The Stonehenge Bluestones is a semi-glossy, well-produced, slim, populist volume that, after ten years, replaces John’s earlier book, The Bluestone Enigma. It is the better of the two, with fewer factual errors, less immoderate language, and a closer understanding of the complexities of the ‘problem’: whence did the bluestones come and how were they moved to Salisbury Plain?
Any excavation carried out a stone’s throw from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and some of its attendant monuments – Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, and, of course, the eponymous monument – is going to be special. The archaeology uncovered at the former military site at Durrington, comprising (among other features) two post-hole alignments, a Late Iron Age defensive ditch, and evidence of Roman-period settlement, is no exception. The post alignments formed part of the ‘web of interconnectivity’ through the ritual landscape. The Iron Age ditch followed the orientation of the postholes, hinting at continuity of landscape organisation. A bluestone disc found in one of the ditches of the later settlement could represent a prized object collected from Stonehenge in the Roman period.
It is always a joy and a privilege to visit excavations on behalf of CA, but I seldom get to see a dig on the scale of the project currently under way beside the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. There, major road improvement works are allowing an entire historic landscape to be explored in minute […]
Julian Richards makes no apology ‘for adding one more item to the extensive literature of Stonehenge’ as he offers the revision of his 2007 book to be this year’s Stonehenge autumn annual.
The discovery of London’s Temple of Mithras enthralled the public and inspired a generation of archaeologists. In 1954, tens of thousands queued for hours to see the newly uncovered Roman remains. Today, the temple has opened to visitors once more, reconstructed close to its original location – CA went along to find out more. Around […]
A newly opened exhibition at Stonehenge documents the diet of the community thought to have been responsible for erecting the main phase of the monument – including the surprisingly far-flung origins of some of their food.
Antiquity has long been a source of inspiration for artists, with striking images of prehistoric monuments appearing in a variety of media across the centuries. Lucia Marchini visits an exhibition that explores the popularity of British prehistory in the visual arts. The enduring appeal of prehistoric monuments makes them fitting subjects for artworks. From antiquarians […]
Rethinking the early Neolithic Stonehenge landscape Excavations at Larkhill have revealed a remarkable set of structures superimposed in the Wiltshire chalk. The discovery of a causewayed enclosure is raising fundamental questions about the early Neolithic focus of what would become the Stonehenge landscape, while more recent digging sought to prepare soldiers for the terrors of […]
How should we study ancient stone monuments? In the past, great ingenuity has been expended on cataloguing them according to ever more intricate typologies. Now a survey of Neolithic monuments in Pembrokeshire is applying simpler classifications and focusing on what these edifices meant to the communities that raised them. The results raise questions about how efforts to clear the first farming land […]
Exploring the ‘first place’ in the stonehenge landscape Ongoing excavations at Blick Mead, an ancient spring on Salisbury Plain, have revealed an unprecedented array of evidence for large Mesolithic gatherings and extravagant feasts taking place just over a mile from where Stonehenge would be built thousands of years later. Now the project has produced signs […]