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British Archaeology – Back Issue 127 (Nov/Dec 2012)

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STONEHENGE – AS NEVER SEEN BEFORE

A new high resolution laser survey has revealed previously unseen details that change the way we think about Stonehenge. In this exclusive report written by the archaeologists who did the analysis, we learn how the results bring big surprises in four areas:

  • how the stones were dressed and what the original monument looked like
  • prehistoric carvings – difficult to see and unknown to visitors: the new discoveries have doubled the number of such carvings known in the whole of Britain
  • damage by tourists: the scale of damage done by souvenir collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries had not been recognised before
  • graffiti: dates range between 1721 and 1866, though most were carved 1800–1850 – and they’re almost everywhere.

English Heritage publishes the full report on October 9.

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STONEHENGE – AS NEVER SEEN BEFORE

A new high resolution laser survey has revealed previously unseen details that change the way we think about Stonehenge. In this exclusive report written by the archaeologists who did the analysis, we learn how the results bring big surprises in four areas:

  • how the stones were dressed and what the original monument looked like
  • prehistoric carvings – difficult to see and unknown to visitors: the new discoveries have doubled the number of such carvings known in the whole of Britain
  • damage by tourists: the scale of damage done by souvenir collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries had not been recognised before
  • graffiti: dates range between 1721 and 1866, though most were carved 1800–1850 – and they’re almost everywhere.

English Heritage publishes the full report on October 9.

NEWS

QUESTIONS ABOUT NORTHERN IRELAND ROAD PROJECT

A document prepared for planning purposes but not made public, raises questions about process and transparency at Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. We earlier reported how an internationally significant medieval site was apparently overlooked and nearly destroyed during roadworks; the whistle-blower was fired. Now we reveal that Roads Services claims not to have known the site was there seem difficult to sustain. A 2011 report prepared highlighted the remains’ importance. Three pages describing how the roadworks should be managed to meet legal requirements for protecting the archaeology, had been inexpertly removed. I can provide both British Archaeology’s news reports, and discuss this myself, but am unable to reveal the source.

INTERVIEW

IT’S OUR BLOOMING STORY!

Lady Fiona Carnarvon lives in Highclere Castle, home to TV drama Downton Abbey and, a century ago, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who found Tutankhamun with Howard Carter. Lady Carnarvon talks about her search for the 5th Earl’s story.

THE ALAN SORRELL ARCHIVE

Artist and illustrator Alan Sorrell (1904–74) was an important figure in 20th century British archaeology. His family recently lent much of his archive to the Society of Antiquaries of London. As well as bringing insights into what’s there, we hear from the artist’s daughter Julia Sorrell about the man himself.

SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYHOUSES

Of the nine playhouses in Shakespearean London, no less than five have now been partially excavated – as well as two bear-baiting arenas. Julian Bowsher, there from the first, describes the striking new archaeology that has transformed the study of the places where Shakespeare worked.

THE GREAT BARN

Harmondsworth’s Great Barn is aptly named: it is the best preserved building of its type, and nearly 60m long. Built in 1426, it was recently bought by English Heritage.

COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY

We highlight voluntary projects in the East Midlands.

LIDAR & ARCHAEOLOGY

Lidar – laser scanning from the air – is revealing dramatic discoveries, including sites in south Wales, Lincolnshire and Scotland.

REGULARS INCLUDE

* Mick’s travels

Mick Aston goes to York

* Spoilheap

What do archaeologists say about the Richard III dig?

* Greg Bailey on TV

Britain’s Secret Treasures

* Letters

Did the Vikings really exist?

* Science

The basic concepts behind laser scanning and lidar

* Books

Stonehenge, churches and arguing about human origins

 * Briefing

The UK’s only archaeological events listing, with exhibition reviews

* Correspondent

More public engagement in archaeology is vital

* Casework

The Pavilion on Penarth Pier is to be renovated

 

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