DNA, executions and Stonehenge: a new British Archaeology

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 … Continue reading DNA, executions and Stonehenge: a new British Archaeology

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Stonehenge deserves better than this

You may have noticed that Blick Mead was in the press today. I’m writing a feature rounding up all the recent excavations in and around the world heritage site for a future British Archaeology (you will be astonished at how much there is!), so I thought I’d have a look at the story. Excavation at … Continue reading Stonehenge deserves better than this

A guide to siting new roads around Stonehenge

Historic England has published a new edition of its online research magazine. It‘s devoted to new research around Stonehenge. You can read it here – excavations (covered in news reports in British Archaeology), surveys, artwork and finds. I’m just going to pick up on one thing… Martyn Barber and Fiona Small write about mapping the … Continue reading A guide to siting new roads around Stonehenge

Drowning in the swamp of bad TV: Unearthed at Stonehenge

The Science Channel posted a link to a film clip a couple of days ago, to promote a new film, apparently called Skeletons of Stonehenge. The piece is headed, “Clues found in ancient skeletons buried at Stonehenge reveal a series of murders.” (Hint as to where this is going: the bone above is not from … Continue reading Drowning in the swamp of bad TV: Unearthed at Stonehenge

What would Trump do with Stonehenge?

This is not a polemic, but a long reflection on Stonehenge, archaeology, conservation and the modern world. So as not to interrupt the read, I have put no links in the text. There are some at the end. In 2014 the president of the United States visited Britain’s most famous ancient monument. Barack Obama was … Continue reading What would Trump do with Stonehenge?

What did the world heritage site mean to people who built Stonehenge? Nothing

Yesterday I walked in the landscape around Stonehenge. In a recent short video headed The Stonehenge Tunnel Begins, Tom Holland stands on Bush Barrow, near Stonehenge and one of the country’s iconic prehistoric monuments, and addresses the camera. He describes “vans and lorries employed by the Highways Agency who are testing out the ground for … Continue reading What did the world heritage site mean to people who built Stonehenge? Nothing

Cold stones

I was down at Larkhill this morning to visit a large excavation. The Ministry of Defence is building a new housing estate for soldiers and their families, and Wessex Archaeology has found all sorts of interesting things, among them the edge of a new causewayed enclosure, which you’ll be able to read about in the … Continue reading Cold stones

Janet Hodgson

More sad news. Tomorrow’s Guardian paper will carry Janet Hodgson’s obituary, online now. She will have been known to quite a few archaeologists, as among other things she worked at excavations, and some of her creations were explicitly archaeological: "Piltdown Bungalow" (1993) was an archaeological trench exposing the top of a house; "The Pits" (2005) … Continue reading Janet Hodgson

In bygone and sensible times

Martyn Barber, who works at Historic England and co-authored HE's recent The Stonehenge Landscape, tells me he's researching John Soul. Soul featured in my previous post as the man who linked free access at Stonehenge in the last century to a photo of a Victorian event there (at 3pm on a September 18, but in … Continue reading In bygone and sensible times

How the Magpie Musicians came to stand for free Stonehenge

Four years ago (time, even immemorial, flies) I was working on an exhibition about Stonehenge for English Heritage, and I wrote a blog about a frequently reproduced photo of the stones. The image shows a crowd of people, bicycles and carts and horses, and had been commonly said to show a protest in 1901 against … Continue reading How the Magpie Musicians came to stand for free Stonehenge