Saturday, 31 January 2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Archaeology from Bronze Age Stonehenge country helps experts building huge record of prehistoric objects

Daggers, pins and more from Bronze Age Wiltshire to be recreated in project based on centuries of archaeology

© David Buchach / University of Birmingham
Archaeologists working on the Micropasts public archaeology project hope to use a set of drawings and notes relating to artefacts from Wiltshire to create 3D models of some of the finest Bronze Age objects ever found in Britain.

Jennifer Wexler, of the British Museum, where the Bronze Age Index set of cards is held, has examined more than 100 casual finds, lost items and objects from some of the famous barrow cemeteries on Salisbury Plain among the collection, providing detailed descriptions of antiquarian metalwork finds from the past two centuries

“In the process of digitising the index we have come across a small collection of cards recording artefacts in the Wiltshire Museum,” she says.

“These cards illustrate bronze objects found largely during 18th and 19th century antiquarian investigations of various barrow groups in the regions surrounding the monumental landscapes of Stonehenge and Avebury.

“These include some of the famous barrow cemeteries found in Salisbury Plain, such as the Lake Down Group, Normanton Group bush barrow and Amesbury Curses.”

Researchers hope to recreate a rare crutch-headed bronze pin from the little-known Durrington site of Silk Hill, found with a skeleton and dated to between 2020 and 1770 BC.

“We’ve got some of the best Bronze Age artefacts in the country here at Devizes, but Micropasts is interesting because it will benefit wider scholarship on the subject and people will be able to do some amazing things with the data,” predicts David Dawson, of the Wiltshire Museum.

“We are really looking forward to working with the project in the future to create some 3-D models of the objects. They have already done some work in this area, which I think is very exciting.”

The collection from the area is already digitised at the museum.

“We are planning to connect to new research and developments in British archaeology as we continue to expand our research into the Index,” says Wexler.

“This information will eventually be integrated into the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, making it one of the largest records of prehistoric objects in the UK and the world.”

Full story in Culture24:

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Monday, 12 January 2015

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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Pre-Stonehenge discovery could re-write British history

Archaeologist have discovered an ancient encampment that could rewrite British history.
Near the site of Stonehenge, the discovery dates back 1,000 years before the famous stones – contradicting previous beliefs that the area was previously uninhabited.
A relatively new construction (Picture: Getty Images)

The discovery by the University of Buckingham included animal bones, flint tools, and charcoal samples according to Science Alert.
The charcoal has been dated to 4,000 BC – Stonehenge is believed to have been constructed between 3,000 and 1,500 BC.
The discovery was made at Blick Mead – around one and a half miles away from Stonehenge.
David Jaques said: ‘British pre-history may have to be rewritten. This is the latest-dated Mesolithic encampment ever found in the UK.

‘Blick Mead site connects the early hunter gatherer groups returning to Britain after the Ice Age to the Stonehenge area all the way through to the Neolithic in the late 5th Millennium BC.’
The find would suggest that people were settled in the UK when it was still connected to Europe.
One issue that has been raised is the prospect of building a huge tunnel near Stonehenge that could destroy any evidence.
Mike Heyworth, Director of the Council for British Archaeology told the Guardian that it ‘would have major implications for the archaeology.’
Mr Jacques added: ‘Our only chance to find out about the earliest chapter of Britain’s history could be wrecked if the tunnel goes ahead.’

Article Metro:

Friday, 2 January 2015

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