Friday, 15 September 2017

The grave of the Amesbury Archer found near Stonehenge is one of the most important discoveries in Europe.

The Amesbury Archer. Late Neolithic, 2400–2200BC

Found near Stonehenge, the burial is over 4000 years old. It is one of the earliest bell beaker graves in Britain. The archer was 35–45 years old when he died and placed in a wooden chamber beneath a low mound. His left kneecap was missing which would have caused him to have a bad limp. Isotope analyses of his teeth show that he grew up outside Britain, probably near the Alps

His grave contained an unusually large number and variety of objects. They include five beaker pots, 18 arrowheads, two bracers (archer’s wristguards), four boars’ tusks, 122 flint tools, three copper knives, a pair of gold hair ornaments, and a cushion stone. The gold and copper metal objects are currently the oldest found in Britain. 

Many of the other finds have strong continental links. Although he was buried with archery equipment the presence of the cushion stone suggests he was a metalworker.
Metalworking was a new skill and he may have brought this technique with him to Britain. This knowledge could have made him a powerful man explaining his wealthy burial. In continental Europe metalworkers’ burials were often very elaborate.

If you are visting Stonehenge make sure you take time to visit nearby Salisbury Museum

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Boost in Stonehenge visitor numbers

More people than ever before are visiting Stonehenge it seems - making it one of the country's biggest tourist attractions.

1,381,855 people visited our stone circle during 2016, which is up 1.1% on the previous year.
That makes it the 7th most visited paid for attraction in the UK, with more tourists than places like London Zoo, the Eden Project and the Houses of Parliament.

The rundown's been released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Visit Britain.
When taking all the free of charge places into account as well, Stonehenge is ranked 22nd on the list.

Read the full story at Spire FM

Visit Stonehenge this summer for a great day out!

The Stonehenge Tourist Guide

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The more archaeologists study Stonehenge, the more mysteries unfold

Stonehenge is one the UK’s most visited tourist attractions – and one of the world’s most enigmatic ancient monuments. People come from all over the world to stare at the iconic stone pillars and wonder how, and why, they were put in place.
Stonehenge wasn't the only significant monument in the region

The site may be instantly recognisable, but there is far more to it than first meets the eye. As archaeologists study this area, mystery after mystery unfolds. But a coherent story may be beginning to emerge.

That has been particularly true over the last decade. Researchers have been studying not just the monument itself, but the area around it, hoping to find clues in this intriguing landscape of prehistoric monuments.
Underground imaging and excavation have revealed that Stonehenge was once part of a complicated network of structures: ancient burial mounds, unknown settlements, processional routes and even gold-adorned burials. The finds paint a picture of a far more mysterious and elaborate Neolithic and Bronze Age world than previously thought.
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One such project that looked at Stonehenge in this holistic way was the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, which ran from 2010 to 2014. Underground radar and magnetic imaging techniques revealed that Stonehenge lies at the centre of a complex web of structures covering an estimated 4.5 square miles (12 sq km). The project caused a media frenzy in 2015, when scientists announced the finding of a potential ‘Superhenge’ at nearby Durrington Walls – a huge 500m (1,640ft) diameter stone circle.

However, this frenzy was short-lived. When excavating the site, the archaeologists didn’t find any stones. Instead, they found that timber posts once stood here. After they were removed, the holes were filled with chalk and then covered in earth to form a henge bank. On radar scans, the gaps in the loose chalk had looked like stones.

This story is a part of BBC Britain – a series focused on exploring this extraordinary island, one story at a time. See every BBC Britain story by heading to the Britain hompage

Read the full story (source) on the BBC website

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