New Hi-Tech Survey Reveals Hidden Mysteries of the Stonehenge Landscape

Durrington Walls: new survey has revealed a series of 60 previously unknown pits beneath the banks of this super- henge

Durrington Walls: a new state of the art survey has revealed a series of 60 previously unknown pits beneath the banks of this super- henge

When it comes to the ancient and precious gem that is the Stonehenge Landscape it seems the harder we look the more we find. From the sixteenth century onwards this special place has been a source of fascination and inspiration to antiquarians and archaeologists. John Aubrey, Inigo Jones, William Cunnington and William Stukeley all played their part in unlocking its secrets.

In the last decade the latest generation of voyagers into our prehistoric past have transformed our knowledge of the people who built and used its sites and monuments. Yet despite this the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes team (a collaborative project between the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute) have charted a clutch of new and previously unsuspected sites that reveal how much of the Stonehenge Landscape remains to be explored. By applying cutting edge geophysical techniques that their predecessors could never have dreamed of they have shown that the landscape we thought we had begun to understand still contains hidden mysteries.

Working closely with the National Trust and English Heritage over several years without lifting a single sod of turf the team have revealed not only completely unexpected monuments but episodes of activity at some sites that mean we will need to rewrite their histories. Unpicking the story that underlies the results of this survey will keep archaeologists busy for decades to come. The Hidden Landscapes project has reminded us once again that the Stonehenge Landscape is among the most precious places on the planet.

You can catch me talking about the new finds on Radio 4’s Today programme (10 Sept starting at 2 hrs 23 minutes 45 seconds) or take a look at BBC2’s Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath

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Can you dig it? Infrastructure and past archaeological mistakes

Dr Nick:

Ellie Dewdney highlights the how not to of infrastructure and archaeology…

Originally posted on National Trust Places:

In this series of blog posts Ellie Dewdney will be keeping you up to date with current issues that could affect Britain’s most special places and what the National Trust are doing to preserve these national treasures.

As discussed in the previous post ‘Can you dig it? Infrastructure and archaeology’ it is difficult to deny the fact that infrastructure projects can help reveal unexpected archaeological finds. But excavation is essentially a destructive process. Although objects and artefacts can often be removed from the ground they are still isolated from their original context.

The HS2 line has already proved a highly controversial prospect and this post looks into why, archaeologically, it could be considered as detrimental.

What a HS2 train could look like.

What a HS2 train could look like.

Past Mistakes

Hindsight is a powerful tool in this discussion. Certain other projects have failed to handle archaeological discoveries in an appropriate way.

If we return to…

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