Hidden dimension of Stonehenge revealed

8 12 2011

A project directed by academics at the University of Sheffield has made the archaeology of the world-famous Stonehenge site more accessible than ever before.

StonehengeGoogle Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is the first application of its kind to transport users around a virtual prehistoric landscape, exploring the magnificent and internationally important monument, Stonehenge.

The application used data gathered from the University of Sheffield´s Stonehenge Riverside Project in conjunction with colleagues from the universities of Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London. The application was developed by Bournemouth University archaeologists, adding layers of archaeological information to Google Earth to create Google Under-the-Earth.

The unique visual experience lets users interact with the past like never before. Highlights include taking a visit to the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls and a trip inside a prehistoric house. Users also have the opportunity to see reconstructions of Bluestonehenge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue and the great timber monument called the Southern Circle, as they would have looked more than 4,000 years ago.

The project is funded through Google Research Awards, a program which fosters relationships between Google and the academic world as part of Google’s ambition to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Professor Mike Parker-Pearson from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology said: “Google Under Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is part of a much wider project led by myself and colleagues at other universities – the Stonehenge Riverside Project – which began in 2003. This new Google application is exciting because it will allow people around the world to explore some of the fascinating discoveries we’ve made in and around Stonehenge over the past few years.”

Archaeological scientist Dr Kate Welham, project leader at Bournemouth University, explained that the project could also be the start of something much bigger:

“It is envisaged that Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge could be the start of a new layer in Google Earth. Many of the world’s great archaeological sites could be added, incorporating details of centuries’ worth of excavations as well as technical data from geophysical and remote sensing surveys in the last 20 years.” she said.

Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist at Stonehenge said: “The National Trust cares for over 2,000 acres of the Stonehenge Landscape. Seeing Beneath Stonehenge offers exciting and innovative ways for people to explore that landscape. It will allow people across the globe, many of whom may never otherwise have the chance to visit the sites, to share in the thrill of the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Riverside team and to appreciate the remarkable achievements of the people who built and used the monuments.”

You can download the application from the Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge site. The tool is easy to use and requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer.

Notes for Editors:
Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge was created at Bournemouth University by Dr Kate Welham, Mark Dover, Harry Manley and Lawrence Shaw. It is jointly directed by Dr Kate Welham and Professor Mike Parker Pearson at the University of Sheffield.

To find out more about the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology, visit: Department of Archaeology

The Stonehenge Riverside Project was a joint collaboration between Universities of Bournemouth, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield and University College London. It was led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield, and co-directed by Professor Julian Thomas, University of Manchester, Dr Joshua Pollard, University of Southampton (formally University of Bristol), Dr Colin Richards, University of Manchester, Dr Chris Tilley, University College London and Dr Kate Welham, Bournemouth University.

This project has been supported by: The Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Royal Archaeological Institute, the Society of Antiquaries, the Prehistoric Society, the McDonald Institute, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Andante Travel, University of Sheffield Enterprise Scheme, the British Academy, the National Geographic Society, with financial support from English Heritage and the National Trust for outreach. The project was awarded the Bob Smith Prize in 2004 and the Current Archaeology Research Project of the Year award for Bluestonehenge in 2010.
Links: www.shef.ac.uk/

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merln says: The tool is easy to use and requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer.

Melin @ Stonehenge Stone Cirle
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Stonehenge: Up Close 12th December 2011

4 12 2011

Stonehenge access guided tourGain a rare and fascinating insight into the famous World Heritage Site with an exclusive tour around the site led by one of English Heritage’s experts. Start the tour with exclusive early morning access to the stone circle at Stonehenge accompanied by our expert. Visit key archaeology sites including Durrington Walls, Woodhenge and The Cursus and learn more about the archaeological landscape and investigative work that has gone on in recent years. Includes tea and coffee.

MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE EVENT

How to Book

Purchase your tickets today by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm). Please note: Booking tickets for this event is essential as places are limited 

Prices

Ticket price includes entry to event site only

TYPE PRICE
Member (Adult) £30.00
 
Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/stonehenge-up-close-s-12-dec/

Durrington Walls – is the site of a large Neolithic settlement and later henge enclosure. It is 2 miles north-east of Stonehenge. Recent excavation at Durrington Walls, support an estimate of a community of several thousand, thought to be the largest one of its age in north-west Europe. At 500m in diameter, the henge is the largest in Britain and recent evidence suggests that it was a complementary monument to Stonehenge

Woodhenge – Neolithic monument, dating from about 2300 BC, six concentric rings, once possibly supported a ring-shaped building.

Stonehenge Cursus –  (sometimes known as the Greater Cursus) is a large Neolithic cursus monument next to Stonehenge. It is roughly 3km long and between 100 and 150m wide. Excavations by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2007 dated the construction of the earthwork to between 3630 and 3375 BC. This makes the monument several hundred years older than the earliest phase of Stonehenge in 3000 BC.

Bronze Age round barrows – The Stonehenge UNESCO world heritage site is said to contain the most concentrated collection of prehistoric sites and monuments in the world. One monument type missed by the casual observer is that of the Bronze Age round barrow (burial mounds). As we walk through this landscape, you will come into contact with these intriguing ancient burial sites and through the expertise of our tour leaders, you will come face to face with the customs and people of Bronze Age society buried in close proximity to the unique stone circle of Stonehenge. Stonehenge Avenue – Walk along the Stonehenge Avenue and approach this unique stone circle as was the intended route experienced by the Stonehenge’s contempories.

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com
http://www.stonehengetours.com/html/stonehenge_archaeology_avebury_landscape_tour.htm

Merlin says: The Stonehenge landscape is more important than the Stone Circle – do this tour with the English Heritage………..

Merlin @ Stonehenge

 




Stonehenge lit up ‘will make it theme park’ claims Druid

4 12 2011

Lighting up Stonehenge at night would turn it into a “theme park”, says a senior Druid.

Lady Mimi Pakenham from Warminster sparked the idea of illuminating the stones to “really display them” in a letter to a national newspaper.

Stonehenge was lit up at night for a period in the 1970s and early 1980s

Stonehenge was lit up at night for a period in the 1970s and early 1980s

Senior Druid, King Arthur Pendragon, said it would “detract from the very purpose of Stonehenge”.

English Heritage, which manages the site, said it could be a distraction for nearby traffic.

Lady Pakenham, who raised the idea on the letters pages of the Times, said lights would give the monument dignity.

“I can’t understand why they haven’t at least done a trial run of very subtle lighting,” she said.

“I think very soft illumination, sort of like moonlight, for a few hours in the evening would really display it far more than it is now – where it’s looking rather abandoned.

“It’s all fenced in like a concentration camp, so soft lights for a few hours in the dark of the night – it would actually be the real jewel in England’s wonderful, wonderful monuments and buildings.”

‘Dark and broody’

King Arthur Pendragon, battle chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders, said: “The place is supposed to be dark and broody – that’s part of the mysticism of Stonehenge – and illuminating it would only detract from its very purpose as a sun temple.

“It’s not designed to be illuminated at night and in my opinion it smacks of theme park Stonehenge which is everything I stand against.”

According to English Heritage, Stonehenge was lit up at night for a period in the 1970s and early 1980s.

“But that practice was stopped due to an increase in road accidents caused by vehicles slowing down to observe the monument,” said a spokesperson.

“As there is even more traffic today on the A303, that risk cannot be ignored.”

Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-15998526

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin say: No! moonlight only please………….

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Stonehenge Solstice Snow Globe, and other crap gifts

3 12 2011

Looking for that perfect ‘Stonehenge’ gift for a loved one this Christmas ? Look no futher I have sourced some real rubbish to waste your money on (see below)  My personal favourite is the tasteful  ‘Solstice Wall Mounted Sculpture.’  Tongue firmly in cheek

Stonehenge Solstice Sunset Snow Waterball Christmas Gift
Stonehenge Snow GlobePicture Print Of: A Fabulous Print of Stonehenge Solstice at Sunset…
Made from Clear Acrylic Wipe Clean Plastic with a Gold Coloured Base
Comes Filled with Water with Lot’s of Sparkly Silver & White Glitter Flec’s
When Shaken Will Give a Pretty Sparkling Snow Storm Effect
The Same Picture Image Can be Seen from Both Sides of Globe
This Waterball Would Make a Very Pretty Gift…

Merlin says: Every mantlepiece should have one (except mine)…………..


Mouse Mat
I Love Stonehenge Decorated Mouse Pad Click here:
Merlin says: How can you possibly use a comuter without one of these

 

 

 

STONEHENGE BELT BUCKLE

Stonehenge BeltHand painted buckle. Can also be used as an ornament with the supplied display stand. Suitable for detatchable snap-fit belts up to 1.5 inches wide (sold separately – of course) Click here

Merlin Says:  This will really pull the chicks (hmmm)

Its gets better…………………….
Stonehenge Wall hangingsStonehenge Summer Solstice Relief Wall Mounted Sculpture – Click here
This is a superb 3-dimensional wall sculpture portraying Stonehenge by Garry White. Measures 23cm by 21cm and stands off the wall by 5cm making a dramatic and eyecatching statement. This is a wall mounted plaque and comes ready to hang with a hook attached on the back. Made from poured stone which is stone dust bonded with resin resulting in a richly detailed piece with a high quality stone-like finish. Hand painted and individually finished by hand.

Merlin says: Hideous!  Losing the will to live

 

Stonehenge cuff linksStonehenge Cuff links – click here
Revisit the history with a unique cufflink with a picture of great historic landmark- Stone Henge on it. Stay connected to roots! Buy for yourself or present it to someone special. Comes wrapped in a beautiful gift box to add worth.

Merlin says: Classy!   Will match my Stonehenge socks (yes you can really buy Stonehenge socks)

 

Stonehenge Tax DiskStonehenge Solstice Sunset Car Tax Disc Holder – click here
Car Tax Disc-Licence Holder…
Design /Print: A Fabulous Print of Stonehenge Solstice at Sunset…
A Self Adhesive Top Quality PVC Vehicle Tax Disc /Licence Holder
Easy Peel Back Backing that Reveals a Clear PVC Outer Rim Around the Image When Removed
Photo /Image is Seen Inside the Vehicle As the Tax Must be Displayed & Seen from the Outside
Gift Packed in a Clear Polybag with Header Card at Top
All Our Licence Holders are Made Using the Highest Quality Materials Available and with Crystal Clear Images
A Perfect Gift… Or Your Own Special Treat!

Merlin says: Won’t be seen at the Solstice without one!

 STONEHENGE BIBBib with Stonehenge, boulders – Click here

  • Ergonomically designed for comfortable fit
  • Adjustable necklace for indivudual fit
  • Approved for food use
  • Washable

Size: 11.4″ x 7.8″

Merlin says: Whatever next – I give up…………….

Build Your Own Stonehenge (Running Press Mini Kits) – Click here
Build StonehengeAh Stonehenge. The mystical place where Tess is arrested in the heartbreaking climax of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’. And of course where our colleague Simon passed out after a rather wild night at the Summer Solstice. Whatever your knowledge or experience of this legendary site, you can now own your own version of it.

Merlin says:
Got 60 seconds  and £5 to waste – nows your chance, buy one of these

Please visit our shop: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/stonetours-21
(there are also some good books etc avaialble – honest)

Any other tacky Stonehenge gift ideas ?

Merlin : Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Stonehenge Book Gift Guide

3 12 2011

As Mid-Winter approaches, it’s time to consider the accompanying consumerfest. Whether you’re buying gifts for someone else, or just giving yourself a year-end treat, the following is a list of books, in no particular order, that we have enjoyed throughout the year. You may too.

Note that not all of these are new books by any means, but they are books we’ve read, enjoyed and can recommend.

  • Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans – Francis Pryor. The first in a four-part opus spanning athe Ice Age to Modern Times, this books concentrates on the birth of Farming and Agriculture in Britain, a subject close to Pryor’s heart.
  • A History of Ancient Britain – Neil Oliver. A companion to the TV series, this book spans half a million years of human occupation, through several Ice Ages to the Romans, looking at the various objects left behind for us to interpret. A thoughtful read.
  • A Brief History of the Druids (Brief Histories) – Peter Berresford Ellis. Forget the romantic antiquarian view of the Druids, this books tells it like it is, using the latest research into classical sources to give a good general overview of life and society in the pre-Roman period.
  • A Brief History of Stonehenge – Aubrey Burl. Although titled ‘A Brief History’, the scope and detail in this book is remarkable. casting aside the more lunatic fringe ideas, this book deals purely in facts, but is no less readable for all that. The ‘Brief History’ series generally is to be recommended, whatever your historical period of interest.
  • The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain – Julian Cope. First written in the 1990′s and recently re-printed, this book spawned a website of the same name that has gone from strength to strength. A series of extraordinary essays followed by a decent gazetteer of some 300 ancient sites to visit in Britain.
  • Standing with Stones: A Photographic Journey Through Megalithic Britain and Ireland –  “Across the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland lies an unsurpassed richness of prehistoric heritage. Standing with Stones is a personal voyage of discovery, taking the reader to over a hundred megalithic sites in a photographic journey through the British Isles.” Stunning photography and an easily accessible text make this book a must-have. A companion DVD is also available.
  • A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany – Aubrey Burl. A superb gazetteer of stone circles. Provides what it says on the cover. In our view, an indispensible item.

Any of the above should provide a decent background to our ancient heritage. There are of course many more academic books we could recommend which go into fine detail about specific sites or time periods, but those above are targetted to a more general readership. If you think we’ve left anything important off our list, please add a comment to let us know.

Thanks to Heritage Action for the recommendations

Stonehenge Bookshop:
Please take the time to visit our online shop: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/stonetours-21

Sponsored by The Stonehenge Tour Company – www.StonehengeTours.com

Melin @ Stonehenge





The Celtic Stonehenge: Eccentric builds replica of famous ruins on island off Irish coast

1 12 2011

He hit the headlines when he drove his cement mixer, emblazoned with the words ‘Toxic Bank Anglo’, into the gates of the Irish parliament.

Two months later, self-styled Anglo Avenger Joe McNamara was back in Dublin city centre, this time staging a protest from atop a cherry picker crane.  When he was later acquitted of criminal damage, he became a popular hero.

Now it looks as though the 42-year-old developer has gone stone mad.

For his latest stunt, he has built his own version of Stonehenge on a hilltop on Achill Island off the Mayo coast.

The 15ft high circle is 30m in diameter and almost 100m in circumference, with 39 standing stones and lintels.

What it does not have, however, is planning permission.

And the Anglo Avenger – or should that be the Achill Stonehenger – will have another day in court this Friday, when Mayo County Council seeks a High Court injunction against the megalithic structure.

 
Believed to be more than six months in planning, it was built during the course of a single weekend, starting last Friday.

Council officials visited several times and issued legal threats, but the work went ahead.

It is still not clear what the purpose of the structure is.

But if it is intended as another protest against bank bailouts, it is certainly the biggest and most conspicuous yet.

And it might even be more difficult to remove than the cement mixer and cherry picker.

Yesterday, Mr McNamara declined to comment on any aspect of the development.

A spokesman for Mayo County Council would only say: ‘The matter is the subject of ongoing enforcement proceedings’.

Full story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068116/Anglo-Avenger-Joe-McNamara-builds-Stonehenge.html

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company ‘ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website








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