Wednesday, 20 May 2015


The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 was launched on 18 May 2015. This is the first joint Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan and replaces the Avebury WHS Management Plan 2005 and the Stonehenge WHS Management Plan 2009. It has been compiled by Sarah Simmonds (Avebury WHS Officer) and Beth Thomas (Stonehenge WHS Coordinator) of the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Coordination Unit based at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.

Download it from these links:

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 (Full - Low res version - below for full res chapters)

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 Introduction

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 Part One

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 Part Two

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 – Part Three and Four

Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan 2015 Bibliography, Maps, Appendices

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

4,500 years ago a massive European migration occurred. 

Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe - Nature Letter

We show that the populations of Western and Far Eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000–5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ~8,000–7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000-year-old Siberian6. By ~6,000–5,000 years ago, farmers throughout much of Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~75% of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for a steppe origin9 of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe.

a, Proposed routes of migration by early farmers into Europe ~9,000−7000 years ago.b, Resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry during the Middle Neolithic 7,000−5,000 years ago. c, Arrival of steppe ancestry in central Europe ... 4,500 years ago   (Click to enlarge - original )

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Twisted Trilithon of Stonehenge

Last year I put together all my thoughts spread over many posts on this blog into a paper about why Stone 56 is skewed at Stonehenge, and what it might mean.

The paper is being published this month by the WANHS to my immense pleasure.

It has been edited and improved by the magazine, but a draft is  here - The Twisted Trilithon of Stonehenge - UPDATE - now corrected version to remove some typos.

More at

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Breast on Stone 16

Stone 16 is finely worked on the north eastern side, where it is on the side of the midwinter sunset alignment. The surface has been finely pecked to a smooth and straight surface, except for a nobble. This protrusion appears to have had its outer most part broken off but appears to have been deliberately left. It is just below head height.

I have no explanation for it and I try to avoid Pareidolia but it is reminiscent of a breast, or is that just me?  

Click to embiggen

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Stonehenge and the Neolithic Cosmos book available now!

Among the most mysterious, iconic, instantly recognizable structures in the world, Stonehenge has for many centuries been viewed through the shroud of stark majesty; a shambling folly in grand decay, singularly stoic and alone out on the blustery Salisbury Plain, England. But a true understanding of its significance has been stymied within that poetic context. Only recently has a certain prosaic inevitability incorporated the entire landscape into a larger perspective. Now this ancient edifice has begun to surrender her jealous secrets in subtle ways. Who were the people who built this timeless enigma? Atkinson called them 'Howling Savages'. Stukeley more politely refers to 'Our Rude Cousins'. But how did such brutes erect this sublime monument with a precision unmatched until Roman times - 2,000 years later? How could such layered meaning and obvious metaphor within the construct have been so elusive for millennia? Did Druids really build it? Was Stonehenge a Cathedral to the Sun? Was summer solstice the sole focus of their belief-system? How much of this ancient knowledge has been lost to the ages?

Stonehenge and the Neolithic Cosmos is written for the curious lay-person, but any seasoned professional might feel at home reading this profusely illustrated, illuminating report on the latest interpretation of the famous ruin. With exclusive access to a wealth of private information, ND Wiseman pulls aside the foggy curtain of history, legend and rumor to reveal some startling surprises about the world’s most beloved and mysterious prehistoric monument.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Stonehenge Memories Wanted!

Stonehenge  - a monumental sale....

September the 21st 2015 marks an important anniversary in Stonehenge’s long history. Exactly 100 years before this the Antrobus family of West Amesbury sold some of their estate at auction, and in the auction catalogue lot 15 was Stonehenge..... This was knocked down for the sum of £6,600 to a local businessman, Cecil Chubb who had apparently gone to the auction to buy chairs – but ended up on impulse buying Stonehenge!  

A few years after Cecil Chubb generously gave Stonehenge to the nation which meant that long overdue restoration work could start in earnest. To commemorate the anniversary of the auction English Heritage is mounting a special exhibition at the new Stonehenge visitor centre. As well as the auction itself, the exhibition will look at the ways in which both Stonehenge and the rich archaeological landscape that surrounds it have been looked after over the last 150 years. Buildings have come and gone while fields of grass have been ploughed up and then returned to pasture.

The curator for the exhibition is local archaeologist Julian Richards, a recognised Stonehenge expert perhaps best known for his TV series ‘Meet the Ancestors’. Julian is looking for anyone in the Salisbury or Amesbury area, or further afield, who has any stories, photographs or objects that will help to tell this story to one million visitors who come to Stonehenge each year.


Do you have any connection to the Chubb family who bought Stonehenge and lived in Salisbury?

Do you know anything about the Stonehenge cafe that stood by the side of the road near Stonehenge until it was demolished by the National Trust in the late 1920’s? Did any of your relatives work there? Do you have any photographs or items that are connected with it?

Did any of your relatives work on the restoration of Stonehenge in the 1920’s or later? or did you yourself work there in the 50’s and 60’s – raising fallen stones to make it a safe place to visit?

If you can help Julian in any way then please contact him on 01747851531 or e mail him at . Messages for him can also be left at Salisbury Museum.

And please come and visit the exhibition which opens - predictably - on the 21st September 2015.        

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Stanton Drew Big Mound

The Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society has published many reports on Stanton Drew (amongst other reports) including the most recent investigation into the Big Mound there. It was thought (hoped) it might be a Silbury like artificial one, it seems it is just a natural feature.

These reports are available from

Stanton Drew - Probing the Big Ground Mound 2014 (High Resolution Print Version)

Stanton Drew - Probing the Big Ground Mound 2014 (Low Resolution Screen Version)

Stanton Drew - Report on The Big Ground Mound 2013 (High Resolution Print Version)

Stanton Drew - Report on The Big Ground Mound 2013 (Low Resolution Screen Version)

Valley of the Stones - Observations of Possible Megalithic Structures in the Valley of Stones, Dorset

Hautville's Quoit - Stanton Drew Surveys, 2012 - Hautville's Quoit ((High Resolution Print Version)

Hautville's Quoit - Stanton Drew Surveys, 2012 - Hautville's Quoit (Low Resolution Screen Version)

Stanton Drew Report - Stanton Drew Report 2010 (High Resolution Print Version)

Stanton Drew Report - Stanton Drew Report 2010 (Low Resolution Screen Version)

Stanton Drew Report - Stanton Drew Report 2009

Stanton Drew Stones - High Resolution Overhead Photos of the Stones

Hat tip to Brian John