The Hurlers, Cornwall
©
The Heritage Trust
 
The Hurlers: Mapping the Sun event begins today (see our earlier feature here). Simon Parker, writing in This is Devon on Saturday reports also that –
 
A Bronze Age crystal pavement described as “unique” by archaeologists is to be uncovered for the first time since the 1930s. The monument, at the Hurlers stone circle on Bodmin Moor, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the British Isles. Scientists and historians hope that by studying it they will gain a better understanding of early civilisations.
 
 
The crystal pavement as it looked when last uncovered by a Ministry of Works’ excavation of the Hurlers in 1938
 
The only time the 4,000-year-old causeway is thought to have been uncovered since it was originally laid took place 75 years ago, when workmen stabilised the site and re-erected a number of stones. The existence of the quartz pavement only came to light again when Cornwall archaeologist Jacky Nowakowski was undertaking unrelated research at an English Heritage store in Gloucestershire. As she looked through files, Jacky came across an unpublished report and photographs from the Ministry of Works’ excavation of the Hurlers in 1938. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I’d certainly not seen anything like it before. A feature such as this, which suggests a possible linking of the circles, is very unusual. The pavement is nationally unique as far as I know.”
 
Internationally renowned for its line of three impressive stone circles, the Hurlers’ original use has long been the subject of speculation and argument. Some believe its alignment mirrors the celestial bodies that make up Orion’s Belt, while others claim it was used for religious purposes. Whatever the truth, there is no doubt that it was of major importance to the people who inhabited the moor 4,000 years ago.