation plan. TimeWatch is disappointed with the proposed Thornborough Henges Conservation Plan announced last week, saying it neither includes the entire Thornborough complex nor addresses all the important issues.

"The consultation group and the proposed conservation plan are a response to a number of concerns raised by many people regarding the preservation and appearance of the Thornborough Henges complex," said George Chaplin, TimeWatch chairman.

"In particular, people are concerned that the wider archaeological landscape is being quarried and many thousands have signed the petition calling for a one mile 'no quarry zone' around the henges. The proposed area fails to address this."

TimeWatch says that in early consultations the conservation plan area was shown to cover a stretch of the landscape from Kirklington to West Tanfield. Now they say the proposed conservation area is barely larger than the scheduled areas at Thornborough and omits Ladybridge Farm (the proposed site for further quarrying by Tarmac) and other areas known to hold archaeology related to the henges.

"In addition, there are concerns about the ongoing impact of the landfill site next door to the central henge, on the setting of the national monument in terms of looks and smell," said Mr Chaplin. "This landfill site is outside of the conservation area."

The group says it will be responding to the consultation and requesting that the plan be redrawn so that it addresses these fundamental concerns.

More of the article at Ripon News
http://www.nidderdaletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=18&ArticleID=1338713

Stonehenge and its Environs

RSPB warn against tunnel alternatives


http://www.rspb.org.uk/action/stonehenge.asp

The RSPB says that the two proposed overground routes would destroy nesting and roosting sites of the stone curlew, which only has two UK strongholds.

"The southern route would destroy two-thirds of the RSPB's Normanton Down Reserve and split the remainder, reducing its value to wildlife. The reserve is part of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and boasts Britain's most important Bronze Age barrow cemetery. The site is also an invaluable feeding ground for stone-curlews before they leave on migration. Last year 19 birds were seen together, using the area as a direct result of improved habitat management.

The northern option would run close to the Salisbury Plain Special Protection Area (SPA), a site protected by European wildlife laws. The road scheme would damage the potential of that land for increasing stone-curlew numbers.

Stonehenge lies close to the SPA, which together with Porton Down and Normanton Down forms north-west Europe's largest network of chalk grassland. Corn bunting, skylark and lapwing are amongst declining birds using the area together with butterflies such as the grizzled skipper, one of several disappearing chalkland specialists. The harebell and dropwort are amongst thriving plants that are rare elsewhere.

The RSPB believes the government should not consider the northern or southern over-ground routes as viable options and hopes that the review process will lead to the adoption of route less damaging for the area's wildlife.

The Thornborough Henges

Timewatch calls for international support


TimeWatch has called for international support in the battle to save the Thornborough Henges from the threat of quarrying nearby.

Quarry company Tarmac Northern Ltd was granted a delay to the planning process while it carried out further archaeological investigations at its proposed quarry site at Ladybridge Farm, half a mile from the triple henge complex. These have now been completed and there is a new consultation process ahead of the the North Yorkshire County Council planning meeting on February 21 which will determine the firm's application.

"As a result of Tarmac's latest work, English Heritage have confirmed that the proposals will destroy archaeology of national importance," said TimeWatch chairman George Chaplin this week. "This has vindicated our position and proves the area needs to be regarded as part of the setting of the Thornborough Henges complex".

"NYCC have already confirmed there is no need for the gravel, and that the application fails several planning policies, but we are still concerned that any perceived drop in public concern may have a detrimental outcome on the decision. We are therefore asking the international community to show support for our campaign".

Responses to this latest consultation should be sent to Mr Shaw, at the Minerals and Waste Planning Unit, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AH by February 3 February.


http://www.nidderdaletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=18&ArticleID=1321648

County Dublin

Bog bodies from Dublin area unveiled


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4589638.stm

The two men (one a giant 6'6" compared to the other who was 5'2") met their sticky ends (no pun intended) in bogs at Clonycavan and Croghan in the Iron Age. They were both found in 2003.
There will be a 'Timewatch' programme about them on the BBC on 20th January.

Somerset

Bronze Age hoard from Silk Mills Bridge


Archaeologists are currently studying the hoard found at Silk Mills Bridge near Taunton in the summer, before the items go on public display.

"Steven Membery, archaeologist for Somerset County Council, said of the site: "It appears to be an island in a large river. It was used seasonally probably for hunting ducks and fish. It's rare to find hunter gathering communities like this anywhere so this is an important discovery."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4576710.stm

Northamptonshire

New stone circle for Cracks Hill?


http://www.northamptontoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=255&ArticleID=1300655

So this is how it should be done - with Chinook helicopters.
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This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.


...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.

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