Did Neolithic cows moooove Stonehenge’s bluestones?

14 12 2018

A new study suggests Neolithic farmers had mastered animal traction

The mystery of how Stonehenge’s bluestones were transported 160 miles from Wales to Wiltshire has puzzled archaeologists for generations.  Some experts say glaciers picked up and deposited the huge rocks in the last ice age, while others have suggested the stones were dragged on rollers or sleds by manpower.

Stonehenge

The bluestones of Stonehenge may have been dragged by animals

Stonehenge may have been built with the assistance of cows who helped carry the enormous rocks across the British Isles.

It could help explain how the fabled bluestones managed to complete the journey from Wales to Wiltshire, where Stonehenge still sits today.

Previous research has claimed the movement of glaciers deposited the huge slabs of rock 160 miles away from their original location.

New research has found evidence of cattle being used by humans to pull and carry heavy loads for 8,000 years.

Archaeologists at University College London discovered that the bones in the feet of Neolithic cattle demonstrated distinctive wear patterns, indicative of exploitation as ‘animal engines’.

Neolithic cattle in the Balkans were therefore being used for our purposes two millennia earlier than previously thought

Watch the video and read the full story on the Daily Mail website and the Daily Telegraph website 

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Stonehenge Winter Solstice Open Access Arrangements 2018

1 12 2018

English Heritage will once again welcome people to Stonehenge to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Sunrise is just after 8am on Friday 22nd December and visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Please read the information below before planning your visit and visit the English Heritage website.  There will be a rare Full Moon on the Winter Solstice this year, the next occurrence will be in 2094

pendragon

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge. The winter solstice is considered more important than its summer counterpart as it marks the ‘re-birth’ of the sun

Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice is free and is subject to the Conditions of Entry. Please read these before deciding whether to attend.  Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet.  Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew and there may also be frost. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential. Please note, parking charges apply.

DATE AND TIMES

Saturday 22nd December 2018

6am: Limited car parking opens

7.45am (approximately depending on light levels): Monument field opens

8.09am: Sunrise

10am: Monument field closes

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site which has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Winter Solstice for thousands of years and is seen by many as a sacred site.

English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice and ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read these Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come.

Admission to the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.

Please help us to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the Conditions of Entry and guidelines.  We have a duty of care to ensure public safety and are responsible for the protection of Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments.  If we are to ensure that future access is sustainable, it is essential that everyone observes and abides by these Conditions of Entry.

These Conditions of Entry are written to ensure enjoyment and public safety for everyone.  Contravention of any of these conditions may result in entry being refused or your removal from Stonehenge.  English Heritage reserves the right to refuse entry.

  • Stonehenge is a world renowned historic Monument and part of a World Heritage Site. It is seen by many who attend as a sacred place.  Please respect it and please respect each other.
  • Amplified Music is inappropriate and will not be permitted.
  • Drunken, disorderly, and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; ejection, by security staff and/or Police, without return, will be the outcome.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Illegal drugs are still illegal at Stonehenge as they are anywhere else.  The police will be on site during the access period and will take immediate action against anyone breaking the law.
  • Glass is not allowed at the Monument as many people walk barefoot and, in addition, livestock and wildlife also graze in the area.  If you bring any glass items with you, they will be confiscated.
  • 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.
  • To help us reduce the amount of litter on site, leafleting or flyering is not allowed.
  • Camping, fires, Chinese lanterns, Fireworks, Candles, Tea-Lights or BBQs are NOT permitted at Stonehenge, in the parking areas, or anywhere in the surrounding National Trust land.
  • Do not bring drones or any type of remote-controlled aircraft to Stonehenge.  There is a No Fly Zone in place over Stonehenge during Winter Solstice which makes it a criminal offense to attempt to fly anything over the stones below a certain height. The No Fly Zone includes drones. If you attempt to fly a drone from anywhere on site, including the Solstice Car Park, you will be stopped and asked to leave.

For further information about Managed Open Access for Winter Solstice at Stonehenge, please call English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Hotline on 0370 333 1181.

PLANNING YOUR JOURNEY

Parking for Winter Solstice is very limited and we cannot guarantee that there will be space in the two Winter Solstice car parks. We strongly recommend car sharing or using public transport.

  • Travel by Bus – Salisbury Reds buses will be running from 6am from Salisbury via Amesbury.

    Organised Tours – If you are considering visiting Stonehenge for the Solstice celebrations you can join an organised tour.  Use a reputable tour operator who respect the conditions.  Stonehenge Guided Tours are the longest established company and offer guided tours and transport from London. Solstice Events offer small group Winter  Solstice Tours from Bath using local expert guides.

PARKING AND PARKING CHARGES

Limited parking is available in the Winter Solstice car parks, which will open at 6am on the 22 December.

Signs will direct you to the Solstice car parks – please ensure that you follow these.  If directed to parking away from the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, motorists will have access to Park & Ride transport to the Visitor Centre included in their parking charge.

We cannot guarantee entry to the car parks and recommend car sharing or coming by public transport as cars will be turned away when the car parks are full. Last year this happened at around 7am.  Please do not arrive early as there is no waiting on the roads in the area and you will be moved on.

  • £5 – General parking for cars, vans and live in vehicles
  • £2 – Motorbikes
  • £50 – Commercial minibuses (up to and including 16 seats)
  • £250 – Commercial coaches (17 seats and over). Commercial vehicles must pre-book via BookStonehenge@english-heritage.org.uk and terms and conditions apply.

Please note, car parking charges apply to all users of the Winter Solstice car parks, including Blue Badge holders, and members of English Heritage and National Trust.

The parking charge helps the charity cover the costs of providing additional staffing and lighting in the car parks and is designed to encourage people to car share or travel by bus.

Blue Badge parking

Parking for Blue Badge holders is available at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre Car Park. No pre-booking is required.  Visitors are asked to highlight their Blue Badge to stewards on arrival so that they can be directed to an appropriate parking space.

A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will have priority.

COME PREPARED

  • Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet. Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew. There may also be frost. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential.
  • There is at least a 30 minute walk in low light or darkness, from the Visitor Centre to Stonehenge itself.  You are strongly advised to wear strong, waterproof footwear, and to bring a torch with you.  A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will hve priority.  All other visitors should be prepared to walk.
  • There are no catering facilities in the monument field; however the café at the visitor centre will be open for hot drinks and breakfast rolls from 6am.

Please visit the official English Heritage website for full details.

Relevant links:

Respecting the Stones.  Managed Open Access

Solstice at Stonehenge. From Past to Present.

English Heritage Conditions of Entry

The Salisbury Reds special solstice shuttle service

For traffic, weather and other updates on the morning of the winter solstice, Follow @St0nehenge @EH_Stonehenge @VisitStonehenge @HighwaysEngland @VisitWiltshire @DruidKingArthur @Wiltshirepolice for #WinterSolstice2018

If you are unable to visit Stonehenge on the Solstice you can watch our LIVE PERISCOPE STONEHENGE BROADCAST

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