Circle of light: how Stonehenge shapes a landscape

17 07 2012

Jonathan Jones continues his story of British art in pictures with a look at the mystical monument on Salisbury Plain that has haunted the British imagination for centuries
Stonehenge Art 

Stonehenge is a circle that shapes a landscape. The hills and valleys around it seem to radiate from it. Shaped and mounted between 3,000 and 2,500BC in a powerful architecture of pillar and lintel, its stones define geometry, mathematics, the power of the mind. It has haunted the British imagination. The medieval chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed Merlin brought the stones from Ireland; the romantic artists Blake and Constable powerfully pictured this mystic place

Photographer: Patrick Eden /Alamy
Source Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/picture/2012/jul/16/stonehenge-shapes-landscape-british-art

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

Merlin @ Stonehenge





Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson: review

29 06 2012

One thing’s for sure, Mike Parker Pearson won’t be bouncing up and down on   Jeremy Deller’s inflatable replica of Stonehenge this summer. The title of   Deller’s artwork, Sacrilege, couldn’t prove more appropriate.   As Professor Pearson establishes once and for all in his (literally)   groundbreaking new book, Stonehenge has a very curious connection to the   dead.

mike-peasron-book-stonehenge-bookIn 1918 the Office of Works rather hastily entrusted the restoration of   Stonehenge to the amateur hands of an archaeologist named Hawley. “Archaeology   has been likened to a historian reading the last surviving copy of an   ancient book and then tearing out and burning every page”, Pearson   says. Hawley’s involvement was a bit like this.

Until recently, many scholars believed that a wooden structure, like those   known to have stood in Durrington Walls, down the River Avon, originally   occupied the site at Stonehenge. Chipping away at a rare patch of rubble   Hawley had missed in one of the chalk pits (called Aubrey Holes), Pearson   and his team of archaeologists have attempted to overhaul that possibility,   suggesting that the ground was compressed in such a way as to prove that   Stonehenge was only ever made of stone. The eureka moment sprung from a   surprisingly simple hypothesis: stone is made to last, wood will perish.   Stone, in other words, is ripe for commemorating the dead, wood a material   for the living.

Though much remains untouched, Stonehenge, which dates to as early as 3000BC,   has so far offered up from its chalky soils the cremated burials of over 60   humans. Pearson and his team have also unveiled a handful of remains, dating   from the point when the Brits, admitting European influence, switched to   burying their dead (after 2400BC). Piecing together this evidence, Pearson   presents a compelling reinterpretation of the significance of this landmark   monument in time and space.

Dispelling many of the myths that have fogged the bare essentials of the site   for centuries, Pearson has produced a clear and intriguing argument for   viewing Stonehenge as the final resting place for elite, local males of the   third millennium BC. With scientists still at work on the human remains from   his many years of excavation, that story is still an evolving one.

Although his main concern is with a construction associated with death,   Pearson does a remarkable job of bringing back to life the hitherto unknown   inhabitants of Durrington Walls. The two places, he proves beyond question,   were part and parcel of the same Stone Age network, among which early Briton   was never just all beard and brawn. He was a masterful architect, Pearson   shows, and a hearty eater. Pig teeth, cow bones, bits of beaver, were all   uncovered from the Durrington Walls area, helping to characterise it as an   important place of celebration in the shadow of Stonehenge itself. The   connection between life and death, he convinces, was of primary importance   to the builders, and inhabitants, of the monument.

Stonehenge has both the taste and the content of an authentic archaeological   log-book, and without doubt will become an essential academic source. What   sets it apart is the almost pain-staking patience with which Pearson is   prepared to break down even the most complex of scientific processes. He has   somehow convinced me, probably unwisely, that if left to excavate a field,   I’d have a fair idea as to where to start.

Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson is published by Simon &   Schuster (£25.00)

By Daisy Dunn – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9361647/Stonehenge-by-Mike-Parker-Pearson-review.html

Merlin says ” A truly great read”

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

Merlin @ The Stonehenge Website





‘Supermoon’ Alert: Biggest Full Moon of 2012 Occurs Today over Stonehenge

5 05 2012

Skywatchers take note: The biggest full moon of the year is due to arrive over Stonehenge tonight.

Situated on the edge of Salisbury Plain, the prehistoric ceremonial landscape of Stonehenge occupies a large, sparsely populated area of ancient downland ideal for star gazing and viewing the Supermoon.

Supermoon over Stonehenge

Supermoon over Stonehenge

The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5th) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year’s biggest.

The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.

And not only does the moon’s perigee coincide with full moon this month, but this perigee will be the nearest to Earth of any this year, as the distance of the moon’s close approach varies by about 3 percent, according to meteorologist Joe Rao, SPACE.com’s skywatching columnist. This happens because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular.

This month’s full moon is due to be about 16 percent brighter than average. In contrast, later this year on Nov. 28, the full moon will coincide with apogee, the moon’s farthest approach, offering a particularly small and dim full moon.

Though the unusual appearance of this month’s full moon may be surprising to some, there’s no reason for alarm, scientists warn. The slight distance difference isn’t enough to cause any earthquakes or extreme tidal effects, experts say.

However, the normal tides around the world will be particularly high and low. At perigee, the moon will exert about 42 percent more tidal force than it will during its next apogee two weeks later, Rao said.

The last supermoon occurred in March 2011.

To view this weekend’s supermoon to best effect, look for it just after it rises or before it sets, when it is close to the horizon. There, you can catch a view of the moon behind buildings or trees, an effect which produces an optical illusion, making the moon seem even larger than it really is.

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

 Merlin says “Lets hope the skies are clear – Howllllllllllllll……….”

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle News Blog





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








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