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The 9th annual Current Archaeology Awards celebrate the projects and publications that made the pages of CA this year, and the people judged to have made outstanding contributions to archaeology. Research Project of the Year category includes;
Rethinking Durrington Walls: a long-lost monument revealed
(CA 320 – Stonehenge Riverside Project / Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project / National Trust)
Ongoing research at Durrington Walls has revealed a massive and previously unknown palisaded enclosure beneath the banks of the famous Neolithic henge. It is a discovery that is set to rewrite the site’s history.
Voting closes 6 February 2017
Durrington Walls, two miles from Stonehenge, is named after the Neolithic henge that calls the location home. But with ongoing research revealing a massive and previously unknown monument hidden beneath its banks, the site’s history is set to be rewritten. Carly Hilts spoke to Vince Gaffney, Mike Parker Pearson, and Nick Snashall to find out more.
Around 4,500 years ago, hundreds of people gathered two miles from Stonehenge to build another massive monument, at a location known to us as Durrington Walls. The spot they had selected lay within sight of the celebrated stones, and had previously been home to a village that may have housed the community that erected them (CA 208). But now the short-lived settlement lay abandoned, and – perhaps motivated by a desire to commemorate its presence – the new group of builders punched through the living surfaces and midden material of their predecessors to complete their work.
Their efforts were not focused on raising the imposing earthworks of the henge that gives the site its modern name, however. Instead, their labour created a previously unknown earlier phase whose full extent is only now being revealed by ongoing research: as many as 300 huge wooden posts, evenly spaced 5m apart in a ring almost 450m across. It would have been an arresting sight, yet within a maximum of 50 years the monument had been decommissioned once more, its posts removed and their sockets filled in, before being covered over by the henge that we see today. All trace of the post circle would lie hidden beneath the banks of its successor for millennia – until it was brought to light once more by a series of excavations and the largest geophysical survey of its kind. Why did the site undergo such a sudden change in design, and what can we learn about the rise and fall of a long-lost monument? As analysis continues, intriguing clues are beginning to emerge.~
Full story here
Join the local Stonehenge experts on a guided tour from Salisbury and hear all about this amazing discovery.
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tour
The Stonehenge Travel Company
Salisbury Cathedral is delighted to announce that Ken Follett is visiting on Sunday 2 March at 6.00pm at the start of a tour of five Cathedrals to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of his global bestselling book The Pillars of the Earth. The author was inspired to write what has become a classic masterpiece by a number of medieval cathedrals in England and Europe, but none more so than Salisbury. He will deliver a lecture ‘Why Cathedrals?’, sign books and meet fans at a reception immediately afterwards.~
Sarah Mullally, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, said “This is truly a rare opportunity to hear Ken Follett talk about cathedrals, the inspiration behind his extraordinary book The Pillars of the Earth, and to meet him in person. He is passionate about these buildings and through his researches for the book, and its sequel World Without End, has considerable knowledge and understanding of them and the people who built them. He will be joined by the actor David Oakes – who played the dastardly William Hamleigh in the TV mini-series of the book – and by Gary Price – the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works and modern day Tom Builder – for a Q&A session after his talk.”
Ken Follett writes “Many times I have been asked why Pillars has such a big impact. There is no simple answer, because a novel is so complex. But I come back again and again to the people who built the cathedrals. Those men and women were by modern standards, poor and ignorant. They lived in wooden huts and slept on the floor. Yet they created the most beautiful and awesome buildings the world has ever known. Human beings have the capacity to rise above mundane circumstances and touch the eternal. That is what Pillars is about and, in the end, I think that may be why it has so profoundly touched the hearts of so many readers for so many years.”
Tickets, £10.00 for the lecture and £17.50 for the lecture and reception with Ken Follett, David Oakes and Gary Price, are available online from www.salisburycathedral.org.uk and at Waterstones Salisbury from 7 February.
The special anniversary edition of The Pillars of the Earth is published by Pan in paperback on 30 January 2014 at £9.99. It is available from Waterstones and all good bookshops.
Salisbury Cathedral event: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/news/meet-ken-follett-salisbury-cathedral-sunday-2-march (Posted By : Sarah Flanaghan)
“Many of our customers visit Salisbury and Old Sarum after reading this wonderful book”
The Stonehenge Travel Company, Salisbury, England
Guided Tours of Stonehenge and Salisbury