Golden treasures from prehistoric Britain’s Stonehenge era, most of which have never previously been on public display, are today being unveiled at a small provincial museum.
The exhibition is the largest collection of early Bronze-Age gold ever put on public display in England.
It was impossible to exhibit most of the gold treasures before because of security concerns. Up until now the closest the public got to them was by seeing photographs.
Housed in a new, high-security and humidity-controlled series of galleries inside the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, 15 miles north of Stonehenge, the gold treasures and other objects are being used to reveal the remarkable cultural story behind the world famous prehistoric stone monument. Read more.
Visitors will be welcomed at a new visitor building, located 2.1km (1.5 miles) to the west of Stonehenge. For the first time ever at the site, they will be able to learn more about this complex monument in a stunning, museum-quality permanent exhibition curated by English Heritage experts.
A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter a gallery presenting the facts and theories surrounding the monument through various displays and nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts.
The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum, and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge. Read more.
Scientists have uncovered a portion of an ancient path that may have led to Stonehenge.
While dismantling a modern road that runs near Stonehenge, the archaeologists uncovered two ditches found to be remnants of an ancient pathway called the avenue. Archaeologists have known of the avenue and suspected it led directly to the monument, but the modern road had cut the delicate pathway in two, obscuring its purpose. The new discovery confirms the avenue’s role as an ancient pathway to the site.
"We found the bottoms, the truncated ditches, that belong to the feature known as the avenue, which is the processional leading up to Stonehenge," said archaeologist Heather Sebire, a property curator for English Heritage, which manages Stonehenge. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered six Pagan Saxon skeletons dating back over 1,000 years on a housing development site just a few miles from Stonehenge.
The discoveries, which also include round barrows dating back to the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago, were unearthed at a redundant brownfield development site in Amesbury, Wiltshire, which is also famous for the Amesbury Archer – an early Bronze Age man found buried among arrowheads.
The remains are thought to be those of adolescent to mature males and females. Five skeletons were arrayed around a small circular ditch, with the grave of a sixth skeleton in the centre. Two lots of beads, a shale bracelet and other grave goods were also found, which suggest the findings are Pagan. Read more.
Attention Stonehenge enthusiasts: there’s a job opening at the mysterious stone monument, and a better opportunity may not arise for the next 5,000 years.
English Heritage, the organization that oversees Stonehenge as well as 420 other historic properties around Britain, is seeking a “dynamic and inspirational leader” who can “take the Stonehenge visitor experience forward,” according to a job posting on English Heritage’s website. The new manager will oversee efforts on a new visitor center and coordinate summer solstice activities. The job pays £65,000 ($99,229).
The Wiltshire, England megaliths were raised nearly 5,000 years ago, but exactly why has remained an enduring mystery. Applicants should apply for the position by May 5. (source)
An excavation funded with redundancy money shows Stonehenge was a settlement 3,000 years before it was built.
The archaeological dig, a mile from the stones, has revealed that people have occupied the area since 7,500BC.
The findings, uncovered by volunteers on a shoestring budget, are 5,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Dr Josh Pollard, from Southampton University, said the team had “found the community who put the first monument up at Stonehenge”.
The small-scale project has been led by Open University archaeologist David Jacques, who had to plough his redundancy money into it to make it happen.
He first spotted the Amesbury site in aerial photographs as a student. Read more.
Thousands of people came from across Britain to help build Stonehenge, experts investigating the origins of the monument have said.
They said people travelled from as far afield as the Scottish Highlands.
Researchers from University College London said their findings overturned what was thought about the origins of the monument.
Until now it had been thought that Stonehenge was built as an astronomical calendar or observatory.
The latest findings, which came after a decade of research, suggested it was the act of building the monument rather than its purpose that was key.
The researchers believed as many as 4,000 people gathered at the site, at a time when Britain’s population was only tens of thousands. Read more.
Centuries before the first massive sarsen stone was hauled into place at Stonehenge, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument may have begun life as a giant burial ground, according to a theory disclosed on Saturday.
More than 50,000 cremated bone fragments, of 63 individuals buried at Stonehenge, have been excavated and studied for the first time by a team led by archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson, who has been working at the site and on nearby monuments for decades. He now believes the earliest burials long predate the monument in its current form.
The first bluestones, the smaller standing stones, were brought from Wales and placed as grave markers around 3,000BC, and it remained a giant circular graveyard for at least 200 years, with sporadic burials after that, he claims. Read more.