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Scientists prove that stone monuments in Britain were built with astronomy in mind

The Heritage Trust

 
 
Standing stones in the south-west quadrant of the Avebury stone circle
©
Littlestone
 
What has long been suspected, that the earliest stone monuments in Britain were built with astronomy in mind, has now been proven. Writing in the NewHistorian, Daryl Worthington reports that –
 
Through innovative use of 2D and 3D technology, researchers from the University of Adelaide have statistically proven that spectacular stone circles constructed up to 500 years before Stonehenge, were deliberately built in line with the movement of the Sun and Moon.
 
The findings, published last week in the Journal of Archaeological Science, give fresh insight into the relationships ancient Britons held with the sky; connecting the earth to astronomical phenomena through spectacular monuments.
 
“Nobody before this has ever statistically determined that a single stone circle was constructed with astronomical phenomena in mind – it was all supposition,” said project…

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Durrington Dig – 10th August 2016

We are visiting Durringon Walls en-route to Stonehenge.

FragmeNTs

Some answers, but a lot more questions.

Our penultimate digging day has been the busiest yet for visitors.

We’ve had large specialist groups of visitors as well as individuals visiting today – some people were just passing and stopped to see what all the fuss was about, while others heard about the dig on social media.  Everyone was keen to get a look in the trench and hear about the discoveries from the experts.

More than one parent has commented that they are delighted that their children have been allowed inside the fencing to see what we’re doing.  It’s been a real pleasure to see children watching, asking questions and totally engaged – future archaeologists in the making?

Visitors have also offered plenty of theories of their own about Durrington Walls and it’s been a delightful experience chatting to everyone and listening to their ideas about what they think Durrington…

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Durrington Dig 2016 – Tuesday 9 August

FragmeNTs

Dynamic Diversity – the nature of working on a prehistoric archaeological site

The team has been digging for 8 days and ideas are continually evolving and being re-evaluated. What is exciting about this excavation is that no matter what day you visit or read the blog, you will hear something different from the previous day – and tomorrow will likely be different from today.

Theories, which can develop in tandem, are either abandoned, held on to, proved or disproved, or sit in the background quietly in wait. There are many specialists and highly experienced archaeologists on site who are all sharing and debating their ideas with each other – and if you’re lucky you may have caught them on site in deep discussion.

IMG_0648.JPG Three different areas under excavation – different ideas for each one

Let’s go back to the house floors. There have been 1 possibly 2 house floors since we started on site. Today there are none. Yesterday’s house…

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Reminder: see you at Avebury on Sunday.

Durrington Dig 2016 – Wednesday 3 August

FragmeNTs

In yesterday’s blog post we mentioned that the site team had uncovered what appeared to be two pits. These pits were originally dug before the construction of the bank and ditch of Durrington Walls henge; therefore the material of the bank overlies these pits. The site team battled with the wind today with the goal of removing the remainder of the original Neolithic bank material.

The chalk band in the photo below shows one of the as yet unexcavated pits, which appears to be a pit with a ramp. This has shown the accuracy of the electrical resistivity tomography image from the Hidden Landscapes Team where the ‘saucepan-like’ image illustrates a pit and ramp very nicely.

IMG_0020 The white band across the bottom of the photo shows the top of the pit/ramp feature with the ramp meeting the pit at the top right

You may also have noticed a small mound just at the top of the pit in…

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Durrington Walls Dig: August 2016

We are following this very carefully and including on all our August Stonehenge tours.

Stonehenge News and Information

Over the course of the last six years a team of archaeologists from across Europe led by Professor Vince Gaffney of Bradford University have been carrying out a series of cutting-edge geophysical surveys across an area approaching 10 square kilometres in the Stonehenge landscape.

They’ve made dozens of new discoveries, some of them entirely new sites. But one of the most astonishing things they’ve found is that something – in fact a whole series of somethings – lie buried beneath the 4,500 year old bank of Durrington Walls henge. Their surveys revealed an arc of large solid anomalies, some over two metres long. But the question was what were they?

Durrington 20160802

There was only one way to find out and that  was to dig. Which is why the combined forces of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, the Hidden Landscapes team and the National Trust are digging at Durrington Walls this August.

At the start of our  dig our…

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