Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Moving the Great Trilithon Replica from Larkhill to All Cannings via Stonehenge

Most photos by & copyright Simon Banton - Click to enlarge.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Stonehenge experiment to be repeated with 'lost' stones


Another attempt is to be made to solve the mystery of how the largest stones used to build Stonehenge were moved.
In 1996, a BBC TV programme aimed to find out how the stones for the largest trilithon were put into place, and how the lintel was placed on top.
Since then the concrete replicas have remained untouched and forgotten about at an army base on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.
They have now been rediscovered and the experiment will be repeated.
Archaeologist Julian Richards is teaming up with farmer Tim Daw see if modern techniques are any more efficient.
Mr Daw, who farms at All Cannings, near Devizes, and who created the first "Neolithic" long barrow to be built in the UK for 5,500 years, also works part-time at Stonehenge.
He said one of the most popular questions asked by visitors is 'how were the giant stones moved?'.
"When Julian Richards mentioned there was a life-sized replica of the largest stones at Stonehenge that were looking for a home that we could do some experiments on I said 'let's do it'."
The 45-tonne replicas were used in the BBC documentary Secrets of Lost Empires: Stonehenge, which was broadcast in 1996.
They have remained at Larkhill Camp, about a mile from Stonehenge ever since.
The experiment was partially successful, but now new theories have emerged about how the stones may have been moved.
Mr Richards said: "Over the last 20 years I've had lots of ideas come to me from different people from all over the world saying, 'there's a much better way of doing it, we know how it was done really, you've made it too complicated'."
He said the new project would get together some of the original team to test out the new theories.
"We're going to have to get at least 200 people together for about a week to make this happen."
Mr Daw added: "The first thing is to collect the stones from Salisbury Plain where they have been languishing for the past 20 years and get them back to my farm," said Mr Daw.
"Hopefully next year we'll get some teams of people [to take part in the experiment]"
Mr Daw said different theories had now emerged about how the huge stones could have been moved.
"The experts certainly think they know more. Whether they actually do know more is an interesting question.
"Without trying all the wonderful ideas of how you do it Neolithic style, just using man power - no wheels, no draught animals, no machinery - we can't tell what is practical and what is just fantasy."
It is hoped the result of the experiment will be turned into another television programme to air next year.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Free Stonehenge Course

Stonehenge Online Course - iversity.org

Learn about the most spectacular monument of the Neolithic in this exciting Online Course ✓ FREE ✓ University of Buckingham ✓ With Dr. Graeme Davis


I have signed up for it.....

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Stonehenge - Cleal et al - Free Download

Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations

Montague, R., Cleal, R., Walker, K.

English Heritage (1999)

Abstract: Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations

This volume represents a detailed discussion of the structural history of Stonehenge, arrived at by the integration of evidence from primary records of excavations carried out between 1901 and 1964. These major campaigns of excavation and recording include those of Prof William Gowland (1901); Lt-Col William Hawley (1919-26); Profs Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson with J F Stone (1950, 53-5,56,58 and 64) and some smaller, previously unpublished campaigns as well as more recent, small-scale excavations which are already published. The evidence for the use of the monument from the Middle Neolithic to the present day is discussed in terms of its landscape and social settings. The evidence for the rephasing of the monument, including artefactual and ecofactual assemblages, details of the radiocarbon dating programme, geophysical surveys, transcripts of all available field plans, sections, and stone elevations is presented together with a variety of summary lists, concordances, and a guide to the site archive. A new suite of radiocarbon determinations has been obtained which redefines our understanding of the sequence of construction and use of the monument and augments the surviving archaeological evidence.

Download monograph

Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations, Montague, R.|Cleal, R.|Walker, K., English Heritage (1999), ISBN: 9781848022102 PDF 141 Mb

Stonehenge - A History of the National Heritage Collection

47/2014 - A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Three: Stonehenge 


This is Volume Three in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collection of ancient monuments and historic buildings from 1882 to 1983 in the context of legislation and other available means of protecting heritage. The report sets out the story relating to the acquisition and protection of Stonehenge, drawing upon the guardianship files and Pitt-Rivers papers held by English Heritage and the National Archives. An account is given of the efforts of the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Lieutenant General Augustus Pitt-Rivers, to secure the protection of Stonehenge following the 1882 Ancient Monuments Act. In the early 20th century the monument was enclosed for the first time. However during the First World War it suffered damage. Stonehenge was gifted to the Nation in 1918. Thereafter the Office of Works managed a series of excavations and restorations of the monument in the 1920s and 1950s. Consideration was also given to the setting of Stonehenge. The surrounding downland was purchased and vested in the National Trust in 1929. Thereafter efforts were made to restore Stonehenge to its former wilderness, although this was at constant conflict with its role as a visitor attraction.

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Other reports available:

A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume One: 1882-1900 Lt. General Augustus Pitt-Rivers and the First Ancient Monuments Act 
This is Volume One in a series of eight research reports, which describe the formation of the nation... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Two: 1900-1913 The Offices of War, Woods and Works 
This is Volume Two in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collec... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Three: Stonehenge 
This is Volume Three in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national coll... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Four: 1913-1931 The Ancient Monuments Branch under Peers and Baines 
This is Volume Four in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national colle... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Five: 1931-1945: ‘Heritage Under Fire’: Hadrian’s Wall, Avebury and the Second World War 
This is Volume Five in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national colle... 

Long Barrow Solar Alignments

A very quick desktop survey of my local Long Barrow alignments:  The yellow line is sunrise, orange sunset. (Definitions of what constitute the moment of sunrise or sunset vary). They are taken from the excellent Suncalc.net 

The new Long Barrow at All Cannings is designed to align to the midwinter solstitial sunrise, with the rising sun flooding the passageway with light.

Adam's Grave Dec 21st

Kitchen Barrow June 21st
West Kennet Sept 21st

And of course Stonehenge June 21st 
(note sunset along Great Trilithon)

Click any to enlarge - and follow link to SunCalc to play with the alignments.