c2445265-6f95-49cd-a5f5-687c6dfda129-original
 
Two collided bullets from the Battle of Gallipoli (1915-1916)
 
 
 
South-east quadrant of the Avebury Henge in Wiltshire, England
©
Littlestone
 
Avebury, in Wiltshire, England is one of the largest stone circles in the world. Part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, that includes the West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill, it has achieved international fame as one of the finest and most complex Neolithic structures ever built. But where did the people who built the stone circle actually live? Now, according to the Western Daily Press
 
A team of experts from the National Trust, Southampton and Leicester universities and Allen Environmental Archaeology are currently in the middle of a three-week dig – having spent the last three years investigating the area.
 
“Avebury’s prehistoric monuments are justly world famous but one of the questions I’m most often asked is where the people who built and used them lived,” said Nick Snashall, the National Trust’s archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.
 
“This landscape has been studied by antiquaries and archaeologists for almost 400 years, which makes it all the more astonishing that we had no idea where its Neolithic and Bronze Age residents lived or what they did in their daily lives.
 
“So a few years ago a group of us decided it was about time we changed that and teamed up to form the Between the Monuments Project.
 
“We’re trying to put the people back into Avebury. It sounds straightforward, but the houses the first farmers built are incredibly rare and difficult to spot.
 
“Finding stone circles and burial mounds is a doddle in comparison.”
 
More here.
 
 
Oldest know fragments of the Koran discovered recently at the University of Birmingham
 
Sean Coughlan, Education correspondent for the BBC, reports on the astonishing find of what might be the oldest know fragments of the Koran –
 
What may be the world’s oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham. Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence.
 
…tests, carried out by the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, showed that the fragments, written on sheep or goat skin, were among the very oldest surviving texts of the Koran. These tests provide a range of dates, showing that, with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645. “They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam,” said David Thomas, the university’s professor of Christianity and Islam.
 
More here.
 
 
One of thousands of rock engravings made over a period of some 30,000 years by the aboriginal peoples of the Murujuga Peninsula of Western Australia
Images courtesy Dr Ken Mulvaney
 
As the United Kingdom celebrates Australian Indigenous heritage at the British Museum and as Sotheby’s London Indigenous Australian Art auction achieves record prices, back in Australia the Western Australian Government silently moves to deregister Aboriginal sacred sites.
 
“The Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people are deeply concerned about the effects of the proposed development on the Burrup Peninsula. As the traditional owners, we have a spiritual connection given to us by the Mingkala and a responsibility handed down to us by our ancestors to ensure the cultural heritage values of the Burrup are protected for future generations”.
 
Pilbara Native Title Service, June 2002
 
Once Australia is erased it can never be put back. It will be lost forever. To us this is an enormous sadness. When I speak to Wong-goo-tt-oo elder and law man Wilfred Hicks about the Murujuga situation there is great sadness in his voice too and we should all think about the cultural grief and suffering created by the destruction of culture and heritage in Australia. It is a crime against humanity.
 
Peter Hylands
 
Read more here.
 
 
Thin filaments of gold spirals found in a field in eastern Denmark
©
West Zealand Museum, Denmark
 
BBC News reports on nearly 2,000 tiny golden spirals found in a field in eastern Denmark –
 
The coils, made from thin filaments about 3cm (1in) long, date from between 900BC and 700BC, according to Flemming Kaul of the National Museum in Copenhagen. But he and his colleagues aren’t quite sure what they have found. “The fact is we don’t know what they were for, although I’m inclined to think they were part of a priest-king’s robes, perhaps a fringe on a head-piece or parasol, or maybe woven into cloth,” he says on the museum’s website. The gold spirals will go on display at Skaelskor City Museum next week.
 
More here.
 
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Detail of the Battersea Shield. Iron Age, 350-50bce
©
The Trustees of the British Museum
 
This is the first major exhibition to examine the full history of Celtic art and identity, and is organised in partnership with National Museums Scotland. The story unfolds over 2,500 years, from the first recorded mention of ‘Celts’ to an exploration of contemporary Celtic influences. Discover how this identity has been revived and reinvented over the centuries, across Britain, Europe and beyond.
 
Organised with National Museums Scotland
 
Supported by –
In memory of Melvin R Seiden
Sheila Streek
Stephen and Julie Fitzgerald
Fund for the Future donors
 
CeltsArt and identity exhibition runs at the British Museum from 24 September 2015 – 31 January 2016. More here.
  
 
 
Unearthed in 1947 at Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire England, this 4,400 year-old gold sun disc is one of only six ever found, and one of the earliest metal objects ever discovered in Britain
 
This rare and beautiful gold sun-disc (discovered 20 miles from Stonehenge) has gone on display to mark this year’s summer solstice. The early Bronze Age disc, thought to represent the sun, is on show for the first time at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, England.
 
More here.
 
On a separate note, The Heritage Trust is relocating from the south to the north of England. We hope to be up and running as normal by the beginning of July. Have a great summer wherever you are!
 

Just Listed: 20 Unusual Places given Protected Status this Year.

The Cotton MS. Augustus II. 106 of the Magna Carta. One of only four surviving exemplifications of the 1215 text Source Wikimedia Commons

The Magna Carta: “The greatest constitutional document of all times; the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”

Lord Denning.

See also our earlier feature Encasing the Magna Carta.

 

 
 
I Love Museums is a campaign led by the National Museum Directors’ Council to show the public support for museums
 
The Campaign
 
Our museums are facing challenging times. Local and national governments are making tough decisions about funding, and we want to show them how much museums matter by celebrating the public support for our wonderful cultural institutions. We need you to stand up and say ‘I Love Museums’!
 
Whoever is to blame for the financial and banking crisis, and as we all try to recover, it is clearer than ever that our Heritage – monuments, archaeology and museums – also underpins our recovery. Our heritage assets, and the beleaguered professionals who manage them.
 
More here.
   

Castlehill Heritage Centre in Castletown, Scotland
©
AOC Archaeology Group & Castletown Heritage Society 2015

Summer 2015 sees the launch of en exciting new community archaeology initiative from Castletown Heritage Society: A Window on the Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness. This innovative project represents a new chapter in the exploration of Caithness’ prehistoric past, using cutting-edge technology to identify and select features for investigation. Targeted archaeological survey and excavation will be carried out by volunteers under the guidance of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, as part of a structure summer school. Training will be central to the project’s aims, with participants learning new skills or building on previous experience. Castlehill Heritage Centre will be the project’s central hub, with indoor learning sessions, evening events and crafts workshops taking place there throughout the summer and into the autumn.

More here.

   

 
 
The Rillaton Gold Cup. Early Bronze Age (1,800-1,600bce)
On loan to the British Museum from the Royal Collections
Image: The Heritage Trust
 
Was Cornwall the site of a prehistoric gold rush? David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent for The Independent, reports –
 
New archaeological research is revealing that south-west Britain was the scene of a prehistoric gold rush. A detailed analysis of some of Western Europe’s most beautiful gold artefacts suggests that Cornwall was a miniature Klondyke in the Early Bronze Age. Geological estimates now indicate that up to 200 kilos of gold, worth in modern terms almost £5 million, was extracted in the Early Bronze Age from Cornwall and West Devon’s rivers – mainly between the 22nd and 17th centuries BC.
 
New archaeological and metallurgical research suggests that substantial amounts were exported to Ireland, with smaller quantities probably also going to France. It also suggests that the elites of Stonehenge almost certainly likewise obtained their gold from the south-west peninsula, as may the rulers of north-west Wales, who took to wearing capes made of solid gold.
 
Full article here.
    
 
2,000 year-old Roman figurine of Mercury
©
Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)
 
Ben Miller, writing in Cuture24, reports on –
 
The 1,000th officially recorded archaeological find of the year in Yorkshire… Registered on May the 15th – the day of the festival of Mercury – a 2,000-year-old figurine of the Roman god, found by Dave Cooper while he was metal detecting in a field near Selby, is a remarkable reminder of Roman times.
 
“It honestly was pure coincidence – but a very happy one,” says Rebecca Griffiths, the Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the York Museums Trust.
 
Read more here. You can also discover more about the figurine here, and Public Finds Days will be held by the PAS at Hull and East Riding Museum on July 31, September 25 and November 27 from 11am-1pm and at the Yorkshire Museum on June 5, August 7, October 2, December 4 from 10am-1pm.
 


Reconstructed Anglo-Saxon sword pommel from the Staffordshire Hoard
©
Birmingham Museums Trust

 

Originally posted on Heritage Calling:

We have given £400,000 towards some ground breaking research into the Staffordshire Hoard. It will lead to an online catalogue detailing every one of the hundreds of objects in the Hoard. The plan is for the catalogue to be ready in 2017 with a major book about the collection published the following year. Working with the owners of the hoard, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils, and Birmingham Museums Trust and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery who jointly care for the collection, we have already made some amazing discoveries. But £120,000 still needs to be raised to complete this incredibly important project.

Think you’d like to help? Here are six reasons to donate:

1. It’s the most important Anglo-Saxon find since 1939

The last significant discovery was the Sutton Hoo ship-burial in Suffolk more than 75 years ago.The Staffordshire Hoard was unearthed in July 2009 by a metal detectorist and is a spectacular mix of gold, silver…

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