Perseid Meteor Shower over Stonehenge. Stargazing and storytelling tonight (April 20th 2013)

20 04 2013

Stargazing and storytelling, meteors and myths at Stonehenge Landscape

Discover the night sky through telescopes and exciting myths and legends. Join our friendly team of astronomers for an adventure exploring the night sky with telescopes, alongside legends told by our own starry storyteller, activities, and toasting marshmallows. As well as learning about the constellations, we hope the Perseid Meteor Shower will be putting on a show!

The Perseid meteor shower streaks past Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain. Photograph: Kieran Doherty / Reuters

The Perseid meteor shower streaks past Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain. Photograph: Kieran Doherty / Reuters

Saturday 20 April 8pm – 10pm. Saturday 10 August 8.30pm – 10.30pm.

Telescopes and expertise are provided by Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group, storytelling with Lizzie Bryant.Meeting on byway 12, close to the Stonehenge Car Park (which will be closed when the event starts) parking at own risk – OS grid reference SU 120 424, postcode SP4 7DE.Bring a torch. Wrap up warm – we recommend plenty of layers, gloves, scarf and a hat – and wear stout footwear. Bring your own seating and blankets.

You may like to bring a drink and a snack, too. Access is by pedestrian and farm gates; the terrain is grassland, and trackways that are uneven underfoot and sometimes potholed. Ideal for accompanied children, 8 years and up.

What is a meteor shower?

A meteor shower is a spike in the number of meteors or “shooting stars” that streak through the night sky.

Most meteor showers are spawned by comets. As a comet orbits the Sun it sheds an icy, dusty debris stream along its orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower. Although the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, if you trace their paths, the meteors in each shower appear to “rain” into the sky from the same region.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation that coincides with this region in the sky, a spot known as the radiant. For instance, the radiant for the Leonid meteor shower is in the constellation Leo. The Perseid meteor shower is so named because meteors appear to fall from a point in the constellation Perseus.

Organised by The National Trusthttp://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehenge-landscape/

Merln @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle News Website





Stonehenge occupied 5,000 years earlier than previously thought

19 04 2013

Stonehenge may have been occupied five thousand years earlier than previously thought, archaeologists claim.

The people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC.  Photo: REX

The people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC. Photo: REX

Excavation of a site just a mile from the stone structure provided what researchers claim is the first firm evidence of continuous occupation from as early as 7,500BC.

Earlier evidence had suggested that humans were present at the site, known as Vespasian’s Camp, around 7,500BC but there were no signs anyone had lived there until as late as 2,500BC.

By carbon-dating materials found at the site, the archaeologists identified a semi-permanent settlement which was occupied from 7,500 to 4,700BC, with evidence that people were present during every millennium in between.

The people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC.

Instead of being seen as a site which was abandoned by Mesolithic humans and occupied by Neolithic men thousands of years later, Stonehenge should be recognised as a place where one culture merged with the other, researchers said.

Dr David Jacques of the Open University, who led the study, said he identified the settlement after deciding to search for evidence around a spring on the site, which he reasoned could have attracted animals.

“My thinking was where you find wild animals, you tend to find people,” he said. “What we found was the nearest secure watering hole for animals and people, a type of all year round fresh water source. It’s the nearest one to this place [Stonehenge]. I think it’s pivotal.”

Dr Josh Pollard of the Stonehenge Riverside Project added: “The team have found the community who put the first monument up at Stonehenge.

“The significance of David’s work lies in finding substantial evidence of Mesolithic settlement in the Stonehenge landscape [which was] previously largely lacking, apart from the enigmatic posts, and being able to demonstrate that there were repeated visits to this area from the 9th to the 5th millennia BC.”

Source: , Science Correspondent – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The findings will be broadcast in an episode of The Flying Archaeologist on BBC One on Friday evening.

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog

 

 





Father Time at Stonehenge

18 04 2013




Stonehenge project compares Neolithic building methods

17 04 2013

An experiment is under way here in Wiltshire to find out more about Neolithic building methods.

Using archaeological evidence unearthed from nearby Durrington Walls, three structures are being built at Old Sarum Castle, near Salisbury.

The project aims to recreate the buildings which may have existed in Neolithic times

The project aims to recreate the buildings which may have existed in Neolithic times

The English Heritage project aims to discover what was the most efficient way of building with locally-sourced materials.

The final reconstructions will be built at Stonehenge later this year.

They will be put up outside the new visitor centre.

The experiment is part of a £27m English Heritage scheme looking at how the setting of the ancient monument can be improved.

The recreated Neolithic buildings will form part of an “interactive and experiential” external exhibition at the 3,500-year-old World Heritage site.

The Dorset-based Ancient Technology Centre has been commissioned to construct the three prototype homes.

Luke Winter from the centre said the project aimed to look at what type of buildings may have been around at the time.

“The evidence from Durrington Walls several years ago brought to light the remains of several different types of building,” he said.

“We’re trying to reconstruct what they looked like above ground.

“On each of the three buildings we are trying different materials and methods and at the end we can say which is most likely to have been used

Link source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-22168354

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge Solstice Manager Job Vacancy

16 04 2013

English Heritage manages access to Stonehenge for celebration of the summer and winter solstices and other seasonal gatherings in conjunction with Wiltshire Council, the Highways Agency, the National Trust and representatives of pagan and druid groups. These celebrations attract many thousands of people every year. From 2014, with the completion of the transformational Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Programme, a new solstice operational plan will come into effect.

English Heritage LogoAs part of the Stonehenge management team, reporting to the General Manager, the successful candidate will be responsible for developing, leading and implementing the future plan, working in close liaison with stakeholders. A track record of organising and managing large-scale events, and of working with stakeholders to deliver positive outcomes will be essential. Highly-developed influencing and negotiating skills and the confidence and ability to represent English Heritage at a senior level will also be critical as will the requirement to work flexibly to meet the needs of this important role.

Title: Solstice Manager Stonehenge (Part-time/Annualised Hours)
Location: Stonehenge
Job Type: Permanent
Salary: c. £34k
Close Date:
06/05/2013 23:59:59

Full details: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/jobs/job/?ref=4575

You will need to refer to the following document(s) when completing your application. Job Description Download English Heritage Behaviours

The Stonehenge News Blog





Giant rock structure twice the size of Stonehenge found under sea

11 04 2013

Scientists have discovered a giant structure, weighing 60,000 tonnes and twice the size of Stonehenge, under the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

Giant rock structure found under sea

Giant rock structure found under sea

The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology reports that the “monumental stone structure” was cone-shaped and made of rough basalt.

Researcher Yitzhak Paz, of Ben-Gurion University’s Israel Antiquity Authority, said the structure was found in 2003 during a sonar survey and divers had now been down to investigate.

He told the journal that the structure could be 4000 years old.

“The more logical possibility is that it belongs to the third millennium BC, because there are other megalithic phenomena close by,” Dr Oaz said.

At a height of 10 metres and with a diameter of 70 metres, the structure appears to be a giant cairn, used in many parts of the world to mark burials.

“Close inspection by scuba diving revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to a metre long with no apparent construction pattern,” researchers said. “The boulders have natural faces with no signs of cutting or chiselling. Similarly, we did not find any sign of arrangement or walls that delineate this structure.”

The scientists say to monument was definitely manmade and probably built on land, only later to be covered by the Sea of Galilee as water levels rose.

Putting all the data together researchers found that the structure is cone shaped, about 230 feet (70 meters) in diameter and nearly 32 feet (10 meters) tall. It weighs an estimated 60,000 tons.

Putting all the data together researchers found that the structure is cone shaped, about 230 feet (70 meters) in diameter and nearly 32 feet (10 meters) tall. It weighs an estimated 60,000 tons.

“The shape and composition of the submerged structure does not resemble any natural feature. We therefore conclude that it is man-made and might be termed a cairn,” they said.

The journal published a list of nearby examples of megalithic structures. One was the monumental site of Khirbet Beteiha, located 30km north-east of the submerged stone structure. It comprises three concentric stone circles, the biggest of which is 56 metres wide.

During the third millennium BC the city of Bet Yerah was one of the biggest sites in the region, Dr Paz said.

“It’s the most powerful and fortified town in this region and, as a matter of fact, in the whole of Israel.”

Dr Paz told the Journal of Nautical Archaeology that he was hopeful that an underwater archaeological expedition would soon excavate the structure.

The search will focus on finding artifacts and organic material in order to accurately date the site.

Link Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/16676628/giant-rock-structure-found-under-sea/

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Merlin @ Stonehenge
The stonehenge Stone Circle News Blog





Druids and Pagans to get time off to visit Stonehenge under new EU work rules

8 04 2013

New guidance advises bosses to respect atheists and to “consider seriously” adapting work duties on faith grounds

Pagans, vegetarians and ecologists should have their beliefs respected at  work along with mainstream faiths, according to European advice to bosses.

Druids and Pagans @atStonehenge

Getty Images

It means druids will be able to take leave to observe rituals and make  pilgrimages to mystical sites such as Stonehenge.

Christian nurses will be allowed to pray for patients, Muslims to take leave  to visit Mecca, vegetarians can refuse to handle meat and sit on leather chairs  and ecologists refuse to fly.

The new guidance also advises bosses to respect atheists and to “consider  seriously” adapting work duties on faith grounds.

But the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidelines, drafted after  several rulings in the European Court of Human Rights, were slammed  yesterday.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Society, said: “It is  right to accommodate people’s needs in a civilised society but we have to make  sure we draw the right line. It’s not fair to accommodate an employee if others  have to take extra shifts or if their workplace becomes uncomfortable through  others pushing their religion.

“The right to manifest beliefs can’t trump the rights of others.”

The guidance comes after the court in ­Strasbourg, France, ruled in  January the UK was wrong to stop ­Christian BA check-in clerk Nadia Eweida,  61, wearing a cross at work.

The commission’s chief executive Mark Hammond said: “It provides advice and  clarification to help employers avoid costly and ­divisive legal  action.”

Lnk Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/druids-time-visit-stonehenge-under-1817343

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog








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