Archaeologists uncover Pagan skeletons at housing development near Stonehenge

21 05 2013

Archaeologists have discovered six Pagan Saxon skeletons dating back over 1,000 years on a housing development site just a few miles from Stonehenge.

Wessex Archaeology

Wessex Archaeology

The discoveries, which also include round barrows dating back to the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago, were unearthed at a redundant brownfield development site in Amesbury, Wiltshire, which is also famous for the Amesbury Archer – an early Bronze Age man found buried among arrowheads.

The remains are thought to be those of adolescent to mature males and females. Five skeletons were arrayed around a small circular ditch, with the grave of a sixth skeleton in the centre. Two lots of beads, a shale bracelet and other grave goods were also found, which suggest the findings are Pagan.

The site is now being excavated for other artefacts by Wessex Archaeology, led by Phil Harding, known for his work on Channel 4’s Time Team, while colleagues back at the unit’s laboratory examine the remains and jewellery, which have already been removed.

Phil said: “Given that the Stonehenge area is a well-known prehistoric burial site, it was always very likely some interesting discoveries would be made here. The fact that these round barrows were previously unknown makes this particularly exciting.

“Finding the skeletons also helps us to get a clearer picture of the history of this area. To my knowledge these are the first Pagan Saxon burials to be excavated scientifically in Amesbury. “

Landowner Aster Group is building 14 affordable homes at the redundant brownfield site, which will be available to rent from 2014.

Anna Kear, Aster’s regional development director for Hampshire and Wiltshire, said: “Wiltshire is a treasure trove of archaeology, drawing people from across the world.

“Discovering a burial site in this beautiful county is always a possibility when building affordable homes. We’re working with everyone involved to ensure Phil and his team can investigate this exciting find while the build continues.”

Contractor Mansell, a Balfour Beatty brand, was preparing the site for the build when it made the discovery.

Site manager Brian Whitchurch-Bennett, of Mansell, said: “When we’re working in an area of historical importance we always undertake archaeological investigations to make sure that our construction works don’t damage hidden remains or artefacts. The findings within this particular site really are a one off, we’ve been amazed by the number of discoveries and the level of preservation. It’s certainly a project to remember.”

The archaeologists are expected to be on site for six weeks in total. Footage from the site may also be included in an archaeological production for ITV’s History Channel, due to be aired in January 2014.

Source: Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com: http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2013-05-17-Archaeologists-uncover-Pagan-skeletons-at-housing-development-near-Stonehenge

Merlin @ Stonehenege
The Stonehenge News Blog





Olympic Torch will be at Stonehenge on July 12th 2012

19 05 2012

The Olympic torch procession will pass Stonehenge on July 12 then en route to the opening ceremony of London 2012.

On 22 May it will enter Wiltshire at Trowbridge before travelling to Bradford-on-Avon.Olympic Torch

Day 4 – 22 May

Then on 23 May it will visit Chippenham, Calne, Marlborough, Chiseldon, Wroughton, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

It will return on 11 July going through Ludgershall, Tidworth, Amesbury, The Winterbournes and Salisbury.

An evening event is planned in Salisbury which civic leaders say will “showcase the city to the world”.

Then on 12 July it will leave Salisbury passing through Wilton, Barford St Martin, Fovant on its route to Weymouth.

London 2012 – One extraordinary year

The journey through Wiltshire is part of a 70-day tour across the UK before the torch arrives at London’s Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on 27 July when the last relay runner will transfer it from their torch to the Olympic cauldron.

It will then continue to burn until it is extinguished on the final day of the Games.

Thousands of torchbearers have been recruited for the flame’s journey before the opening ceremony.

Each torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which has been designed for the occasion by Adidas.

IMPORTANT: The decision does mean, however, the public will not be able to descend on Stonehenge to see the once-in-a-lifetime moment it is carried around the Neolithic monument.

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17375974

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

Merlin says “All good for Wiltshire Tourism”
Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





The Festival presents Fire Garden at Stonehenge for the London 2012 Festival

4 04 2012
As the sun goes down over one of Britain’s most iconic World Heritage sites, French outdoor alchemists Compagnie Carabosse fan the flames of our imaginations with an elemental Fire Garden.

A magical, sensory experience awaits you as Stonehenge is transformed into a glowing fairytale

Fire Garden at Stonehenge 2012

Fire Garden at Stonehenge 2012

environment where fire sculptures dance in the landscape, mysterious fiery engines illuminate the stones and flaming fire pots and cascades of candles line the pathways.

The experience promises to be a highlight of the London 2012 Festival, a 12 week UK-wide celebration in the summer of 2012 featuring leading artists from the UK and around the world.

Maria Bota, Festival Director said:

“We aim to inspire, entertain and make moments which transform people and spaces.  Our thanks to the remarkable Compagnie Carabosse for their beautiful fire garden creations, to English Heritage, with whom we have worked for many years at Stonehenge, for their continued collaboration and to London 2012 for enabling us to bring this idea to flickering life.”

The event will run in the evenings from Tuesday 10th July to Thursday 12th July 2012. Spend 30 minutes or an hour one evening and enjoy this gloriously atmospheric feast for the senses.

Carabosse have staged their striking installations across Europe. Each event is unique to its specific location, and here they ignite their creative spark to create a remarkable moment in the historic Wiltshire landscape, especially presented by Salisbury International Arts Festival.

As the event runs, visit our website to see the project celebrated on a digital platform.

Fire Garden at Stonehenge and to register your interest for future updates.  Those registering interest will receive regular e-mail updates from Salisbury International Arts Festival about the event including announcements of the on sale date in 2012 and ticket information.

The London 2012 Festival, 21 June – 9 September, will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture, and give the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information on the programme which spans music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, film and fashion, visit http://www.london2012.com/festival.

Press:

Contact Abi Singleton, Development and Communications Manger, Salisbury International Arts Festival, abi@salisburyfestival.co.uk01722 332241

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

Merlin says “This looks well worth a visit, see you there”

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

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge New Website





1st Exhibition of Mesolthic Amesbury – 3000 years before the Stones

24 03 2012

Resulting from the Amesbury 2012 initiative lead by Mayor Andy Rhind-Tutt and supported by Amesbury Town Council, local people and our Druids we are pleased to announce that Amesbury Town Council, have completed the purchase of the Melor Hall in Amesbury (Opposite the Antrobus Arms) and will now move to the process of planning and building the Town its first ever Museum and interpretation centre.

This will tell the Story of Amesbury and interest a percentage of those millions of tourists that visit our Stonehenge, bolstering the local economy and mutually supporting the two existing museums of Salisbury and Devizes and Stonehenge.
Amesbury Museum

On the Easter weekend, the existing hall will be used for an exhibition highlighting the Mesolithic rich heritage that is being found. This will feature live archaeology taking place locally at one of the most exciting dig sites in Britain today.

Meet the archaeologists, ask questions, handle finds and discover for yourselves the wonders of the Mesolithic Salisbury Plain.

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

Merlin says “This is great news for Stonehenge, Amesbury and Wiltshire Tourism 2012.  See you at the Easter Weekend event”

The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website








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