Did you know April 18th is World Heritage Day?

18 04 2018

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.  Stonehenge and Avebury was inscribed onto the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1986, along with 6 other sites in the UK. 

Stonehege World Heritage Site

Over the past 3 decades there have been a number of achievements by the many partners who share in the protection and enhancement of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

These include:

  • Around 750 ha of agricultural land in WHS have been reverted to pasture with a great deal of support from Defra/Natural England. Not only does this help to protect fragile archaeological remains but has also had the benefit of enhancing biodiversity.
  • A huge amount of archaeological research has revealed more about the landscapes of the WHS and expanded our knowledge and understanding of the Site
  • Silbury Hill was stabilised and conserved in 2007, making good the work undertaken by antiquarians of the 18th and 19th centuries and archaeologists of the mid 20th century alike.
  • In 2012 the Site was able to fulfil the UK Government’s commitment made at the time of inscription to close the A344 right next to the Stones at Stonehenge
  • A new award winning Visitor Centre opened at Stonehenge in 2013 and now receives over 1.3million visitors per year.Stonehenge and Avebury UNESCO
  • The governance of the WHS was strengthened with the creation of a Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Coordination Unit in March 2014 and the creation of a WHS Partnership Panel to oversee the work of the two parts of the WHS in February 2014.
  • In May 2015, Stonehenge and Avebury WHS produced their first joint Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan

More information can be found about the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site on the website www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/

What are World Heritage Sites?

World Heritage Sites are cultural and natural sites of international importance described by UNESCO as being of Outstanding Universal Value. They represent the common heritage of the international community. On signing the World Heritage Convention, governments pledge to protect and present their Sites for this and future generations.

UNESCO grants the prestigious World Heritage Site status to sites that meet its strict international criteria. Today there are over 1,000 World Heritage Sites including the Pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China and the Amazon River Basin.

The UNESCO website provides more information on World Heritage Sites across the globe. You can find out more about Britain’s World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO  website.

Some historians and campaign groups are warning Stonehenge could have its famous World Heritage status taken away if the Government builds a tunnel underneath it – click here

Visit the English heritage website to find out more and book tickets. The best way to experience Stonehenge, understand its construction and hear about all the theories is to have a Tourist Guide explain it all on a Stonehenge Guided Tour

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World Heritage Day Event at Stonehenge: 18th April 2018

14 04 2018

World Heritage Day 2018
A celebration across Wiltshire of everything that is unique and special about our Worldwhs3 Heritage Site. Join people in other World Heritage Sites around the globe in getting out, having fun and learning more about our internationally important heritage.
World Heritage Day is a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the many things that are so special about the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site landscape and to help people explore and enjoy it. This year the theme is Heritage for Generations.

Why not get together across the generations with your family and friends and explore more about World Heritage right here in Wiltshire.

Our amazing partners have arranged special talks, walks and exhibitions, and there is a fun day for families too. Turn over for more detail about all of the events and visit

 

View the Event Flyer for the 2018 World Heritage Day: WHDleaflet_online_version-1

Visit the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS website

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Some of the Stonehenge rocks were at Salisbury Plain ‘long before humans’

14 04 2018

Some of the largest rocks at Stonehenge were there long before humans and are not likely to have been moved to the location, an archaeologist says.#

 

Archaeologists and antiquarians have for centuries wondered why Stonehenge is where it is and why the largest stones were dragged miles to a hillside on Salisbury Plain.

An archaeologist who has excavated within the site says there is evidence people were drawn there because of the stones.

An archaeologist who has excavated within the site says there is evidence people were drawn there because of the stones.

It had been thought those stones, called sarsens, were brought from the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles (32km) away.

Mike Pitts, one of only a few archaeologists to have excavated within Stonehenge, has found evidence that two of the largest sarsen stones have been there for millions of years.

The largest megalith at the site, the heel stone, which aligns with sunrise on midsummer’s day, is 75 metres from the centre of the stone circle and weighs 60 tonnes.

Read the full (source) story here

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DNA, executions and Stonehenge: a new British Archaeology

10 04 2018

Mike Pitts – Digging Deeper

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Isn’t this a fabulous photo? We have some great images in the new British Archaeology, and we had fun with a series of shots showing a bronze age hoard under excavation. But I particularly like this photo taken by someone at Cotswold Archaeology (if you are reading this, let me know who you are!) which I’ve put at the top here. It shows a group of archaeologists excavating and recording some of the graves in an Anglo-Saxon and early medieval execution cemetery near Andover in Hampshire. There’s a relaxed, thoughtful conversation going on between all the protagonists, dead and alive, which is quite fascinating and memorable. If we had unlimited pages, I would have given this a double spread on its own.

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I’m very proud to lead with the feature by David Reich and Ian Armit on the new Beaker DNA study. This is significant stuff, and while there is…

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First Day of spring: Stonehenge crowd gathers for sunrise to celebrate the Spring Equinox.

20 03 2018

The first day of spring has been marked by 1000 revellers who gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise.

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Druids and pagans were joined by a mass of revellers at the ancient monument to celebrate the spring or vernal equinox.

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Open access to the stones was given from first light, 05:45 GMT, by English Heritage which manages the site.

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Celebrating the building of Stonehenge may have been as important to Neolithic people as worshipping there

11 03 2018

Building Stonehenge ‘may have been ceremonial celebration.

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English Heritage will begin moving a replica stone on Friday using teams of volunteers in an “experiential archaeology” project

The arduous task of building Stonehenge may have been part of a ceremonial celebration, claim historians.

The circle in Wiltshire was built more than 4,000 years ago using bluestones from south Wales – a decision which has long baffled experts.

Susan Greaney, from English Heritage, said they now believed that Neolithic people did not want to make “things as easy and quick as possible”.

Building the monument was as important as “its final intended use,” she added.

Experts have tried to discover why the people who built Stonehenge chose to use some stones from the Preseli Hills, about 155 miles (250km) away.

The stones were probably transported via water networks and hauled over land, using a huge amount of labour over the long and difficult journey.

Experts now believe the construction of the monument was just as important to Neolithic people as worshipping in it.

Read the full story (source) on the BBC website

 

Relevant links:
Party like it’s 2500BC: Stonehenge building secrets unearthed – click here

Bonding and booze secrets of Stonehenge exposed: Construction work on ancient monument 5,000 years ago brought people together – click here

Secrets of Stonehenge are bonding and booze – click here

Step into the shoes of Neolithic Man at Stonehenge – Click here

MOVING AND RAISING A STONE: 10th / 11th March 2018 – Click here

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Have you ever wondered what it would have been like for our Neolithic ancestors to bring the giant sarsen stones on the 20 mile journey from Marlborough Downs to Stonehenge?

7 03 2018

Now you can find out at one of our special workshops. Working with a team of other visitors, try your hand at moving and raising a 4 tonne limestone block using ropes, rollers and pulleys.

MOVING AND RAISING A STONE: 10th / 11th March 2018

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DATE: Sat 10 & Sun 11 Mar 2018
TIME: 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm

LOCATION: Stonehenge Visitor Centre
SUITABLE FOR: Everyone

 

Vist the English Heritage Website for full details

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http://www.Stonehenge.News








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