Appeal under way to save Iron Age treasure for Dorset
The Dorset County Museum is asking for help to raise £23,000 to buy the Chesil Mirror, found by a metal detectorist near Abbotsbury in 2010.
The copper alloy mirror is characteristic of the late Iron Age and is similar to the Portesham Mirror that is already part of the Dorchester museum's collection.
Fewer than 30 mirrors of the type have been found in the UK.
The Chesil Mirror was among the grave goods in a burial dating to the time of the Roman conquest between Abbotsbury and Chickerell.
The grave goods included two brooches, an armlet, copper tweezers, coins and several glass beads.
The collection was declared treasure last year and the Secretary of State set its value at £23,000.
An appeal was started among museum members earlier this year but this week sees the start of a major campaign to raise the sum.
Museum director Jon Murden said: "This mirror is very important to us because it is closely connected with the one we acquired in 1994 and is decorated in a similar way.
"These rare and fascinating objects are significant because they tell us so much about power and wealth in iron Age Dorset.
"We hope this appeal will encourage local people to support us so that we can buy the mirror and give it pride of place in our Archaeology Gallery."
The museum is planning a series of fundraising events and will be applying for various funds and grants to help with the purchase.
An appeal fund has been set up and people can donate by cheque payable to DNHAS to the Chesil Mirror Appeal, Dorset County Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, DT1 1XA.
Fundraising events include a lecture on 30th November by Professor Andrew Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology. He will talk about the significance of the Chesil Mirror and explain how it fits into our wider understanding of Iron Age Dorset.
Fences removed from Badbury Rings.
The national trust have removed the fences from around Badbury Rings to restore the natural downlands.
This offers a fantastic opportunity to see the site in a less obviously managed way, and completely opens up the landscape.
Over the next year until October 2011 the national trust will be monitoring the effect on grasses and wildlife from the removal of the fences.
Derbyshire Iron Age bones were of pregnant woman
Tests carried out on a skeleton discovered at an archaeological dig in Derbyshire have found it was that of a pregnant woman.
Experts said they were surprised by the female find because the site, near Monsal Dale in the Peak District, had been believed to be a military scene.
Now, extra lottery funding means there can be a second dig at the Fin Cop hill fort site to find out more.
Archaeologists unearthed the Iron Age skeleton last August.
During the excavation, the woman was uncovered among the jumbled stone of a collapsed rampart.
More here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/8691348.stm
Dowsers find stone from ancient temple
Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo
Date Published: Friday 10 June 2005
AN ancient standing stone from a lost sun temple has been unearthed by dowsers in east Dorset.
Students on a local dowsing course discovered the hidden Bronze Age relic at Knowlton Henge, two miles south of Cranborne.
Experts believe it is one of the most exciting finds in the region for years.
And, intriguingly, the dowsers pinpointed the ancient flat stone after spotting an energy line on a photo of the area.
"It's a very significant find," said Paul Craddock, chairman of Wessex Dowsers and a local dowsing tutor.
"Where the stone was discovered, we believe there may have an avenue of stones. We also think there is a second stone close by, buried upright in the ground."
Dating as far back as 4,000BC, the large slab is thought to have been part of the stone circles of a pagan sun temple.
It is widely believed the henge was either knocked down or broken up when the now ruined 12th century Norman Knowlton Church was built on the same spot.
It was common practice for early Christians to take over the older pagan sites, as local people were used to worshipping at the sacred circles.
Some of the stones are thought to have been used in the church's foundations, and may also form part of the altar.
Dowsing expert Paul Craddock, from Parkstone, first suspected an energy line running in the area near the stone after a "ghost" line appeared on three photographs taken by a friend's son.
He runs courses on dowsing and decided to take his students up to the site to practise some of their dowsing techniques.
One tracked the energy line directly to the stone, which was lying hidden under thick weeds.
Dorset ancient stone expert and author Peter Knight has now examined the megalith and says he is "very excited" about the find, and keen to notify local archaeologists.
Paul was delighted with the success of his dowsing students.
"Most people know dowsing as a means of finding water with a twig, but it can also be used for archaeological searches, building site surveys, tracing lost objects, and much more," he said.
Government departments and public utilities both here and abroad discreetly make use of the techniques, as dowsers are far cheaper than ordering full site surveys.
During the Vietnam War in the 1970s, US soldiers were taught dowsing to locate hidden Viet Cong tunnels.
It can also be used in healing, said Paul, with many doctors in Germany, Austria and France using dowsers in their health care programs.
And he says interest in dowsing is on the rise locally, with more students signing up for courses in techniques using rods and pendulums.
For more details, call Paul at Wessex Dowsers on 01202 733452.
First published: June 10