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We took the little lane from the A171 to the A174 going through to East Barnsby. Beautiful May morning, three fords to cross, Yorkshire at its best down in to deep old dark woods, with bluebells, wind anemones and ransom on the verge, tumbles of old trees and water, what more can you ask after all that cold weather.
We met the kindly farmer's wife and got permission to cross the field by the education centre and into their field of sheep. The stone sits just below the highest point, square and upright, glittering in the sun. The lambs dance around in the field, some posing by the stone, but it stands strong.
Taking one's bearing as you look towards the sea and the Goldsborough Lane that you must take to find the other stone, it has probably been there as a track for hundreds of years.
We drove along the lane and saw the North stone in the distance, it is on the other side of the narrow wood or Carr, strange that they are so similar but had something else to do so another visit one day.
One reason we went out was because this stone is the flagship for the restoring of Ancient Scheduled Monuments under the North York Moors Monument Management Scheme, £200,000 is on the table for various schemes, including a 3,500 year old cairnfield with burial mounds.
Also the footpaths have been repaired at the Bronze Age burial mounds at Lilla Howe, Simon Howe and the Two Howes on Goathland under this scheme, presumably because people are WALKING OVER THE MOUNDS, Wales is obviously not the only place to have this problem.
Current Archaeology magazines article on the whole dig which started in 2005; Thanks to Digital Digging for the link, which is a fascinating read and mentions springs.
Gathered via Digital Digging, a short video on Jarlshof.
"A short computer generated film based upon kite aerial photography taken at the ancient settlement site of Jarlshof with interpretive reconstructions using imagery from various other locations across Scotland.
The project was an experiment to see how low altitude aerial photography could be used to capture the atmospheres as well as the structural details of our ancient heritage and how these images could be used to create an environment for interpretative reconstruction."
A project to record the prehistoric decoration on the supposedly Bronze Age Trefael stone has revealed the deliberate cannibalisation of an earlier Neolithic monument, and an 8,000 -year focus of human activity. George Nash, Adam Stanford, Carol James, and Thomas Wellicome explain.
'Amazing' treasures revealed in Dartmoor bronze age cist
Amazing' treasures revealed in Dartmoor bronze age cist
A rare and "amazing" burial discovery dating back 4,000 years has been described as the most significant find on Dartmoor and has given archaeologists a glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived there.
The discovery of a bronze age granite cist, or grave, in 2011 in a peat bog on White Horse Hill revealed the first organic remains found on the moor and a hoard of about 150 beads.
As the National Park's archaeologists levered off the lid they were shocked by what lay beneath.
The park's chief archaeologist, Jane Marchand, said: "Much to our surprise we actually found an intact cremation deposit [human bones] which is actually a burial alongside a number of grave goods.
"What was so unusual was the survival of so many organic objects which you never usually get in a grave of this period, they've long since rotted away."
Amongst the grave goods was an animal pelt, containing a delicate bracelet studded with tin beads, a textile fragment with detailed leather fringing and a woven bag .
Ms Marchand said: "The whole thing was actually wrapped up in an animal pelt of fur. As we lifted it up very carefully a bead fell out and the thrill of realising that actually this is a proper burial, this is a bead which belonged to a burial.
"That's what's so exciting, you wouldn't expect to find any archaeology somewhere like this stuck out on this peak hag. You'll never be able to top this ever."
Despite there being about 5,000 remnants of buildings and 200 burial cists on Dartmoor the moor has offered up few of its secrets.
English Heritage archaeologist Win Scutt said: "A lot of it's to do with robbing, some people have actually robbed the stone, some have robbed the artefacts.
"But the biggest loss we've got is all the organic stuff, the bones have all been dissolved by the acid soil up here. The flowers, the gifts of drink and food which would have gone in, most of their life was organic, it was stuff that would rot away.
"If we could get the perishable items, the organic materials, it would really shine a big light into pre-history."
This discovery has provided a rare glimpse into history with an ear stud or libret found in the bag while it was being examined at the Wiltshire Conservation Lab.
Ms Marchand said: "I don't remember studs being recorded at any other excavation from this period. I've worked on Dartmoor for over 20 years and never anticipated getting anything like this.
"It's just amazing, it suddenly brings them to life and actually you feel much closer to them because this is someone who likes their jewellery, I like jewellery, and actually you can identify with that side of things.
"We're only at the beginning really I just can't wait for the results to start coming in."
Find out more on BBC Inside Out South West, on BBC One on Monday, 18 February at 19:30 GMT.
BBC 1 News item here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv/bbc_one_london/watchlive
from about 13.21 pm.
'No more space' for artefacts at Wiltshire's museums
Museums in Wiltshire have told the council they can no longer accept artefacts excavated during development.
Wiltshire Heritage Museum and Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum said their archaeological stores were full.
David Dawson, from Wiltshire Heritage Museum, said: "We've got about 5,000 boxes of archaeological finds at the museum - and have no more space."
Wiltshire Council said it "recognises the need" and is "proposing a new large storage facility for these items".
"We've got about 400,000 archaeological artefacts everything from fragments of pottery and shards of flint to carts and wagons," said Mr Dawson.
"And we get about 50 to 100 boxes a year from developers.
"Salisbury museum has been full for 10 years and we had to get an off-site store to continue to take in artefacts but now that's full."
Stuart Wheeler, from Wiltshire Council, said it was important that the county's "historical artefacts are kept for future generations".
He said: "Heritage centres have been doing a wonderful job of preserving these finds for many years.
"We are now proposing a new large storage facility for these items which would ideally be funded by developers who uncover archaeological items on their site.
"This facility will be supported by the museums.
Delancey Park Neolithic grave protection plan submitted
A Neolithic grave in Guernsey could be half-buried in soil and grassed-over to preserve it.
Guernsey Museums and Art Galleries has asked for planning permission to conduct the work in Delancey Park and put up an information sign.
States Archaeologist Dr Philip de Jersey said covering part of the stones would hopefully protect them.
He said: "People have lit fires in between them so they crack... there's been graffiti... we want to stop that."
The grave was discovered and excavated in 1919, 1932 and in the summers from 2009-2011.
States Archaeologist Dr Philip de Jersey said covering part of the stones would hopefully protect them.
Dr de Jersey said the "gallery" grave was "the only known example in Guernsey".
He said other Neolithic graves in the island tended to be passage graves with a wider chamber.
Part of it is having better interpretation so people actually know what they're are looking at”
Dr de Jersey said damage to the site was mainly believed to have been caused by people.
"We don't get a huge amount of frost here and there is what looks like some frost shattering on a couple of the pieces of granite so it [covering the site] might help stop that as well, but the main problems have been human," he said.
"The absolute last resort is fencing the site off... so I hope this will be a compromise, that people can still see it, but it will prevent damage."
Dr de Jersey said of the site currently: "It's collapsed, the capstones have long since vanished and what we have now are just the prop stones along each side, which have all fallen over in the past few thousand years.
"It's not a great deal to look at, it is a heap of stones and if you don't know anything about it you're none the wiser."
Archaeologist Dr George Nash, who led the most recent work, recommended the site should be enhanced and marked as one of educational value.
Dr de Jersey said: "There's not really anything more archaeological we can get out of it.
"[The plan is to] effectively partially rebury the site, it won't be completely covered you'll still be able to see the top foot or so of the stones.
"The idea is that you can walk around it, you can still walk on the stones, but they'll be that much more protected.
"Part of it is protecting the site, but leaving it still visible and part of it is having better interpretation so people actually know what they're are looking at."
He said the plans were put forward with the support of the Admiral de Saumarez Trust, which is behind moves to upgrade and refresh the park and has offered to pay for materials.
Dr de Jersey said the plans involved "a layer of something inert like sand or gravel, which marks where previous excavations have got to, and then we'll put topsoil on top and fence it off to let the grass seed grow".
If the plans are approved work, which should only take a few days, is expected to start in March or April.
Badbury Rings "not a winter sports venue" warns Trust
HARDY snow fans took their sledges to Badbury Rings at the weekend, despite signs asking them not to.
The Iron Age fort, near Wimborne, proved a hit for a around 500 people with toboggans and sledges following inches of snow falling across the county.
The National Trust had placed signs around the area advising people not to use the site as a 'winter sports venue' with their sledges, skis and snowboards on the grass - but the signs were ignored, with one sledger scrawling "get a life" on them.
David Roberts, General Manager at the Kingston Lacy Estate, says the ban on sledging is because of the measures that the National Trust have put into place to preserve the land.
He said: “It is a very important archaeological site.
“We have had to cover some of the areas with mesh, which is under the grass, held in place with pegs. Over time, the grass has grown over them and so they cannot be seen so well.
“It is fine to walk on, as you can't feel them under foot, but a toboggan is a completely different type of thing, as it can catch on the pegs.
“Two years ago, we had a father and son, who went on their toboggan on Badbury Rings, and the boy came off and badly gashed his thigh on one of the pegs.
“If people choose to use their toboggans on the land, we can't stop them, but we would strongly advise them not to.”
Ian Kirk, 53, from Broadstone took these pictures.
He said: “I was at Badbury Rings on Monday, where I spoke to a National Trust ranger, who said there was about 500 people sledging on the ground.
“It also seems that there was a trail of blood left in the snow, where someone had obviously hurt themselves.
“Some people had been quite obnoxious when they had seen the signs and had written things on them, including 'Get a life' and much worse.
“Where the snow had worn down, where people had been on it, you could see the stakes and the pegs.
“What I find funny is that the signs were up, to tell people not to sledge on it, and yet they still were in their hundreds.”
Mendip Hills team gets conservation cash boost
The team that looks after the landscape of the Mendip Hills has been given more than £200,000 to help with its conservation.
The Heritage Lottery Fund money will be spent on teaching people about the history and archaeology of the Black Down and Burrington Commons.
The area above Cheddar covers the highest point on the Mendips.
The Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, said it was "delighted" to get the grant.
Councillor Dawn Hill, the organisation's chairman, said: "Black Down is one of the most fascinating sites in the Mendip Hills AONB," she said.
"With this funding we can bring the special stories of the site to life and encourage people to take an active role in caring for this special place."
Erosion and damage
The grant will employ a full-time project officer for three years, and pay for new volunteering and training opportunities.
It will also go towards the restoration and repair of badly eroded paths, as well as protecting the area's wildlife habitats and archaeology.
The AONB said in recent years an increase in visitor numbers had resulted in problems of erosion and damage to specific features and the site in general.
"It's the largest area of common land in the Mendip Hills," said Andy Mallender from the partnership.
He added: "Part of the site is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the valuable wildlife habitats found there.
"Another large part of the site is designated a Scheduled Monument because of the wealth of archaeology on the site."
The Black Down has three Scheduled Monuments dating from the late Stone Age and Bronze Age through to World War II.
Sands of Time: Domestic Rituals at the Links of Noltland
This is a long article in Current Archaeology filed under news, not sure if it is news but interesting all the same, go to the link for photos...
January 17, 2013 By Carly Hilts
Rapid erosion has revealed spectacular Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology on the coast of Westray, Orkney. Contemporary with the Ness of Brodgar’s religious monuments but with a domestic focus, what can this settlement tell us about daily life in prehistoric Orkney?
Hazel Moore and Graeme Wilson explained.
Overlooking the North Atlantic on the island of Westray, the Links of Noltland boasts an impressive prehistoric landscape stretching over 4ha. Comprising the well-preserved remains of over 20 buildings – including Neolithic structures contemporary with, and comparable to, the famous ‘village’ at Skara Brae – together with extensive middens, field systems, and a cemetery, the site is revolutionising knowledge of Neolithic and Bronze Age Orkney.
Noltland’s wealth of archaeological features is in danger of being lost, however. Facing into the wind and exposed to almost constant salt spray, the site is at severe risk of erosion, with the dune system that has protected it for millennia rapidly depleting. Designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a property in care of Scottish Ministers, managed on their behalf by Historic Scotland, the settlement has been closely monitored for change since the 1980s, but by 2005 it was clear that – for reasons still not fully understood – the scale of erosion was accelerating at an unprecedented level. Matters had become urgent.
In response, Historic Scotland launched a rolling campaign of assessment and conservation works, and rescue excavations undertaken by EASE Archaeology, directed by the authors and project managed by Historic Scotland Senior Archaeologist Richard Strachan. Since 2006 these have revealed a large number of hitherto unsuspected Neolithic and Bronze Age remains, with a highlight of the most recent season being the discovery of two carved stone figurines similar to the celebrated ‘Orkney Venus’ (CA 236).
Local soil conditions favour the preservation of skeletal material, meaning that there is a large amount of animal bone available for study, providing valuable opportunities to examine husbandry and butchery practices. Such bones, from both wild and domesticated animals, were crafted into a wide range of tools and decorative objects from beads and elaborate dress pins to mattocks, awls, polishers, and points. Bone-working debris is rarely encountered on archaeological sites of this period, and study of this material is providing a glimpse of manufacturing processes employed by prehistoric craftsmen.
While the Neolithic remains at the Links of Noltland bear comparison with those at Skara Brae on Orkney Mainland in terms of both age and architecture, at Noltland erosion of the ground surface over such a large area has permitted a far more extensive investigation of the site’s hinterland, making it possible to examine the settlement’s evolution over a long duration. Beginning in the 3rd millennium BC and enduring into the Bronze Age, the site’s inhabitants saw dramatic changes to both their built and natural environments during the settlement’s lifespan.
In Structure 10 we found structural modifications suggesting that the building had seen later phases of occupation, with tantalising glimpses of the original walls visible beneath. These were extremely well constructed, and it appears that the interior was deliberately backfilled with midden material and rubble prior to the later use. From this infill material we recovered a carved stone ball – an enigmatic type of prehistoric artefact found mostly in Scotland, with five discovered at Skara Brae alone. While the purpose of these objects is still open to debate, with suggestions ranging from ceremonial use to a function as a projectile for taking down wild animals, this was a significant find since few have been found in secure archaeological contexts, most coming to light as stray finds.
The earliest occupational evidence revealed by our excavations so far was a farmstead, dated to at least 2800-2500 BC. Set inside a stone-walled enclosure, this complex stood on a ridge surrounded by cultivated fields, with its finest, and perhaps earliest, building (Structure 10) in the centre, constructed from neatly coursed quarried stone. Over time, more buildings were added and older elements were modified and reused, creating a series of closely packed rooms and passages. We investigated the interiors of two (Structures 10 and 19) during the most recent phase of work. These represent two of the larger rooms, both rectilinear in form, with upright stones used to divide up internal space.
Structure 19, by contrast, appears to be one of the later buildings within the complex. While radiocarbon dating results are still awaited, the structure was found to have been built over the original enclosure wall. It was entered via a narrow entrance passage that opened into a central floor area surrounded by peripheral recesses or ‘box-beds’, which were separated from the main space with upright slabs, one measuring over 2m in length. Opposite the entrance were the footings of a dresser similar to those seen in houses at Skara Brae, while later floor layers inside the structure produced very large quantities of decorated Grooved Ware pottery dating to the early 3rd millennium BC, together with a wide range of stone and bone tools.
The settlement is surrounded by extensive contemporary middens. These are directly responsible for the preservation of many of the site’s buildings, absorbing the structures as they fell out of use. They are also proving a productive source of new information about the settlement. While Noltland’s house-proud inhabitants generally kept their floors clean, discarding few artefacts inside the structures, the middens hold a vast amount of material, in places reaching over 1m in depth.
We have excavated considerable areas of midden to reveal the structures hidden beneath, and in so doing, we recognised that at Noltland these were not merely refuse heaps – they were used for a variety of activities, including animal butchery and craft working. Stone pathways lead through the deposits, while specific areas appear to be reserved for specific activities. There are butchery zones, for example, where we found rough ‘skaill knives’ made from split beach pebbles, as well as worked flints that would have been used to dismember animals. Elsewhere, caches of tools such as bone mattocks and bead-making debris suggest that, in addition to sourcing their raw materials, bone implements were being manufactured here as well.
Close analysis of this wealth of discarded material has provided many details of what life was like at Neolithic Noltland. We now know that the inhabitants were predominantly cattle farmers, but also kept sheep; that they had access to abundant wild resources including numerous species of bird and fish, together with deer, marine mammals and shellfish; that they cultivated barley, and that their dogs regularly came to gnaw at the meaty scraps of bone. We can reconstruct other aspects of their world from the farming and craftworking tools that they left behind, alongside decorative items such as dress pins and beads, as well as worked shell.
One of the most exciting aspects of the midden investigations has been the discovery of bizarre ‘compositions’, consciously and sometimes elaborately arranged groups of materials. In one instance, a scallop shell was placed between the horns of a sheep skull while a flint tool was set inside. In another, numerous animal jawbones were arranged together, perhaps votive offerings associated with the killing and butchering of animals. We have also noticed composite items of bone and clay, equally tantalising, but sadly less well preserved.
Outside the clustered farmstead, several other Neolithic buildings have been identified during our work, including two houses with a cruciform interior. The first (Structure 9), located just outside the enclosure wall, had 28 cattle skulls, two of which have been dated to the mid-3rd millennium BC. Deliberately placed within its foundations, they would have been an important gesture from this community of cattle farmers. Standing further apart, the other building
(Structure 7) – home to the site’s second dresser – seems to have been enclosed by a series of ‘casement’ walls – concentric ‘skins’ of stone, producing massively thick structures.
The most complete building to have been excavated at Noltland so far, however, is a subterranean house and annex (Structure 18), isolated from the other structures and of very different construction. Dubbed the ‘Grobust house’ after the bay it overlooks, the structure was built in a large pit cut into a sand dune and comprises two unequal sized rooms joined by a passage. While Noltland’s other buildings are freestanding, the Grobust house has revetted drystone walls. In places still standing up to 1.1m high, these are probably preserved to almost the original roof height.
Originally discovered and partially excavated by Dr. David Clarke of the National Museums of Scotland in the late 1970?s – who revealed that part of the building may have been deliberately filled with soil at the end of its life, from which large numbers of flint tools, worked bone, pottery and stone objects, were recovered – there was a lag of over 30 years before work resumed on the house. This was the main focus of our 2012 excavation, during which the last remnants of infill were removed. With the interior of the building finally fully uncovered, we were able to explore the house’s entire layout for the first time.
Ancient remains discovered in Goldcliff near Newport
ANCIENT remains dating back more than 7,000 years have been discovered near Newport.
Researchers from the University of Reading have uncovered 7,500 year-old worked flint ‘tools’, bones, charcoal and hazelnut shells while working at Goldcliff in September of last year.
The finds show that Stone Age people were more than just hunter-gathers, using fire to encourage the growth of plants, such as hazelnuts, crab apples and raspberries. The researchers believe these were all eaten.
Over the last two summers researchers have found Stone Age footprints at Goldcliff and new archaeological finds, including footprints of animals and birds, are constantly being made in the Severn Estuary.
Professor Martin Bell, head of the University of Reading’s department of Archaeology, said: "The 7500 year-old footprint trails show how the activity areas represented by flint tools and bones articulated together as parts of a living stone age landscape."
He added: "The footprints include those made by children, which is extremely exciting as the role of children tends not to be visible in the archaeological record."
"They show youngsters as young as four were actively engaged in the productive activities of the community."
Introduction to the 'Chert' index to the drawings and sketches of the Rev. John Skinner
A great antiquarian!
Finds from Goldsborough Mesolithic site
7,000 years before campervans pulled on to the West Cliff, it has emerged that Whitby was a popular tourist destination among cavemen.
Following recent investigations a team of archaeologists have discovered litter from a prehistoric campsite near Goldsborough that suggests tourism may actually be Whitby’s oldest industry.
Rachel Grahame, from Tees Archaeology, said 450 flint fragments were uncovered at the site when it was visited in September. She explained that many of the finds were burnt, suggesting they were probably used in a campsite by an ancient tribe who were passing through the area.
“Mesolithic people have always been thought of as nomadic and in many places the only sign of their presence is tiny fragments of flint,” said Rachel.
Recent discoveries such as Star Carr near Scarborough have given the Yorkshire coast a reputation as a hotbed for prehistoric finds. Fieldwalking and geophysical survey have been used to identify the site at Goldsborough and it is proposed to carry out limited excavations in the spring to look for more evidence of hearths and buildings. Rachel added: “It’s very exciting to think that we may find similar archaeological remains here.”
Over 7,000 years ago the people who lived in the area survived by moving around, hunting and herding animals, catching fish and living off fruits and anything else they could find. They probably revised some locations time and time again. The evidence of the activities of these Mesolithic people is difficult to find and usually comprises the remains of the flint and wooden tools they used to hunt their prey and work skins.
The project is being carried out by Tees Archaeology and the North York Moors National Park Authority with the help of local volunteers and funding from English Heritage.
Regular updates about the project can be found on the Tees Archaeology website, www.teesarchaeology.com
Iron Age feast found in Chiseldon
Remnants of an Iron-Age feast, including cattle skulls and 13 cauldrons, have been unearthed in Chiseldon, United Kingdom, according to a report in the latest British Archaeology
The discovery marks the largest grouping of early cauldrons ever found in Europe. One cauldron features a handle plate in the form of a cow's head; zoomorphic decoration is otherwise unknown on a British cauldron.
"Analysis of the interiors of the cauldrons has even revealed traces of animal fats, a tantalizing suggestion that these objects might have been used in cooking and serving meat-rich stews at Iron-Age feasts over 2,000 ago," Julia Farley, curator of European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, told Discovery News.
Farley's colleague Jody Joy, as well as Alexandra Baldwin and Jamie Hood from the museum, are still studying the artifacts, which were found buried in a 6.6-feet-wide pit. The cauldrons were made from iron and copper alloy in the second or first century B.C.
Each was built to last, with an iron rim and band supporting circular suspension handles. The main body of the cauldrons consisted of a central band and bowl of sheet copper alloy riveted together. "The iron rim and handles gave strength and rigidity, while the copper-alloy bowl acted as an excellent heat conductor," the researchers note.
When the cauldrons were buried, nearby Barbury Castle still might have been occupied. Another hill fort, Liddington Castle, likely had been abandoned. Nevertheless, given the possible fort protection and open space, "Chiseldon looks to be an ideal meeting place," the researchers believe.
What the cauldrons were last used for is a bit of a mystery, but Joy and team suspect "large quantities of food and drink were probably consumed." Feasts at the time "would have marked significant events in the calendar or special occasions, such as marriages."
Beef was the star attraction at the last big feast involving the cauldrons, the evidence suggests. The two cattle skulls, cow cauldron decoration and traces of animal fats all theoretically point to beef.
But the experts say it's too soon to make that conclusion.
Archaeologist Mike Pitts, who also edits British Archaeology, told Discovery News that "notwithstanding the cattle skulls, it might well have been pork. Pigs were important animals in feasting. Of course, whatever was in the cauldrons was boiled."
While the British are now renowned for beef dishes, with the Tower of London ceremonial guardians even known as Beefeaters, beef wasn't always so popular and widely available, Pitts said.
"Roast beef as a national dish really took root in the 18th century, which is also when 'les rosbifs' apparently became popular in France as a nickname for the English," he said.
Farley agreed, saying, "Iron Age people also ate pig, sheep, and occasionally horse. Indeed, pork seems often to have been favored for feasting."
DNA testing of the lipids in future could solve the mystery.
(Images: British Museum, John Winterburn, Wessex Archaeology; Stephen Crummy)
Ancient Quernhow monument commemorated
Lost but not forgotten....
A BRONZE Age monument has been commemorated after a long-running campaign.
The 4,000-year-old Quernhow burial mound, which was obliterated by the upgrading of the A1(M), has been marked with a plaque and stone by the Quernhow Café, near Ainderby Quernhow, by the Highways Agency.
Archaeologists say the site was “of primary importance in prehistoric times” as it stood on the plain between the three great henges of Thornborough to the north and those on Hutton Moor to the south, accompanied by a number of other tumuli nearby.
When it was unearthed in the 1950s, archaeologists found an imposing flat-topped stone cairn with four small pits in its centre, a number of small cremations and broken remains of pottery, human bones and foods vessels.
Near the centre of the cairn, which was initially damaged by roadworks in the 1950s, was a "curious four poster” of upright stones placed near to its north, south, east and west points.
Former Quernhow Café owner Bryan Lye, said he was delighted to the agency, which completed its £318m Dishforth and Leeming motorway upgrade scheme earlier this year, had agreed to mark the site.
He said: “Quernhow will always have a special place in my heart, but more importantly I am delighted the rich local history now has public recognition and can be remembered for generations to come.”
Archeologist Blaise Vyner said the mound was important as few Bronze Age sites of this kind have been found in the Vale of York.
He said: “There are a large number on the North York Moors and in the Dales, but not here because the population was presumably a lot thinner.
“We know they were used between approximately 2200 BC and 1850 BC, but it’s difficult to say exactly when, how many people were buried, or whether these were only for people of a higher social standing.
"That’s what the food vessels that were found indicate, but it’s a fascinating area to explore.”
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “We share the passion of Bryan and Blaise to ensure local history isn’t forgotten, and we hope the commemorative stone triggers interest and makes café visitors think about who may have stood there before them 4,000 years earlier.”
Robin Fleming in her book 'Britain after Rome 400 to 1070' mentions that, this complex landscape of hillforts and Saxon royal palace was part of a ritual landscape. She goes on to say.....
"that Bede did not mention that the king's hall and other major structures were erected in a straight line between the stone circle and the barrow and that the layout of the 'modern' seventh-century complex was thus determined by these ancient and enigmatic monuments"
The Saxon complex seems to have had a 7 tiered theatre, and pits filled with ox heads, evidence of ritual use. The use of earlier prehistoric monuments such as barrows for instance were often used by these later settlements to add prestige to families and the small kingships that abounded at this time.
Priddy Stone Circles vandal, 73, ordered to pay £10,000
A 73-year-old man who vandalised a 5,000-year-old stone monument has been ordered to pay £10,000.
Roger Penny, of Chewton Mendip, appeared before Taunton Crown Court after he damaged one of the Priddy Stone Circles, which is on his land.
Penny had pleaded guilty to charges, at an earlier hearing at South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates' Court.
He was fined £2,500 plus costs of £7,500, but has pledged to pay up to £40,000 extra to help make repairs.
Recorder Jeremy Wright said that it was "sad to see a man of your age and good character before the court".
However, he said: "Your actions may have meant that significant archaeological information has been lost.
"Although some evidence may be available, it's significance and value has been significantly diminished by the damage you have done."
Penny has agreed to pay up to £38,000, according to English Heritage (EH), to help put things on the site right again.
An EH spokesperson described the damage as a "major incident", adding the structure was one of only about 80 henges in England.
They said the loss of the fabric to the henge meant a "really, really rare piece of Neolithic engineering had been lost forever".
The damage included the destruction of a circular ditch which was completely bulldozed, and damage to the monument itself, the spokesperson said.
EH is still unsure whether the monument can be restored to its original condition.
In April, the court was told the damage was carried out between April and October 2011.
Magistrates were told work had taken place on land next to the B3195, known as Stable Cottage and Huntsman Cottage, which contained the southernmost circle of the monument.
Penny, of The Grange, Back Lane, Chewton Mendip, was charged in connection with causing or permitting work without scheduled monument consent or development consent contrary to Section 2(1) of the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
Devizes treasures set to be revealed
A priceless prehistoric gold lozenge excavated in the 19th century will be put on public display for the first time when the new Neolithic gallery at Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes opens next year.
The museum was awarded a £370,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund earlier this year to finance the new gallery, which will be built at the rear of the museum and is due to open in May.
Secure display units will enable the museum to show items that were thought too valuable for public display.
Foremost of these is the large gold lozenge that was found in the Bush Barrow grave near Stonehenge, dating from around 1900BC, which was excavated by William Cunnington in 1808.
David Dawson, director of the museum, said: “A replica of the lozenge has always been on display here but as far as I am aware the original has never been put on show.
“The HLF grant has now enabled us to afford high- security measures.”
Other items from the grave to be put on show are a mace, the head of which was made from a rare flecked fossil stone from Devon, while the
handle was embellished with bone zigzag mounts, and a smaller lozenge, which may well have been mounted on the handle of the mace.
There are also more recent finds in the new galleries including items from the grave of the Roundway Warrior, also excavated by William Cunnington in 1855, items from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery that was excavated in 1991 and artefacts from a dig by the Army at Barrow Clump near Figheldean on Salisbury Plain earlier this year.
Building work on the new galleries is due to begin in December and the fitting out is scheduled to run from January to the end of March. The objects will be installed during April, ready for the grand opening in May.
Dr Dawson said: “We want to open the galleries in time for our summer season.”
Seahenge. Of course it is not a henge, not even a stone circle but built with wooden posts around the spring of BC 2049. The diameter of the circle was 21 feet (6.6m) with 55 closely fitting posts the circle averaging out at about 10 foot high. The land on which it stood would have been different, saltmarsh protected from the sea by sand dunes and mud with a mixed oak woodland nearby. Tis a place of sacred unknowingness, you may laugh but that central upturned trunk its roots reaching out to the sky must hold some sort of secret. The archaeologists think that it was used for excarnation, either for a great chief, or maybe for the small group or clan who lived here.
When I first saw the upturned tree, my initial reaction was that it was somehow a dinosaur, not quite dead, still throbbing with slow life. It has PRESENCE this tree, blackened and deeply fissured with age and a few model carrion crows perch menacingly on the edges of the mock-up wooden circle help create the drama. The tree stands in its glass cage watching over the recovered wooden posts of the circle as they curve round on their stand backed by a large photographic representation of the beach on which the circle was found.
This beach at Holme-Next-to-the-Sea must be your first port of call, drive down to the village and turn left at the crossroads, (where it says Peddars Way) and there is a car park further on. Walk over the wooden boardwalk by the dunes, the sand stretches for ages down to the sea, and on the horizon about 50 sea wind turbines stand like ghosts, blades idly turning. No mention of where the posts were found on the information boards, and I suppose if you were lucky and walked further on and the tide was out you may find the second wooden circle, called Holme 2.
There are several theories mooted on the boards that accompany the timbers, one is to do with the stripping and non-stripping of the bark off the posts, most timbers had their bark left on but one had been stripped, this one called ‘timber 30’ had its outward facing bark stripped, maybe to represent an important person, maybe because it had been struck by lightning thereby leaving a white bark. Firstly, it was said that the closeness of the posts could be that the whole site was supposed to represent a tree stump, or maybe each individual post represented a person, there were 55 posts in all. The orientation of the first timbers sunk was to the Midwinter sunset in the south-west and the Midsummer sunrise in the northeast.
About half the timbers were placed upside down, it could have been due to the fact that if driven into the ground right way up the circle would have leant inwards towards the centre. By placing them upside down they cancelled this inversion, but there again at other Bronze Age sites inverted objects were associated with death and human remains.
The narrow ‘entrance’ double pronged timber was labelled 35/37 in the initial excavation because it was thought to be two separate posts, there is a blocking timber 36 in front of the entrance.
The great central oak stump, over 50 axes were used on this tree, and 3 holes bored into its lower trunk show where it was dragged by honeysuckle ropes. Measuring about 2 and half metres high by approximately the same width, think I read somewhere it was 150 years old, there are two suggestions for why it was used, one being the excarnation theory the other “a symbolic representation of the fruits of the earth and the magical powers of trees, or perhaps a gateway to the underworld”
What to make of it all? Firstly, one has to agree with the decision of digging the timbers up, if only to help keep them for future reference and safe from further destruction by the sea, and because of their special uniqueness. The heart does stop for a few seconds as you view these old monster wooden posts, my first impression was of the old wooden Scandinavian gods found in the bogs – strange twisted and shaped… Alien, scary and dark! Imagination can run easily with Tibetan ‘sky burials,’ especially as part of the exhibition houses another upside down tree trunk to make the point that the roots easily cradle a human being.
Lynn Museum can be found to one side of the bus station, so simply head for the train and bus station and park in the car parks round there.
Archaeologists uncover remains of Stortford "henge"
A HENGE – or Prehistoric monument - may have been unearthed on the outskirts of Bishop’s Stortford.
Archaeologists investigating sites earmarked for thousands of new homes on the town’s ASRs – areas of special restraint – believe they could have found a Neolithic earthwork in the form of a ritual enclosure on the site along the A120 bypass.
The land – ASRs 1 to 4 - is the subject of a planning application by the Bishop’s Stortford North Consortium of developers and as part of the scheme, a series of trial trenches have been dug to investigate and evaluate their historic potential.
Similar work is being undertaken on ASR 5, which is the subject of a smaller application by Countryside Properties, close to Hazel End.
A report by the county council’s historic environment unit says: “Although these investigations are still ongoing (some of the trial trenches are visible from the Bishop's Stortford bypass and Farnham and Hazel End Roads), some interesting archaeology has been identified in both prospective development areas.
“Interpretation is tentative at this stage but the Hazel End site, involving trenches on both fields alongside Hazel End Road, has identified the remains of a probable burial mound, of Late Neolithic (c4500-2500BC) or Early Bronze Age date (c2500-1700BC) several ditches, pits and post-holes of probable Bronze Age date, and, in the lower field next to the River Stort, a roughly cobbled surface covered with Late Iron Age and Roman pottery.
“Investigations within the larger area, enclosed by the bypass, have identified an enclosure and ditches of probable Iron Age date (c800-100BC) an enclosure of possible Roman date (further excavation may clarify this) and also another prehistoric burial or possible henge (a ritual enclosure) of late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age date (c3000-1700BC).
“This circular, ditched feature appears to contain several cremation burials in the ditch and it has a central feature that may also be a burial. If so, it is potentially, an important find.”
The finds would have to be excavated in detail and recorded before new homes could be built. Alternatively they could potentially be protected and preserved – barring new construction.
Stonehenge, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, is the country’s most famous henge, but a spokesman for the consortium was clear: “As expected on a site of this size and in this location – on the edge of a historic town – there’s archaeology but not of any particular significance and it would not prevent development occurring on our site.
“As a responsible developer we are responding to the finds by extending some of the trenches to check whether there’s anything else there.
“The finds are of local interest, but the condition is such that do not warrant preservation in situ.”
Chamber of secrets: Historic Scotland launches virtual tour of Maeshowe
It is an excellent video.....
Orkney is world-famous for its spectacular Neolithic archaeology, and now visitors from all over the globe will be able to explore one of its most enigmatic monuments, after a new virtual tour of Maeshowe chambered tomb went live today (29 August).
In a video unveiled yesterday by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the structure of the 5,000 year old monument has been recreated using 3D laser-scans carried out by the Scottish Ten project – a collaboration between Historic Scotland, Glasgow School of Art and CyArk, to document Scotland’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and five international sites using cutting-edge digital technology. This data will be used to help research and conserve the monuments.
Maeshowe is shown at the winter solstice, when the setting sun shines directly down the monument’s entrance tunnel to illuminate its central chamber. Covering every inch of the inner rooms of the tomb, the animation also tours the outside of the mound and reveals how it was constructed in a detailed cut through.
‘Maeshowe has fascinated people for millennia with its incredible structure, having been built even before Egypt’s great pyramids,’ Nicola Sturgeon said. ‘Now, people on the other side of the world can use this new tour to get a better understanding of the ancient and magical history Scotland has on offer.’
She added: ‘This is a special moment for the Scottish Ten project, which will see all five Scottish World Heritage Sites and five international sites digitally recorded using laser-scanning technology. The work will aid in their conservation and the practical data has also allowed the creation of a beautiful vision of Maeshowe at the Winter Solstice, to educate and inspire people to come to see it for themselves, along with the other treasures of Orkney’s Neolithic World Heritage Site.’
Taken from Current Archaeology
Archaeologists find "unprecedented" third prehistoric figurine beneath Links of Notland
Since 2007, excavations to rescue irreplaceable archaeological remains being lost to erosion beneath the Links of Notland on the Orkney Island of Westray have unearthed a fascinating and valuable hoard of Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts.
The latest to emerge from the depths of pre-history is a third hand-carved stone figurine, which joins two similar Bronze Age carved figures found at the site. The first, discovered in 2009, is believed to be the earliest artistic representation of the human form ever found in the British Isles.
All three are now to be displayed at the Westray Heritage Centre, where the public will be able to see for themselves the level of artistry and invention of our prehistoric ancestors and find out more about the Notland settlements and other material uncovered there.
But it is the trio of figurines which is eliciting most excitement. Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop led a visit from the Scottish Cabinet today and described them as an “unprecedented find”.
“The level of artistry, workmanship and skill demonstrated by these and the other finds at Links of Noltland clearly shows that our ancestors of 5000 years ago were a cultured and intelligent community,” added the Minister.
“It also allows us to speculate about what motivated and inspired them – were these used in ritual, what significance did they have and how common were they?
In 2009 an exhibition showing the first figurine, known as the Westray Wifey or Orkney Venus, toured around Scotland and was seen by more than 100,000 people before it returned to the Westray Heritage Centre where it has helped to increase visitor figures.
Excavations at the site which has attracted interest from archaeologists since the 19th century, will resume in September and the public are welcome to visit.
•You can see the figurines and other exhibits at the Westray Heritage Centre, Pierowall ,Westray, KW17 2BZ. Contact 01857 677414 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Taken from Culture24 - Richard Moss
Henge found on North Downs from satellite images
A BBC video on the discovery of this (slightly empty) henge.....
Circular earthworks dating back to the stone age have been discovered on the North Downs in Kent.
The henge was found after satellite images were studied by archaeologists.
The circle is about 50m across and archaeologists said bones discovered in the area suggest it was a religious site.
'No-go zone' imposed around Enniskillen crannog
The environment minister has imposed a "no-go zone" around a historical site which was found during the construction of a new road in County Fermanagh.
Ancient human remains and pottery were unearthed at the site in Enniskillen.
Archaeologists are currently excavating the crannog - a kind of artificial island - and have said that it could date back more than 1,000 years.
The minister, Alex Attwood, has banned construction traffic from passing close to the crannog during excavation work.
The new road will eventually be built on top of the crannog, and the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) has raised concerns about "the apparently imminent destruction" of the historical site.
A period of seven weeks was allocated for archaeologists to examine and record the crannog before the construction goes ahead, but the IfA has warned this may be inadequate.
Mr Attwood visited the area on Monday and described it as "a wonderful site, full of our history and precious archaeology".
He said: "I have requested a report by Wednesday on what further time, staff and resources are needed to fully excavate the crannog.
"As one of the very few to be excavated, I wish to deploy appropriate resources to fully excavate and record this gem of archaeology".
The Roads Service said it was not aware of the existence of the crannog before construction work began.
A spokesman told the BBC they would have attempted to build around, rather than through the site, had they known in advance. They are picking up the bill for the excavation.
Mr Attwood said he would "appoint an independent person or persons to review the full story of this site, including how the current situation developed".
He added: "If the crannog cannot now be saved, I will work to have a maximum excavation and record strategy going forward."
The crannog was originally thought to be 700 years old, but fragments of pottery found at the site date from as far back as the ninth century.
Other finds include arrowheads dating from the Bronze Age, a leather shoe which was preserved in the earth and a fine-toothed comb made from bone.
Found the following verse sometime back and wrote about it, Iolo Morgannwg was obviously an interesting character but fought shy of truthfulness....
As the sun, so shy, speeds on to hide behind the western hills
I stand within this
Ancient circle with its rugged stones
Pointing to the sky
Like the digits on the clock of time -
The time that has refused to move,
As if the keeper of this heather hearth has gone to bed
Remembering not to lift
The fallen weights of Time and Space.
The first verse of one of Iolo Morgannwg’s poem, some would call him a fantasist who created an idea or vision of a Celtic Druidic order in the 18th century.
His first meeting of the bards was on Primrose Hill in London, where he had erected twelve stones called the Great Circle and a central altar stone known as the Maen Llog, this was in 1792. It is said of Iolo that he constructed an “elaborate mystical philosophy which he claimed represented a direct continuation of ancient Druidic practice. His use of laudanum may have contributed to this fabrication, though many of his writings fall between a small truth and a large imaginative myth that he wrote!
In 1795, a gorsedd meeting took place at the Pontypridd Rocking Stone, near Eglwysilam in Glamorgan. This was a huge slab of natural slate stone (the Maen Chwyf), and this stone became a meeting place, though the circles were yet to be put up.
The word gorsedd, which in Welsh means throne, but is also loosely used as a coming together of bards. Julian Cope in his book The Modern Antiquarian says of this rocking stone ‘that it stands high on the ground overlooking the confluence of the two great sacred rivers Rhodda and Taff,’ and that this gorsedd stone must have had great significance in prehistoric times. The stone is surrounded by two circles plus an avenue but the circles are not prehistoric, and it now sits in a pleasant landscape next to a small cottage hospital.
Airman's Cross to move ahead of Stonehenge project
Not mind-blowing news but a start on altering the landscape of Stonehenge.....
By Hannah White.
A memorial at Airman’s Corner is set to be moved into storage on Monday so that the Stonehenge improvement project can begin.
The army’s Royal Engineers, based in Tidworth, are helping English Heritage to move Airman’s Cross, a Grade II listed memorial located in the middle of the junction at Airman’s Corner, into safe storage at Perham Down barracks.
The move comes ahead of work starting on a new Stonehenge visitor centre, which was granted planning permission by Wiltshire Council two years ago.
5,000-year-old Hill of Tara stone vandalised
By Elaine Keogh
A 5,000-year-old standing stone has been vandalised on the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.
The Lia Fáil granite piece, also known as the Stone of Destiny, was apparently damaged with a heavy object, possibly a hammer.
Culture Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the damage to the national monument amounted to a "mindless act of vandalism".
In recent days, it was noticed the stone had been struck with a heavy object and fragments of it had broken off.
Archaeologist Conor Newman, chairman of the Heritage Council, described the attack as "shocking".
The stone is one of the main attractions at the former seat of the High Kings of Ireland.
Legend has it the Stone of Destiny would roar with joy when touched by the rightful king of Tara.
An inspection by an archaeologist with the National Monuments Service has concluded it was struck with a hammer or similar instrument at 11 separate places "on all four faces of the stone".
It appeared the fragments of the stone which were chipped off had been removed as they were not visible nearby.
The National Monuments Service has reported the suspected vandalism to the Garda.
The minister yesterday said: "Vandalism, by definition, is a mindless act.
"The national monuments at Tara, which include this standing stone, are nationally and internationally renowned.
"These monuments are a fundamental part of our shared heritage and history, and I condemn in the strongest terms the damage that has been caused to this monument."
Dr Newman, meanwhile, who also directed the Discovery Programmes work at Tara, said: "This is shocking and it indicates the degree of trust you need when it comes to heritage matters in Ireland, because so many of our sites are out in the open air. They cannot be policed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we rely an enormous amount on the public and visitors to behave appropriately."
The department is looking at ways to increase surveillance at monuments.
The minister urged "all people to respect and appreciate the importance of our national monuments and to keep a watchful eye on any in their locality".
A spokesperson for the Office of Public Works said: "While we cannot be certain about what exactly happened at the stone, it does appear to be an act of wanton vandalism.
"The OPW is saddened by the damage carried out at one of the most important national monuments in the country.
"The OPW would urge all members of the public to respect these important and historic monuments at all times."
Navan-based Superintendent Michael Devine said an investigation was under way.
Free walk to explore prehistoric carvings
Prehistoric carvings will feature in a free guided walk to uncover some of the history of Rombalds Moor.
As part of the Festival of British Archaeology on Sunday, July 22, volunteers from the CSI (Carved Stones Investigation) project will lead the walk to explore the mysterious carved rocks scattered across Rombalds Moor, above Ilkley and will explain how they are making detailed recordings of the stones.
Louise Brown, archaeologist with rural regeneration company, Pennine Prospects, said the walk would explain the project.
“This walk will give people a behind-the-scenes look at how the recording is being done,” she said.
The walk will set off from the Cow and Calf car park, Ilkley, at 10am and will take approximately two hours. Booking is required.
Details of the event can be found on the Watershed Landscape ......
The Make & Break Project moves across Wales!
Love this idea, start them young .............
The ‘Make and Break’ project has spread across Wales! Come and see a school perform at a burial chamber near you this summer!
It will be a chance for the younger generation to imagine what it was like to be a Neolithic tomb builder, re-creating a Neolithic ritual of their own at the site… Join us!
People living during the Neolithic
period around 6000 years ago, are
known to have deliberately broken,
and given away their most treasured
possessions. Join us at a burial
chamber near you to find out
more, and watch as school children
recreate a ritual — performing
their own interpretation of a
Come and watch:
Dyffryn Ardudwy Primary School at
Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chamber, 31 May
Bro Ingli Primary School at Carreg
Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber, 15 June
Kingsland Primary School at Trefignath
Burial Chamber, 21 June
Eglwyswrw Primary School at Pentre
Ifan Burial Chamber, 26 June
All performances at 2pm
Trefael Stone reveals stone age burial chamber
More news though not necessarily new, the BBC article has a good couple of photos though.
Archaeologists are to exhume and analyse human bones found under a prehistoric monument only recently identified as a burial site cap.
The Trefael Stone in Pembrokeshire was thought to be just one of many linked to nearby Bronze Age locations.
But it has now been reclassified after a survey established it as the capstone of a Stone Age ritual burial chamber.
The survey revealed the location, near Nevern, has been used for ritual burials for at least 5,500 years.
An archaeological team from the University of Bristol has been given permission to examine the human bones found there along with beads and shards of pottery.
The importance of the stone has been overlooked since it first appeared on maps in 1889.
The first suggestion it may be more significant than one of Wales' many prehistoric standing stones was in 1972 when archaeologist Frances Lynch suggested it could be a dolmen, or burial chamber.
University of Bristol visiting fellow Dr George Nash and colleagues Thomas Wellicome and Adam Stanford held an excavation in September 2010 and returned again last year.
As well as unearthing the human remains, beads and pottery, they found a stone cist - a half-metre long coffin-like container - which they estimate was put there in the later Bronze Age.
The find indicates the site may have been reused as a burial location long after the original stone chamber was built.
Their findings suggest it may prove to be Wales' earliest Neolithic ritual burial location and one of the earliest in Western Europe.
Dr Nash said he knew of Lynch's 1972 comment on the stone, and that no geophysical survey or excavation had been carried out.
He said: "I've always had this hunch that it could be much bigger. It's extremely exciting. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime finds."
The stone is already noted for a number cupmarks or circular holes gouged out during its ritual use in the Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonies.
The archaeologists found a further 30 cupmarks of varying size on the 1.2m high stone.
Dr Nash said they were able to establish the site was stone burial chamber, built from giant boulders, going back to around 3,500 BC, which was then dismantled about 2,000 BC.
The capstone was then used as a procession marker standing stone pointing to nearby Bronze Age locations he said.
The beads suggest the location may be associated with burials long before even the burial chamber was built, as they may relate to a nearby Mesolithic site dating back 10,000 years, he said.
Dr Nash said the team were amazed that any artefacts were found at the site given the acidic nature of the soil, centuries of agriculture and the area's popularity over the generations with people seeking to unearth ancient treasures.
Dr Nash said: "The soils around this site are very acidic, so I'm astonished how the pottery and the bones have survived all this time.
"It's a big problem in Wales because of a lot of sites have in excavated by antiquarians who have just dug a hole looking for goodies, then taken what they want but have wrecked the site.
"What we have found is extremely rare."
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has updated its records on the basis of Dr Nash's work.
Dr Nash said the Ministry of Justice had since licensed the team to remove the bones for analysis, including radiocarbon dating, when they return to the site in September.
Older than Giza – ancient burial chamber revealed
There is a digital photo on line....
EVEN 5000 years ago, Britons were an understated bunch. About 250 years before work began on Egypt's ostentatious Great Pyramid of Giza, the early settlers of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, were building impressive stone chambers of their own - and burying them under mounds of dirt. Now, intensive laser scanning makes it possible to virtually peel away the mud, revealing one of those chambers in all its glory.
This is Maeshowe, a 3.8-metre-tall tomb chamber reached via a narrow passage 11 metres long. Maeshowe is one of several Neolithic monuments that comprise the Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was scanned by a team from the Glasgow School of Art's Digital Design Studio and the government agency Historic Scotland. The team is scanning 10 World Heritage Sites, five of which are in Scotland, for the Scottish Ten project. "We scanned Mount Rushmore [National Memorial] in the US in 2010," says Lyn Wilson of Historic Scotland.
All the sites are tourist attractions, which can make conserving them a challenge. The scans, accurate to within 6 millimetres, will form an invaluable record to monitor future wear and tear.
Not all damage made by visitors is unwelcome, though. A thousand years ago, Orkney was under Norwegian rule and Maeshowe was plundered. The robbers left behind the largest collection of runes known outside Scandinavia, carved into the stone. These, too, have been laser-scanned in sub-millimetre detail. That's pretty impressive for 1000-year-old graffiti
New Pilhough Quarry extension blocked in Peak District
A quarrying company has been refused permission to extend one of its sites in the Peak District in Derbyshire.
New Pilhough Quarry, near Stanton-in-Peak, which covers 14.5 acres (six hectares), would have been increased by more than two acres (one hectare).
Owners Blockstone Ltd offered to exchange its rights to another quarry, on an Iron Age archaeological site.
The Peak District National Park Authority said the extra stone being proposed for extraction was too high.
If the plans had gone ahead it would have enabled the company to extract a further 146,970 tonnes of sandstone by 2022, said the authority.
It added that permission to extend New Pilhough Quarry was not a fair exchange for Stanton Moor Quarry, where 67,500 tonnes of stone could potentially be extracted.
John Herbert, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's planning committee, said it had been a difficult decision because of what was at stake.
"On one hand we have Stanton Moor, which is one of the crown jewels of the Peak District National Park," he said.
"We have a long-standing commitment to do everything possible to prevent quarrying from ever happening there [Stanton Moor] again and local communities strongly support that stance too.
"We felt the exchange in quarrying permissions being offered by the company was not sufficient to justify going against our planning policies."
The land around Stanton Moor also includes Bronze Age remains, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and wildlife habitats.
Andrew Gregory, director of Blockstone Ltd, said the company was considering its options and had not yet decided whether to appeal against the Peak District's decision, or resubmit its application.
He added that while Blockstone does not need to quarry at its Stanton Moor site at present, it may have to in the future if reserves run out at its other quarries.
The Peak District National Park Authority said quarrying permission at Stanton Moor was currently in suspension, but it could apply to reactivate it by submitting the environmental information needed with an agreement to work to modern standards.
Bookies causes a flutter with White Horse jockey stunt
Putting this up as news though the stunt has now vanished.....
A 3,000-YEAR-OLD hill carving of a horse now has a JOCKEY thanks to bookies Paddy Power.
Locals woke up to find the rider had been secretly added overnight to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire to promote next week's Cheltenham Festival.
The 110ft tall and 200ft wide temporary installation was pinned to the ground with tent pegs five feet from the original chalk marking to avoid causing damage.
The stunt is part of Paddy Power's We Hear You campaign.
And the firm now hopes the Uffington Rider will become a site of pilgrimage for racing fans from all over the UK in the run-up to the festival.
A spokesman said: "Funnily enough, the idea for our Uffington Rider came from a tweet from one of our customers.
"He was responding to our We Hear You campaign asking if we had any mischief planned for Cheltenham in the wake of our giant Hollywood sign a few years ago.
"We simply couldn't resist the challenge and needed to come up with something spectacular to measure up to the giant sign. I think we've achieved this."
Paddy Power has made a donation to the National Trust, which maintains the Uffington White Horse.
Note; a spokesman for the National Trust says....
"This has been done without the knowledge of the National Trust and, as far as we can tell, without any Scheduled Monument Consent."
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