Was Stonehenge designed for sound? Researchers recreate what ancient site would have sounded like for Neolithic man.

19 04 2012

Stonehenge could have been designed with acoustics in mind like a Greek or Roman theatre, a study has revealed.

A team of researchers from the University of Salford spent four years studying the historic site’s acoustic properties in a bid to crack the mystery of why it was built.

While they could not confirm the exact purpose of the stones, the researchers did find the space reacted to acoustic activity in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man.

Mystery: The researchers found Stonehenge reacted to acoustic activity in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man suggesting it was built with acoustics in mind  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2131519/Was-Stonehenge-designed-sound-Researchers-recreate-ancient-site-sounded-like-Neolithic-man.html#ixzz1sTueveN7

Mystery: The researchers found Stonehenge reacted to acoustic activity in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man suggesting it was built with acoustics in mind

Stonehenge is very well known, but people are still trying to find out what it was built for and we thought that doing this research would bring an element of archaeology that so far hasn’t been looked at,’ lead researcher, Bruno Fazenda said.

He added the new area of acoustic science, named archaeoacoustics, could be helpful in the archaeological

Because the site in Wiltshire is in a derelict state, researchers travelled to Maryhill in the U.S. where a full-sized concrete reconstruction of Stonehenge was built in 1929 as a memorial to the soldiers of WWI.

Recreation: To get a more accurate representation, researchers travelled to Maryhill in the U.S. where a full-sized concrete reconstruction of Stonehenge was built in 1929

Recreation: To get a more accurate representation, researchers travelled to Maryhill in the U.S. where a full-sized concrete reconstruction of Stonehenge was built in 1929

They were able to make proper acoustic measurements that allowed an investigation into striking acoustic effects such as echoes, resonances and whispering gallery effects.

The second phase consisted in the creation of a full 3D audio-rendition of the space using a system comprised of 64 audio channels and loudspeakers especially developed at the University of Salford based on Wave Field Synthesis.

This system enables an accurate and immersive recreation of what Stonehenge would have sounded like.

Dr Fazenda said: ‘This type of research is important because now we can not only see ourselves surrounded by the stones using virtual reality, but we can also listen how the stone structure would have enveloped people in a sonic experience. It is as if we can travel back in time and experience the space in a more holistic way.’

Dr Fazenda also thinks that this research opens a whole new world for archaeoacoustics: ‘Of course there are other sites of interest, and as soon as the methodology for studying acoustics in ancient spaces becomes robust then it can be used as a part of archaeology and I believe in the next ten years a lot of such studies will include acoustics.’

Now listen to recording done at Maryhill, U.S., where where a concrete reconstruction of Stonehenge was built in 1929. Click here

Link source : Amy Oliver – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2131519/Was-Stonehenge-designed-sound-Researchers-recreate-ancient-site-sounded-like-Neolithic-man.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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

Merlin @ Stonehenge Stone Circle





Celebrate World Heritage Day at Stonehenge and Avebury.

18 04 2012

World Heritage Day is celebrated annually on 18th April. This year, (also the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention), English Heritage experts are on hand to help you discover the prehistoric landscapes at Stonehenge and Avebury and to show how World Heritage Status is helping to conserve them.
Stonehenge Heritage

Stonehenge and Avebury became a World Heritage Site in 1986 for their outstanding prehistoric monuments dating from around 3,700 to 1,600 BC. The stone circle of Stonehenge is recognised throughout the world and the site is very special. The 2,600 hectares  of surrounding landscape contains 350 burial mounds and prehistoric monuments such as the the Cursus, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. Part of this landscape is also managed by the National Trust.

Avebury is the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world. The site includes Windmill Hill, the West Kennet Long Barrow, the West Kennet and Beckhampton Avenues, the Sanctuary, Silbury Hill (the largest prehistoric mound in Europe),  the West Kennet Palisaded Enclosures, and important barrows.

The event is  from 10am to 6pm on April 18th and tickets cost £35 (includes refreshments).  Booking via English Heritage is essential: 0870 333 1181.
Link: http://www.insidewiltshire.co.uk

What is World heritage Day ?

World Heritage Day 18th April 2012 – Get Involved!

This year’s theme has been chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which was adopted in 1972. The focus will be on “World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities”.

This special day offers an opportunity to celebrate local heritage all over the world! Why not get involved … there’s any number of things you could do to celebrate World Heritage Day 2012 …

  • Provide free admission to your heritage site
  • Publicise your site in local newspapers or radio
  • Hang World Heritage Day banners on your local sites
  • Organise a public talk or lecture on your local heritage
  • Put together an exhibition celebrating your local heritage
  • Award a prize to soemone who has made an outstanding contribution to your local heritage
  • Inaugurate a recently restored monument
  • Get the kids involved with tours or treasure hunts

World Heritage Day (International Day for Monuments & Sites) was created in 1982 by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments & Sites) and was later approved at the UNESCO General Conference in 1983.
Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle News Blog Blog





The Stonehenge prehistoric landscape. A Satellite view,

30 03 2012

I found this wonderful image on the stone-circles web site.  See it here:
http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/stonehenge.htm
 Satellite image of the Stonehenge Landscape

It shows the “ritual” and non-ritual features in the Stonehenge area — with the features themselves overlaid onto a satellite image of the district.  Click to enlarge.

Links: http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ http://www.StonehenegTours.com

Merlin says “Stonehenge is so much more than a Stine Circle and I encourage you all to explore this prehistoric Landscape”

Merlin @ Stonehenge Stone Circle 





MEGALITHOMANIA TOURS 2012

28 03 2012

The Ultimate Conference for Megalithomaniacs 2012

Join us for an incredible selection of outdoor Antiquarian delights this May. Megalithomania invites you to explore, ponder, dowse, and be captivated by the incredible stones from antiquity. Over the years we have increased our tour schedule around the conference and now in 2012 we have eight days of tours and other activities for you to enjoy. From the heights of Glastonbury Tor, to the remote stone avenues of Dartmoor, the Olde English landscape still has lots to offer. With special guest experts joining us for each tour, who know their landscape well. For this year we introduce our new ‘Megalithic Cornwall‘ Tour with Glenn & Cameron Broughton. Save £42 if you book the ‘Full Ticket’ that includes the Cornwall Tour….

NEW: Megalithic Cornwall Tour Here


Coach travel included in price of all tours. Meet at Abbey Car Park. Bring packed lunch
. Info & Booking:             07779 113452

Friday 11th May: £55 (SOLD OUT)
Stonehenge with Robin Heath – 4pm – 9pm

Private Access to Stonehenge, with excursion to the Cursus, several Tumuli, Durrington Walls and Woodhenge. (inc private access to Stonehenge)

Monday 14th May:£50
Avebury & the Valley of the White Horse – 9am – 5pm

An exclusive tour around megalithic Avebury, the largest stone circle in the world, West Kennett Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and more with Peter Knight.

Tuesday 15th May: £50
Sacred Avalon Walking Tour – 9am – 1pm
with Anthony Thorley
Visiting the Tor, Glastonbury Abbey, Michael & Mary energy lines
Tuesday Afternoon: (inc in above price)
Cadbury Castle & Burrow Mump – 2.30pm – 6pm
A guided visit to two of the most impressive earthworks in Somerset

Wednesday 16th May: £50
Dartmoor Stone Circles and Avenues – 8am – 6pm

A five-hour walk around the incredible landscape of megalithic Dartmoor, Devon, visiting stone circles, megalithic avenues, menhirs and tracking earth energies. 90 min drive both ways. Bring packed lunch.
(NOTE: if you are going on the Cornwall Tour, you must be on this tour)

Link: http://www.megalithomania.co.uk/

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

Merlin says “This conference is wirth every penny and a good excuse to spend a couple of days in Glastonbury”

Merlin at Stonehenge





Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum Tour Company

27 03 2012

Local Tour Operator launches daily audio tours of Stonehenge and ancient Wiltshire sightseeing tour.

Join them on a journey as they travel back 5000 years in time.
Daily at 09:30 from the centre of Salisbury their “Magical History Tour” sets out to discover the mysteries of Stonehenge.  This is a great alternative to joining a coach tour from London.

Driven by their friendly fully qualified Driver. Enjoy 3 hours visiting some of the most mysterious places on earth. Be entertained and informed listening to a detailed commentary transmitted simultaneously in English, German, French and Italian.

On your return you will have seen some of the most beautiful English countryside, been fascinated by Stonehenge, seen Old Sarum the iron age fort which was the earliest settlement here and finally viewed the Cathedral from a special place, missed by most tourists.

They look forward to welcoming you on board. Why not catch a train from London and join this local tour.

Shrouded in mystery the World Heritage site at Stonehenge attracts people
from all over the world.

Salisbury Stonehenge Sarum Tours

Salisbury Stonehenge Sarum Tours

Our experience at Salisbury, Stonehenge & Sarum Tours ensures that you return home with lasting memories of the day when you stepped back in time. We have a selection of tours to meet all tastes from Cruise Guests with limited time to the visitor wanting to enjoy all the wonderful sites more leisurely. We also have our “Magical History Tour” to Stonehenge, which runs daily at 09:30. Commentary in English, German, French and Italian.

No tour to England would be complete without a tour of Stonehenge. Where is Stonehenge? Stonehenge is situated near Salisbury in the county of Wiltshire. Stonehenge is a Neolithic stone circle which even today is still shrouded in mystery.

Salisbury Stonehenge and Sarum Tours specialise in arranging multilingual tours of Stonehenge and surrounding places of interest including Salisbury and Old Sarum.
Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum Tour Guides are all local people who have been especially trained to achieve our “Yellow Badge” standard.

They meet their guests in the mediaeval city of Salisbury and you travel to Stonehenge in one of their modern vehicles.

The Stonehenge Tour from Salisbury Stonehenge and Sarum Tours will no doubt be one of your most memorable trips. So when you travel in England make sure that you take one of our tours to Stonehenge. We are also specialists catering for Southampton cruise passengers and their airport transits.

The Magical History Tour – English – German – French – Italian – simultaneously

The tour lasts 3 hours during which time you will have available multi lingual commentary in English, German, French and Italian. Disposable earphones are provided but feel free to bring your own personal ones with you. You will be given a tour program with maps describing you tour.

Firstly we drive along the picturesque Woodford Valley along a route too narrow for large buses where you will pass through traditional English villages with thatched cottages. You will see the homes of some very interesting and diverse residents. We shall tell you more about this as we drive along. Before we arrive at Stonehenge the bus will make a short stop so you can see the location of the newest discovery: Blue Stonehenge. Upon arriving at Stonehenge your guide will take you to the entrance where you will receive a multi lingual audio tour. You may now spend time pondering the mysteries of this World Heritage Site, buy souvenirs and purchase refreshments. We shall stop here for 60 minutes, but if the weather is bad guests find that 45 minutes is sufficient. We now drive across “Salisbury Plain” on our way to “Old Sarum”. This area has become a “Hotspot” for “crop circles” and UFO’s”. In spring and early summer it is quite possible that you could spot a crop circle but UFO’s might be more difficult to find. At Old Sarum, the original Iron Age settlement of Salisbury you will learn how the Celts, Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans all lived here. Look and enjoy the magnificent 360° vista and look down on the medieval city of Salisbury. Our last stop is at the “Harnham Mill” because it offers wonderful views of the magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral. Regrettably many tourists never see the Cathedral from this aspect, often being bussed into the city from London before being “whizzed” off to their next destination. It is from here that the respected English artist John Constable chose to depict Salisbury Cathedral in his famous paintings. At this point we offer you the option of leaving the tour and walking along the town path, through the water meadows, into the City. It is a gentle and flat 1,200 metre stroll which takes no more than 15 minutes. Your Tour Program highlights the interesting wildlife, which can be seen in the water meadows, which is a  nature “Preservation Area”. For those returning to Salisbury with the bus, our drive takes 5 minutes and we shall drop you off where we started, in the Guildhall Square.

The tour starts and returns from the Guildhall Square at 09:30 – see map. You will see our Guide on the steps of the Guildhall carrying a large psychedelic umbrella.
Stonehenge for 60 minutes, WC, refreshments and shop
Old Sarum for 30 minutes WC and shop
Harnham Mill for 15 minutes

The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website 





Court rules on Achill ‘Stonehenge’

16 03 2012

A Stonehenge-like structure built on Achill Island by developer Joe McNamara must be demolished if An Bord Pleanala finds it was built without planning permission, the High Court ruled today.

The massive Stonehenge-esque structure erected on an Achill hilltop by Joe McNamara. Photograph: Michael Mc Laughlin

The massive Stonehenge-esque structure erected on an Achill hilltop by Joe McNamara. Photograph: Michael Mc Laughlin

 

Mayo County Council had argued before the court that Mr McNamara’s application to An Bord Pleanala aimed at having the structure declared exempt from planning permission requirements cannot succeed and is “a delaying tactic”.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed Mr McNamara’s application was “utterly hopeless” and was made simply “to delay the inevitable.”

In an affidavit by an architect acting on Mr McNamara’s behalf, the court was told the intended use of the structure was “primarily as an ornamental garden sited on agricultural lands”.

Mayo County Council, which contends the structure is unauthorised development, yesterday secured orders from Mr Justice McGovern compelling the developer, if An Bord Pleanala rules the structure is not exempted development, to demolish it and restore the site to its original state under the supervision of an ecologist and an archaeologist.

The Council previously told the court it has particular concerns about the structure because of its proximity to an area of special conservation on Achill.

Mr McNamara (41), with addresses at Achill Island, Co Mayo and Salthill, Co Galway, has claimed the structure – consisting of a ring with 30 large columns with tapping stones placed on top – does not require planning permission because it is exempted development within the meaning of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001.

He has applied under Section 5 of the Planning Development Act to An Bord Pleanála to have the structure deemed an exempted development. The board is due to make a decision on that application in the coming months.

Mr McNamara, who is working in the UK, was not in court.

Pat Butler SC, for the Council, told the judge an affidavit sworn by an architect acting on Mr McNamara’s behalf had stated the intended use of the structure is “primarily as an ornamental garden sited on agricultural lands.”

While a garden may be exempted development, Mr McNamara’s development contained structures which required planning permission, counsel argued. Under the planning laws, only structures in a garden erected by the State are exempt from the requirement for planning permission, he said.

Counsel said Mr McNamara’s application to An Bord Pleanala has no prospect of success and was “a delaying tactic.”

Patrick Keane, a solicitor acting for Mr McNamara, said the Council’s proceedings aimed at demolishing the structure should be put on hold until after the Board has made its decision.

Mr Justice McGovern said he would make the orders sought by the Council against Mr McNamara but would stay those pending the decision of An Bord Pleanala.

There was “overwhelming evidence” this “extraordinary structure” was not an exempted development, he said. Insufficient reasons for the structure to be regarded exempt had been offered to the court on Mr McNamara’s behalf, he added.

The judge noted the council’s concerns about the structures impact on an area of special conservation. There was enough evidence of poor planning in Ireland’s rural and urban landscapes in respect of developments were planning decisions were actually made, he also remarked.

Last year, Mr McNamara was jailed for three days after being found in contempt of a court order requiring him to immediately cease work on the project.

Mr McNamara previously came to public attention when he drove a cement lorry emblazoned with the words “Anglo” and “toxic bank” at the gates of Leinster House. He was later acquitted of charges of criminal damage and dangerous driving in connection with that incident.

Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0315/breaking186.html

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

Merlin says “Need some joined up thinking here – sad news”

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





STONEHENGE: UNCOVERED – February 24th 2012

22 02 2012

Unlock the secrets of Stonehenge and the surrounding sites in this exclusive walking tour led by English Heritages’ Properties Historian Susan Greaney.Visit the World Heritage Site and key archaeological areas in this fascinating landscape. Along the way, gain an exclusive insight into the new and exciting discoveries made by recent research projects carried out in the area and discover for yourself more about this special landscape.
Stonehenge 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

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/stonehenge-uncovered-s-24-feb/

Sponsored by ‘The Stoneheng Tour Company’ http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin say “You have to be an English Heritage member for this tour but its well worth joining”

Merlin @ Stonehenge 





Stonehenge Tour – Ancient ceremonial landscape of great archaeological and wildlife interest

16 02 2012

Explore the wider Stonehenge World Heritage Site with a guide and discover hidden histories, ancient mysteries and winter wildlife. February 18th 2012

Stonehenge landscapeWithin the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares (2,100 acres) of downland surrounding the famous stone circle.

Walking across the grassland, visitors can discover other prehistoric monuments, including the Avenue and King Barrow Ridge with its Bronze Age burial mounds.

Nearby, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. While Durrington Walls hides the remains of a Neolithic village.

The best approach to the famous stone circle is across Normanton Down, a round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC.





Celebrations at Stonehenge for World Heritage Day 2012

7 02 2012

A CELEBRATION of World Heritage Day is set to take place at Stonehenge and Avebury in April.

Stonehenge heritage dayPeople are being invited to join English Heritage experts and discover the prehistoric landscapes and how World Heritage Site status is helping to conserve them.

The event, being held between 10am and 6pm on April 18, is also a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

Tickets cost £35 per person and must be booked in advance.

To find out more and to book a place, contact English Heritage customer services on 0870 333 1181.

Link: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk
Sponsored by ‘The Stonehnege Tour Companywww.StonehengeTours.com

Melin says “All good for Wiltshire Tourism, bring it on…….”

Merlin @ Stonehenge





Archaeologists and pagans alike glory in the Brodgar complex

2 02 2012

Let’s not jump to conclusions about ritual significance, but this site is clearly immensely important to ancient British history

The Ring of Brodgar ancient standing stones in Orkney, Scotland, flank the Brodgar complex, now thought to be older than Stonehenge. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

The Ring of Brodgar ancient standing stones in Orkney, Scotland, flank the Brodgar complex, now thought to be older than Stonehenge. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

Archaeologists are notoriously nervous of attributing ritual significance to anything (the old joke used to be that if you found an artefact and couldn’t identify it, it had to have ritual significance), yet they still like to do so whenever possible. I used to work on a site in the mid-1980s – a hill fort in Gloucestershire – where items of potential religious note occasionally turned up (a horse skull buried at the entrance, for example) and this was always cause for some excitement, and also some gnashing of teeth at the prospect of other people who weren’t archaeologists getting excited about it (“And now I suppose we’ll have druids turning up”).

The Brodgar complex has, however, got everyone excited. It ticks all the boxes that make archaeologists, other academics, lay historians and pagans jump up and down. Its age is significant: it’s around 800 years older than Stonehenge (although lately, having had to do some research into ancient Britain, I’ve been exercised by just how widely dates for sites vary, so perhaps some caution is called for). Pottery found at Stonehenge apparently originated in Orkney, or was modelled on pottery that did.

The site at the Ness of Brodgar – a narrow strip of land between the existing Stone Age sites of Maeshowe and the Ring of Brodgar – is massive: the size of five football pitches and circled by a 10ft wall. Only a small percentage of it has been investigated; it is being called a “temple complex”, and researchers seem to think that it is a passage complex – for instance, one in which bones are carried through and successively stripped (there is a firepit across one of the doors, and various entrances, plus alcoves like those in a passage grave, which are being regarded as evidence for this theory – but it’s a bit tenuous at present). Obviously, at this relatively early stage, it’s difficult for either professional archaeologists or their followers to formulate too many firm theories.

When it comes to the pagan community, I don’t think that its sounder members will be leaping to too many conclusions too soon; as discussed in a previous column, some of us would prefer to rely on the actual evidence rather than rushing off at a tangent. I cannot help wondering whether the relatively muted response across the pagan scene to the Brodgar findings has to do with the fact that the central artefact discovered so far – the “Brodgar Boy” – is apparently male rather than female. I am cynical enough to wonder whether, if it had been a northern Venus, there would be much more in the way of rash speculation about ancient matriarchies. Will we see the pagan community flocking to Orkney at the solstices? I doubt it. Orkney is a long way off and rather difficult to get to, whereas Stonehenge and Avebury are with a reasonably easy drive if you happen to live in the south of the country. In the days when the site was at its peak, most traffic would have been coastal, and remained so for hundreds of years to come. (And to be fair, many modern pagans aren’t actually too keen on trampling over ancient sites, sacred or otherwise, due to awareness of their relative fragility).

With regard to the “boy” himself, and other ancient representations of the human form, we simply don’t know why people made them. Maybe they are gods, goddesses, spirits. Maybe they’re toys, or lampoons of particular individuals, or just someone doing some carving in an idle moment. It’s hardly a startling theory that, throughout history, people have made stuff for fun: I’ve always been very amused by Aztec pots made in the shape of comical animals, looking for all the world like the early precursor to Disney and somewhat at variance with the sombre bloodiness of other aspects of that culture.

 

As soon as the Bronze Age arrived, Brodgar was completely abandoned. There was apparently a mass slaughter of cattle, which would have fed as many as 20,000 people on the site; this is being taken by some experts as evidence of a complete and sudden cultural replacement. But whether it has ritual significance or not, the sheer size, age and numbers involved with the Orkney site make it of immense importance to the history of ancient Britain.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk

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

Merlin @  Stonehenge 








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