I recently gave a talk at the Society of Antiquaries in London about how observers in British colonial Asia – mostly civil servants during the years of the Raj, when the Crown claimed the right to rule India between 1858 and 1947 – recorded their impressions of people creating megaliths. In diaries, talks, books, or … Continue reading Moving megaliths: the Stonehenge-Asia link
Sad news. Archaeologist Arthur ApSimon has died. He was 91. Like Isobel Smith, Arthur was research assistant to Gordon Childe in London. He went to Queen's University Belfast, then to the new Department of Archaeology in Southampton, where he remained until retirement. He published an important paper on the Wessex Culture in 1954, he was … Continue reading Arthur ApSimon
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
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
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
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