Heaven and Earth Stonehenge Access Tour

18 11 2014

A special early evening bookable tour, learning about the stars and planetary movements and how early man may have utilised them. Over 12’s only, under 16’s to be accompanied by an adult.

stonehenge-stars1This event is next Saturday (to include a special access visit to the stones), all about the stars and planetary movements and how early man may have utilised them.

Each person is required to bring a torch.

How to Book: Call the English Heritage customer services team to book : 0870 3331183

November 22nd is also the ‘New Moon: In astronomy, new moon is the first phase of the Moon, when it orbits closest to the Sun in the sky as seen from the Earth. More precisely, it is the instant when the Moon and the Sun have the same ecliptical longitude. The Moon is not always visible at this time except when it is seen in silhouette during a solar eclipse or illuminated by earthshine. See the article on phases of the Moon for further details

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge Winter Solstice Open Access 2014

15 11 2014

English Heritage will once again welcome people to Stonehenge to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Sunrise is just after 8am on Monday 22nd December and visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Conditions of entry will be posted shortly.

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Please be aware that parking is very limited and there is a thirty minute walk, in low light, from the parking areas to the monument.

Why 22nd December?

Many people – not least diary manufacturers – believe that the Winter Solstice always falls on 21st December. But the celebration of the winter solstice at Stonehenge is not fixed to a specific calendar date – this is because of a mismatch between the calendar year and solar year. (The actual time of the Winter Solstice this year is on December 21st at 23:03 GMT)

The solstice is traditionally celebrated at the sunrise closest to the time when the sun is stationary before beginning its transit to the north or south. This year this occurs late on 21 December, hence the winter solstice celebrations take place at sunrise on 22nd December.

Conditions of entry

Further information and the conditions of entry for the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge will be posted here a month in advance of 22nd December.**

Do not climb or stand on any of the stones – this includes the stones that have fallen. This is in the interest of personal safety, the protection of this special site and respect for those attending. As well as putting the stones themselves at risk,
climbing on them can damage the delicate lichens.

If do not have your own transport and are travelling from London then Solstice UK Events are offering their usual transport option with an expert guide.

**Stonehenge is a world renowned historic Monument and seen by many as a sacred site – please respect it and please respect each other!

The new Stonehenge visitor centre is well worth a visit and opens at 9.30am. Visit the English Heritage website
Directions to Stonehenge
Download the free English Heritage Stonehenge Audio Guide here
English Heritage Winter Solstice Link

Merlin at Stonehenge
Follow Twitter@st0nehenge for Solstice updates
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge: The mystery of moving the trilithons

14 11 2014

Originally posted on The Heritage Trust:

 
One of the Stonehenge trilithons (right) still showing its tenon (top)
©
The Heritage Trust
 
Another attempt is to be made next year to solve the mystery of how the largest stones used to build Stonehenge were moved reports BBC News Witshire -
 
In 1996, a BBC TV programme aimed to find out how the stones for the largest trilithon were put into place, and how the lintel was placed on top. Since then the concrete replicas have remained untouched and forgotten about at an army base on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. They have now been rediscovered and the experiment will be repeated.
 
Archaeologist Julian Richards is teaming up with farmer Tim Daw to see if modern techniques are any more efficient.
 
More here.
    

View original





Stonehenge experiment to be repeated with ‘lost’ stones

14 11 2014

Another attempt is to be made to solve the mystery of how the largest stones used to build Stonehenge were moved.

The experiment was first carried out in a BBC documentary in 1996

The experiment was first carried out in a BBC documentary in 1996

In 1996, a BBC TV programme aimed to find out how the stones for the largest trilithon were put into place, and how the lintel was placed on top.

Since then the concrete replicas have remained untouched and forgotten about at an army base on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

They have now been rediscovered and the experiment will be repeated.

Archaeologist Julian Richards is teaming up with farmer Tim Daw see if modern techniques are any more efficient.

Mr Daw, who farms at All Cannings, near Devizes, and who created the first “Neolithic” long barrow to be built in the UK for 5,500 years, also works part-time at Stonehenge.

He said one of the most popular questions asked by visitors is ‘how were the giant stones moved?’.

“When Julian Richards mentioned there was a life-sized replica of the largest stones at Stonehenge that were looking for a home that we could do some experiments on I said ‘let’s do it’.”

The 45-tonne replicas were used in the BBC documentary Secrets of Lost Empires: Stonehenge, which was broadcast in 1996.

They have remained at Larkhill Camp, about a mile from Stonehenge ever since.

The experiment was partially successful, but now new theories have emerged about how the stones may have been moved.

“The first thing is to collect the stones from Salisbury Plain where they have been languishing for the past 20 years and get them back to my farm,” said Mr Daw.

“Hopefully next year we’ll get some teams of people [to take part in the experiment]”

Mr Daw said different theories had now emerged about how the huge stones could have been moved.

“The experts certainly think they know more. Whether they actually do know more is an interesting question.

“Without trying all the wonderful ideas of how you do it Neolithic style, just using man power – no wheels, no draught animals, no machinery – we can’t tell what is practical and what is just fantasy.”

It is hoped the result of the experiment will be turned into another television programme to air next year.

Full story: BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-30041330

Merlin at Stonehenge
Stonehenge News Blog





Step back in time at Stonehenge this winter

14 11 2014

Visitors to Stonehenge are being invited to step through the doorways of its Neolithic houses and into prehistory this winter as expert-led events and demonstrations are offered for the first time.#

Full programme of events and demonstrations:

Making Musical instruments

Sat 15 – Sun 16 Nov & Sat 24 – Sun 25 Jan, 10am–4pm

See Corwen Broch as he creates instruments from natural materials and demonstrates the sounds

of the Neolithic period.

Prehistoric Pottery

Sat 22 – Sun 23 Nov and Sat 20 – Sun 21 Dec, 10am–4pm

Using a handling collection of replica pots, tools and artefacts, Graham Taylor will show you how to make your own pottery tool kit, decorate replica pots as well as how to fire them using authentic prehistoric methods.

Fire & Life

Sat 6 – Sun 7 Dec, Sat 10 – Sun 11 Jan and Sat 14 – Sun 15 Feb, 10am–4pm

Guy Hagg demonstrates all things essential to Neolithic life, from fire lighting, game preparation using flint tools, early cooking methods to making weapons, bone and antler tools and the everyday utensils used at this time.

Flint Knapping

Sat 8 – Sun 9 Nov, Sat 13 – Sun 14 Dec, Sat 17 – Sun 18 Jan and Sat 21 – Sun 22 Feb,  10am–4pm

Join expert Karl Lee, as he demonstrates how Neolithic flint tools were produced using authentic techniques and tools. See a Flint Knapper at work in the setting of Stonehenge’s Neolithic houses.

Basket Weaving

Sat 29 – Sun 30 Nov, 10am–4pm

Kim Creswell makes baskets using the primitive flint tools of the Neolithic age. See her work raw materials found in the landscape into a working basket in just one day.

Heaven & Earth

Sat 22 Nov, Sat 13 Dec, Sat 24 Jan and Sat 21 Feb, 5–6.30pm

Book onto one of these special evening tours learning about the stars and planetary movements and how early man may have utilised them. Over 12s only. Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult.  Booking required.*

Textile Demonstrations

Sat 31 Jan – Sun 1 Feb, Sat 28 Feb – Sun 1 Mar, 10am–4pm

Sally and Gareth Pointer will work with a variety of natural fabric crafts over these weekends including cord making, twining, looped weaving, netting and leatherwork. See bone and antler worked and discover how materials were used in the Neolithic period.

Secrets  of the Stones

Mon 16 – Fri 20 Feb, 10.30am–4.30pm

Bring the family this half-term to uncover the ancient past of these mysterious stones as we explore the history of their role in the lives of ancient man.

Bronze Casting

Sat 3 – Sun 4, Jan and Sat 7 – Sun 8 Feb, 10am–4pm

Watch demonstrations by Neil Burridge of the amazing Bronze Age casting, which helped primitive man to develop.

The Stone Age is being brought to life through a fascinating range of weekend demonstrations from the people who made the replica objects on display in the houses and the exhibition.

Visitors will understand how Neolithic people turned stones into essential every day tools and other natural materials into pots, musical instruments, clothes and baskets.

Watch Bronze Age casting and book onto our very special Heaven and Earth tours which will introduce you to the stars and how they were also essential tools of the Neolithic people living in and using the Stonehenge landscape.

Join Corwen Broch, musician and instrument maker, will create instruments from natural materials and demonstrates the sounds of the Neolithic.

And expert flint knapper Karl Lee will demonstrate how Neolithic flint tools were produced using authentic techniques and tools.

Get hands on with Neolithic pots as Graham Taylor uses a handling collection of replica pots, tools and artefacts to show you how to make your own pottery tool kit, decorate replica pots as well as how to fire them using authentic prehistoric methods.

Many of the replica pots you see in the Stonehenge visitor centre and Neolithic houses are made by Graham.

He says: “Pottery is one of the commonest finds from Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. There is far more to this prehistoric technology than meets the eye – the craftspeople who created the pottery of the Stonehenge landscape had a deep understanding of their materials and processes.

“The pots themselves formed part of the everyday lives of the people who made and used them.”

Guy Hagg, one of the volunteers who helped build the Neolithic Houses and also works as a house interpreter, will be demonstrating the essentials of Neolithic life, from fire lighting, game preparation using flint tools, early cooking methods to making weapons, bone and antler tools and the everyday utensils used at this time.

Many of the replica pots you see in the Stonehenge visitor centre and Neolithic houses are made by Graham.

He says: “Pottery is one of the commonest finds from Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. There is far more to this prehistoric technology than meets the eye – the craftspeople who created the pottery of the Stonehenge landscape had a deep understanding of their materials and processes.

“The pots themselves formed part of the everyday lives of the people who made and used them.”

Guy Hagg, one of the volunteers who helped build the Neolithic Houses and also works as a house interpreter, will be demonstrating the essentials of Neolithic life, from fire lighting, game preparation using flint tools, early cooking methods to making weapons, bone and antler tools and the everyday utensils used at this time.

Kim Creswell will be making baskets using the primitive flint tools of the Neolithic age. See her turn raw materials found in the landscape into a working basket in just one day.

At textile demonstrations, in January and February, Sally and Gareth Pointer will work with a variety of natural fabric crafts over these weekends including cord making, twining, looped weaving, netting and leatherwork. See bone and antler worked and discover how materials were used in the Neolithic period.

Watch Neil Burridge reveal the secrets of Bronze Age casting – a huge step forward in the development of primitive societies.

The ancient past of the mysterious stones will be explored with families in February half-term as we look at the history of their role in the lives of ancient man.

The Neolithic houses were built by volunteers and are based on the excavations of domestic dwellings found at nearby Durrington Walls during excavations in 2007. It has been suggested that the original structures may have been the houses of the Neolithic people who built and used Stonehenge.

During the winter, Stonehenge is open from 9.30am-5pm with last admissions at 3pm. All weekend demonstrations run between 10am and 4pm.

Article source:

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog

 





Pre-history may have to be re-written due to groundbreaking finds by Stonehenge team

2 11 2014

Pre-history may have to be re-written following a recent dig by university students near Stonehenge.

Senior research fellow David Jacques

Senior research fellow David Jacques

Signs of human habitation 8,000 years ago have been discovered by Archaeology MA students from the University of Buckingham, led by senior research fellow David Jacques.

Mr Jacques said: “This year we’ve found burnt flint – a sign that people had made fires, so were in the area, around 8,000 years ago.

“The finds will have to be carbon-dated to get a precise date.

“It’s been wonderful that the first ever University of Buckingham archaeology students have unearthed mesolithic tools as part of the team of volunteers at the dig.”

The archaeologist, who is leading the new Archaeology MA course at the university, has just completed a two-week dig at Vespasian’s Camp, a mile from Stonehenge, at which MA students and University of Buckingham staff worked as volunteers, sifting through remains.

A number of ancient flint tools were among the finds.

More than 12,000 items from the mesolithic era (8000 – 3500BC) have been uncovered, including hunting tools, the cooked bones of aurochs – a gigantic cow-like animal – deer, wild boar, and even toads’ legs.

The finds have revealed that the site was in use continually for over 3,000 years, and could even be the reason why Stonehenge is where it is.

Mr Jacques suspects the site will contain evidence of settlements, which would be some of the earliest ever found in the UK and would completely change our understanding of this era.

Mr Jacques appeared on TV this year in BBC 1’s Operation Stonehenge and BBC 4’s The Flying Archaeologist.

And the MA students working alongside him at the dig a fortnight ago found themselves being filmed for a forthcoming episode of Horizon.

Digs at the site over the last few years have already yielded a staggering 32,000 artefacts dating from as far back as 7500BC.

Last year, the dig resulted in 8,000-year-old burnt frogs’ legs being found, revealing the delicacy was originally English and not French.

Earlier this year, carbon dating of finds from the dig led to the revelation that Amesbury is the oldest town in the country.

A previous public lecture by Mr Jacques at the university drew a packed audience.

Following the latest dig, Mr Jacques is returning to deliver another public lecture on Thursday, November 13.

The free event will take place at 6.30pm, in the Chandos Road Building, as part of the university’s autumn concert and lecture series.

In the lecture, Mr Jacques will unveil startling new evidence showing how the mesolithic period influenced the building of Stonehenge.

The lecture will focus on the area around the dig, Blick Mead, which features a natural spring, which would have attracted settlers to the area.

The warm spring water has caused stones to turn a bright puce, a colour of stone not found elsewhere in the UK.

David Jacques was elected a Fellow of the Society of the Antiquaries (FSA) in recognition of the importance of his discoveries there.
Link Source:

Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge new theory: music to their ears.

30 10 2014

A new theory has been put forward for why Stonehenge was created. Steven Waller, an American researcher, believes that its primary purposes was not visual, but aural: along with Neolithic cave paintings, it was designed for its acoustic properties, in this case the interference the stones would cause to the volume of the music.

Steven Waller, an American researcher, believes that Stonehenge's primary purpose was not visual, but aural: that it was designed for its acoustic properties Photo: Alamy

Steven Waller, an American researcher, believes that Stonehenge’s primary purpose was not visual, but aural: that it was designed for its acoustic properties Photo: Alamy

We have another theory, however. It is that Stonehenge was in fact built by ancient practical jokers, for no better reason than to drive future experts to distraction. One can picture them giggling to themselves as they laid false trails, safe in the knowledge that they would provide fodder for endless wild hypotheses about their true motives. Granted, it seems like a lot of bother to go to. But the fact that we are still trying to solve their riddles, thousands of years later, suggests it was worth the effort.

By : Link Source

The Stonehenge News Blog
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