You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2012.
Reconstruction of a crannog built approximately 5,000 years ago on Loch Tay. Source Wikimedia. Image credit Christine Westerback
BBC News Northern Ireland reports on the imminent destruction of a historical site in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The site contains the remains of a crannog – an ancient type of loch dwelling found throughout Ireland and Scotland. The site represents one of the most important and interesting archaeological digs in Northern Ireland ever undertaken and will be revealed to the public during an open day tomorrow, 1 December. BBC News Northern Ireland reports that –
Workers at the crannog – an artificial island in a lake – in County Fermanagh have been making discoveries almost weekly since the dig began in June.
The Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) had raised concerns about “the apparently imminent destruction” of the historical site. They regarded the crannog as too fragile to preserve rather than excavate after the nearby engineering works for the road scheme drained water from the site. The new A32 Cherrymount link road near Enniskillen will eventually be built on top of the crannog.
Following a review of progress in July, archaeologists were given more time to recover the information from the site, which has turned out to be of international significance.
Full article and details of the open day here.
A World Monuments Fund Video
Each year, the World Monuments Fund presents the Hadrian Award to an international leader who has advanced the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the world’s art and architecture. The 2012 recipient of the Hadrian Award is Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express.
The Snettisham Torc in the British Museum. Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit Ealdgyth
Under the title “The World of the Celts. Centres of power – Treasures of art”, the Baden-Württemberg State Museum of Archaeology and the Württemberg State Museum are showing a special exhibition dedicated to the Celts of the first millennium BC and their role as one of the formative forces in European history.
From 15 September 2012 to 17 February 2013, visitors can experience what will probably be the largest exhibition of Celtic artefacts in the last thirty years. The special exhibition will present outstanding original finds, in some cases objects never before exhibited in Germany, in two large topical blocks on display at two locations near Schlossplatz at the very centre of Stuttgart.
Buseoksa Temple. A HERITAGEchanel.tv production
As the head temple of Korea’s Hwaumjong sect, it was first erected by the High Priest Uisang during the reign of the Silla King Munmu.
Buseoksa Temple is a temple where one can experience the characteristics of traditional Korean architecture and it is also the home to five National Treasures and three Treasures. You can take a breathtaking view of the unique spatial structure, magnificent stone walls, and bold and graceful buildings.
Buseoksa Temple also contains, within its grounds, the Muryangsujeon (National Treasure Number 18). The Muryangsujeon is the oldest wooden building in Korea and was erected during the Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392). The oldest wooden building in the world is thought to be the Hōryū-ji Temple in Japan – itself heavily influenced by Buddhist thought, architecture and culture transmitted to Japan from Korea.
Writing in The Northern Echo on Wednesday, 21 November, Stuart Minting reports that –
A BRONZE Age monument has been commemorated after a long-running campaign.
The 4,000-year-old Quernhow burial mound, which was obliterated by the upgrading of the A1(M), has been marked with a plaque and stone by the Quernhow Café, near Ainderby Quernhow, by the Highways Agency. Archaeologists say the site was “of primary importance in prehistoric times” as it stood on the plain between the three great henges of Thornborough to the north and those on Hutton Moor to the south, accompanied by a number of other tumuli nearby. When it was unearthed in the 1950s, archaeologists found an imposing flat-topped stone cairn with four small pits in its centre, a number of small cremations and broken remains of pottery, human bones and foods vessels. Near the centre of the cairn, which was initially damaged by roadworks in the 1950s, was a “curious four poster” of upright stones placed near to its north, south, east and west points.
Full article here.
Detail of a seated Buddha at Mes Aynak. If you feel strongly about this threatened site please consider signing The Petition to Save Mes Aynak
Full article here.
Green lanes, in fields, with railings
Round them and black cows; tall, pocked
And pitted stones, grey, ochre-patched
With moss, lodgings for lost spirits.
Whereabouts. A bent figure, in a hamlet
Of three houses and a barn, will point
Towards the moor. You will find them there,
Aloof lean markers, erect in mud.
Twelve Apostles: with such familiar names
We make them part of ordinary lives.
On callow pasture-land
The Shearers and The Hurlers.
In public places: nameless slender slabs
Disguised as gate-posts in a hedge; and some,
For centuries on duty as scratching posts,
Are screened by ponies on blank uplands.
Through bog, bracken, bramble: arrive
At short granite footings in a plan
Vaguely elliptical, alignments sunk
In turf strewn with sheep’s droppings;
The guide-book meant, or whether
Over the next ridge the real chamber,
Accurate by the stars, begins its secret
At once to those who find it.
Much like the ones they saw,
The tomb-builders, millennium ago;
The channel scratched by rain, the same old
Sediment of dusk, winter returning.
At the earth’s young heart: how those men
Handled them. Set on back-breaking
Geometry, the symmetries of solstice,
What they awaited we, too, still wait.
To a cromlech in a field of barley,
Whoever framed that field had real
Priorities. He sowed good grain
To the tombs doorstep. No path.
Set like a cauldron on three legs,
Was marooned by the swimming crop.
A gust and the cromlech floated,
Motionless at time’s moorings.
Loquacious thrust of seed
This way and that, in time and out
Of it, would have capsized
The tomb. It stayed becalmed.
By wind from the westerly sea-track,
Broke short not over it. Skirted
By squalls of that year’s harvest,
That tomb belonged in that field.
Bronze, cross-hatched with gold
And yellow, did not stop short its tide
In deference. It was the barley’s
World. Some monuments move.
Writing in The Los Angeles Times on the 18 November, Louis Sahagun reports on the theft, damage and desecration of 3,500 year old petroglyphs on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra –
BISHOP, Calif. — Ancient hunters and gatherers etched vivid petroglyphs on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra that withstood winds, flash floods and earthquakes for more than 3,500 years. Thieves needed only a few hours to cut them down and haul them away.
Federal authorities say at least four petroglyphs have been taken from the site. A fifth was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides. A sixth had been removed and broken during the theft, then propped against a boulder near a visitor parking lot. Dozens of other petroglyphs were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts.
The region is known as Volcanic Tableland. It is held sacred by Native Americans whose ancestors adorned hundreds of lava boulders with spiritual renderings: concentric circles, deer, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, and hunters with bows and arrows. For generations, Paiute-Shoshone tribal members and whites have lived side by side but not together in Bishop. But desecration of the site, which Native Americans still use in spiritual ceremonies, has forced reservation officials and U.S. authorities to come together and ask a tough question: Can further vandalism be prevented?
The Great Sphinx of Giza with the Pyramid of Khufu in the background. Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit w:es:Usuario:Barcex
Cavan Sieczkowski writing in The Huffington Post on the 13 November reports that –
Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Egyptian jihadist who claims he has links to the Taliban, has called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt.”
Al-Gohary, an Islamist leader and jihadist sentenced twice under President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, urged Muslims to “destroy the idols” in Egypt — specifically the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx — during a television interview on Saturday on Egypt’s Dream TV, according to Al Arabiya News. “God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he said, according to Al Arabiya News. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”
Adding, “All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” according to the Egypt Independent. The jihadist refers to when the Taliban blew up a pair of Buddha statues and smashed other art forms in Afghanistan in 2001, according to The Jerusalem Post. These were symbols of the country’s long Buddhist history.
Bulguk Temple before restoration
In February of this year we ran a feature entitled, Not all is doom and gloom… on the restoration of Bulguk Temple in South Korea. One of our Far Eastern correspondents has sent in this video of Bulguk Temple today – enjoy!
Bulguk Temple now. A HERITAGEchanel.tv production
A Sacred Land Film Project
Satish Kumar brings a Hindu, Buddhist and Jain perspective to the definition of “sacred place.” We found his explanation so compelling that we edited a three-minute piece incorporating some of our best b-roll images, asked Jon Herbst to compose a musical score, and we present it here as a teaser of things to come, to give our friends and supporters a taste of the film series we are shaping. Enjoy!
Sacred Land Film Project (SLFP)’s mission is to create and distribute media and educational materials to deepen public understanding of sacred sites, indigenous cultures and environmental justice. A sponsored project of Earth Island Institute in Berkeley, California since 1984, SLFP is a 501(c)3 non-profit funded entirely through grants and individual donations. If you enjoy this clip, please consider making a donation to SLFP. Your contribution will make it possible for us to complete our newest documentary series, Standing on Sacred Ground, which will bring the stories of these indigenous communities to a national television audience.