Archive for the 'Neolithic' Category

Aug 11 2014

Archaeologist Tells Of Neolithic Discoveries

breamish-valley
Pic: Uncle Bucko
The Morpeth Herald Tells us:NEW Thoughts on Ancient Northumberland was the title of Paul Frodsham’s lecture at Morpeth Antiquarian Society. Mr Frodsham was the Northumberland National Park archaeologist for 15 years until 2007.

His talk concentrated on a small but incredibly rich area of the Breamish valley on and around Ingram Farm, where amazing archaeology has survived years of agricultural work. Twelve years of research from 1994 revealed evidence of occupation from the Neolithic to the present-day.

The work was done by more than 400 diggers, including staff and students from Durham University, amateurs and professionals from the Northumberland Archaeological Group, and other experts.
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Originally posted 2009-05-15 10:42:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Jul 22 2014

Wild Rabbits lead to massive finds at Land’s End in Cornwall

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<b>Big Heritage at Land's End</b>

Big Heritage at Land’s End

Pic: Falmouth Packet

A day of digging by three expert archaeologists has unearthed more than 60 objects from a one-metre square excavation at Land’s End reports The Falmouth Packet. In February the wild rabbits at Land’s End accidentally uncovered a collection of flint scrapers and arrowheads while burrowing their warrens. This discovery prompted Land’s End to commission a thorough archaeological investigation of their land and now the finds discovered and compiled by Big Heritage UK have revealed some further startling results.

Evidence of an iron-age hill fort, a bronze-age barrow cemetery, a Neolithic passage grave and more, all compiled in the report, has been further compounded by a plethora of ancient objects unearthed in the course of a one day dig at the British landmark.

The Big Heritage team have now found Mesolithic stone hammers, arrow heads, scrapers and waste from a flint tool-making factory during their preliminary one-day excavation at the site.

Dean Paton, lead archaeologist for Big Heritage, said:

We discovered more prehistoric tools in just one square metre of Land’s End than in countless other sites combined. We’ve found about 60 flint tools and two stone hammers and they are stunningly beautiful. I’m lost for words – it almost sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones film.

In the present time, more than 400,000 visitors journey to Land’s End every year and these latest discoveries show people have actually been travelling to the westernmost point of Cornwall for 10,000 years or more.

Alice Reynolds, marketing manager for Land’s End, said:

We are delighted by these latest finds and very grateful to both Big Heritage and the Land’s End bunnies for helping us uncover our ancient history.

Read the full story on the Packet website.

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Jul 10 2014

Doggerland – Britain’s lost ‘Atlantis’ has been found under the waves

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Drowned world: Scans show a mound discovered under the water near Orkney, which has been explored by divers

Drowned world: Scans show a mound discovered under the water near Orkney, which has been explored by divers

Pic: Daily Mail

Divers have found traces of an ancient land swallowed by the waves about 8,500 years ago reported the Daily Mail back in 2012. This land once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and seismic scan have revealed rivers, mountains and the scientists believe Doggerland, as it has become known after the Dogger Bank, had a population of tens of thousands of people and was a home to Mammoths as well as other giant animals. ‘Britain’s Atlantis’ – a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea – has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews. Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC. Divers from oil companies have found remains of a ‘drowned world’ with a population of tens of thousands – which might once have been the ‘real heartland’ of Europe.

A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies – and revealed the full extent of a ‘lost land’ once roamed by mammoths.

The research suggests that the populations of these drowned lands could have been tens of thousands, living in an area that stretched from Northern Scotland across to Denmark and down the English Channel as far as the Channel Islands. The area was once the ‘real heartland’ of Europe and was hit by ‘a devastating tsunami’, the researchers claim. The wave was part of a larger process that submerged the low-lying area over the course of thousands of years.

Richard Bates of the University of St Andrews said:

‘The name was coined for Dogger Bank, but it applies to any of several periods when the North Sea was land. Around 20,000 years ago, there was a ‘maximum’ – although part of this area would have been covered with ice. When the ice melted, more land was revealed – but the sea level also rose.

Life in 'Doggerland' - the ancient kingdom once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and has been described as the 'real heart of Europe'

Life in ‘Doggerland’ – the ancient kingdom once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and has been described as the ‘real heart of Europe’

Pic: Daily Mail

‘Through a lot of new data from oil and gas companies, we’re able to give form to the landscape – and make sense of the mammoths found out there, and the reindeer. We’re able to understand the types of people who were there.

‘People seem to think rising sea levels are  a new thing – but it’s a cycle of Earth history that has happened many many times.’

Organised by Dr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrews, the Drowned Landscapes exhibit reveals the human story behind Doggerland, a now submerged area of the North Sea that was once larger than many modern European countries.

‘We have now been able to model its flora and fauna, build up a picture of the ancient people that lived there and begin to understand some of the dramatic events that subsequently changed the land, including the sea rising and a devastating tsunami.’

The research project is a collaboration between St Andrews and the Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee and Wales Trinity St David. Rediscovering the land through pioneering scientific research, the research reveals a story of a dramatic past that featured massive climate change. The public exhibit brings back to life the Mesolithic populations of Doggerland through artefacts discovered deep within the sea bed.

A visualisation of how life in the now-submerged areas of Dogger Bank might have looked

A visualisation of how life in the now-submerged areas of Dogger Bank might have looked

Pic: Daily Mail

The research, a result of a painstaking 15 years of fieldwork around the murky waters of the UK, is one of the highlights of the London event.

The interactive display examines the lost landscape of Doggerland and includes artefacts from various times represented by the exhibit – from pieces of flint used by humans as tools to the animals that also inhabited these lands.

Using a combination of geophysical modelling of data obtained from oil and gas companies and direct evidence from material recovered from the seafloor, the research team was able to build up a reconstruction of the lost land.

The findings suggest a picture of a land with hills and valleys, large swamps and lakes with major rivers dissecting a convoluted coastline.

As the sea rose the hills would have become an isolated archipelago of low islands. By examining the fossil record – such as pollen grains, microfauna and macrofauna – the researchers can tell what kind of vegetation grew in Doggerland and what animals roamed there.

Using this information, they were able to build up a model of the ‘carrying capacity’ of the land and work out roughly how many humans could have lived there. The research team is currently investigating more evidence of human behaviour, including possible human burial sites, intriguing standing stones and a mass mammoth grave.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2167731/Britains-Atlantis-North-sea–huge-undersea-kingdom-swamped-tsunami-5-500-years-ago.html#ixzz374DGxUiM
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

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Apr 07 2014

Neolithic warfare: new research

arrowheads-co
Pic: Archaeology.co.uk
Archaeology.co.uk reports that the perception that much of prehistory was relatively peaceful is changing. New research has identified evidence of violent assault in the Neolithic. What does this tell us about Stone Age life as a whole? Forensic archaeologist Martin Smith explains.

Whilst many Neolithic burials have been excavated during the last 150 years, they have received only limited study. Modern analysis of these remains by osteo-archaeologists is revealing shocking evidence for violent assaults involving clubs, axes, and arrowshot about 5,500 years ago.

Recent years have seen growing interest in conflict archaeology. Warfare has gone from being a subject rarely mentioned by archaeologists to one that is widely debated. Current  world events may have something to do with this, but it is also linked to advances in our ability to recognise evidence of violence, and a drive towards new theoretical approaches for making sense of it. Most research of this kind has usually been concerned with more recent periods, but lately consideration is also being given to prehistory. In particular, we now have a growing body of evidence for aggression between groups and individuals during the Neolithic, most of which comes in the form of skeletal injuries. The fact that acts of violence sometimes occurred in this period now seems indisputable. However, assessing what this tells us about Neolithic life as a whole is harder.

Read the full article at archaeology.co.uk

Originally posted 2009-04-25 09:58:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Apr 01 2014

Prehistoric Scotland had links to lands overseas

Upper Largie Footed Food Vessel
Upper Largie Footed Food Vessel
Pic: Culture 24
Back in February 2008, Culture 24 reported on a discovery made in Upper Largie which provided exciting evidence of 4,000 year-old links between prehistoric Scotland and the Netherlands. Upper Largie is near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute and the original excavations took place in 2005.

Analysis of the pots by Alison Sheridan, of National Museums Scotland, has revealed early international-style Beakers of the type found around the lower Rhine, which is the modern-day Netherlands and a strange hybrid of styles that suggest Irish and Yorkshire influences.

These finds are very rare.

said Martin Cook, the AOC Archaeology Project Officer, who oversaw the excavations in 2005.

I think there are three or four other examples that early in Scotland. We initially didn’t realise how unusual they were, as it is so unusual to find three beaker ceramic vessels in the same feature.

The actual structure was very unusual, there’s only been one other grave excavated like that in Scotland – you just don’t get features like that generally.

The excavations revealed two graves within a complex Neolithic and Bronze Age ritual landscape composed of monuments including an Early Neolithic cursus (long earthwork) and an Early Bronze Age timber circle.

The grave is so early and the style of ceramic is so rare for this period that it’s either an immigrant or a first or second generation descendant who still knows these techniques. The pots are made from local material which certainly suggests an immigrant or a second generation person.

Travel at this time would have been difficult with few established tracks and thick forests covering much of the British Isles – much of it populated by some dangerous wild animals. Seaward travel to or from Yorkshire and Ireland to pick up these influences would have been the slightly easier option.

I think it just re-emphasises the importance of Kilmartin as a centre during this time.

added Martin.

For more information about the work of AOC Archeology Group, see www.aocarchaeology.com

To read the full article, please go to Culture 24.

Originally posted 2009-12-23 08:24:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Feb 14 2014

‘Welsh Stonehenge’ Halted Work on Windfarm

Windfarm in Wales was expected to generate electricity for 23,800 households

Windfarm in Wales was expected to generate electricity for 23,800 households

Pic: International Business Times

A multimillion pound windfarm was potentially scrapped after a Stone Age monument was spotted on the site using Google Earth. Work to install the 15 wind turbines had already began after experts said they were unable to find anything of historical interest on the mountaintop in Carmarthenshire, Wales. But a weekend rambler stumbled upon a row of stones while trekking across the site on the mountain and realised they were of historical interest reported the International Business Times in 2012.

Archaeologists were called in and discovered the stones on Mynydd Y Betws were between 3,500 and 5,000 years old and could have been part of an ancient site of worship. Mynydd y Betws is a mountain located on the border between Swansea and Carmarthenshire, south Wales.

It is the highest mountain in Swansea, and the highest land between the River Loughor and the Upper Clydach River. A small road between Ammanford and Clydach passes very close to the summit, on which are located the historic ruins of Penlle’r Castell. Penlle’r Castell is an historic ruin on the summit of Mynydd y Betws in the far north of the City and County of Swansea. The Penlle’r Castell site was probably a late 13th-century stronghold garrisoned by one of the Marcher Lords.
Penlle'r Castell, Cwm-gors, 1988

Penlle’r Castell, Cwm-gors, 1988

Pic: Cysglu’r Tlysau

Prehistoric burial cairn and wind turbine on Bancbryn, Mynydd y Betws

Prehistoric burial cairn and wind turbine on Bancbryn, Mynydd y Betws

Pic: Sandy Gerard

Using Google Earth to plot the line of stones, experts claim the 1,600 ft-long monuments could be “almost as important as Stonehenge”, freelance archaeologist Helen Gerrard told the Daily Mail. Cambrian Renewable Energy, which was building the turbines, was working with the Welsh heritage organisation Cadw to assess whether the stones were used as part of a Stone Age monument. The British Archaeological Trust was demanding a full archaeological survey of the mountain. The image to the left shows a Bronze Age cairn and brand new wind turbine neighbour. The cairn forms part of a scheduled ancient monument within a prehistoric sacred landscape.

The wind farm consists of 15 turbines with an installed capacity of 34.5MW. Producing enough electricity annually to power on average 23,800 households and saving over 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the lifetime of the project, the output from Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm is equivalent to almost one third of the domestic consumption in Carmarthenshire.

Although this windfarm project went through and is providing much needed energy to the Welsh community, we have to question the wisdom on its siting as well as the sad disregard for the calls from organisations like the British Archaeological Trust to obtain a full archaeological survey of Mynydd y Betws.

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

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Jan 06 2014

Treasures on the Irish Roadside

Country Around Staigue Fort

Country Around Staigue Fort

Pic: jen-the-librarian

The Irish Times for Saturday, December 6th reports that the economic boom may be over, but its flurry of road building has uncovered a wealth of archaeological finds with lasting value.

In particular, digs along proposed routes have shed light on “unknown” archaeology that may not have otherwise been examined, according to Rónán Swan, acting head of archaeology at the National Roads Authority.

The scale of road-related archaeological digs has increased massively in recent years – in 1993 there was one road excavation, in 2007 there were 579 – and they usually turn up something of interest, says Swan. He says:

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Originally posted 2008-12-09 09:33:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Dec 22 2013

New Stonehenge £27m Visitor Centre opens with stunning experience

Stonehenge and its 360-degree experience

Stonehenge and its 360-degree experience

Pic: Stonehenge

In December 2013, English Heritage unveiled its new visitor centre to the public. The Telegraph reports that it has been decades since visitors to Stonehenge were able to experience what Neolithic man did when he first set foot inside the gigantic stone circle. With tourists and day-trippers barred since the late Seventies from entering the circle in order to protect the stones from damage, there has been a fierce and long-running debate on how the site should best be displayed.

But on Wednesday a new £27 million centre opened at Stonehenge with a 360 degree cinema at its heart where visitors can “experience” standing in the ancient circle. Builders and landscape contractors have been putting the final touches to the Visitors Centre, built one and a half miles from the stones, which can be revealed for the first time here.

More than 200 steel columns support the gently undulating canopy, under which sit two “pods” which house the cinema, exhibitions, café and shops. The 360 degree cinema – 100ft in circumference compared with about 300ft in the actual stone circle – is one of several audio visual attractions built to bring the 5,000-year-old monument to life. The 360 degree cinema – 100ft in circumference compared with about 300ft in the actual stone circle – is one of several audio visual attractions built to bring the 5,000-year-old monument to life.
The New Stonehenge Vistor Centre

The New Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Pic: Telegraph

Audio-Visual Presentations

These include a 32ft “landscape wall”, on to which computer generated images of the countryside around the circle and other ancient earthworks will be projected. In addition, there will be five “people films”, shown on screens in one of the two vast pods built to house the visitor centre. These will provide information about the monument and prehistoric items on display. There will also be films exploring the conflicting theories over the establishment and use of the circle and the most advanced forensic reconstruction of an early Neolithic man’s face.

Prehistoric Objects on Display

Reconstructed Face of a 5,500 Year-old Man

Reconstructed Face of a 5,500 Year-old Man

Pic: Stonehenge

Hundreds of prehistoric objects from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site are on display at the visitor centre. Here we have selected just nine of them for you to explore in more detail. All the objects are on loan from Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum and Wiltshire Museum, Devizes. We recommend a visit to these two museums to find out more about the prehistory of the Stonehenge area. [English Heritage]. There are also nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts on display, all of which were found inside the World Heritage Site, with many on public display for the first time.

Outside the centre, replica Neolithic dwellings have also been built, where visitors will be able to see how early inhabitants of the sites lived. Using archaeological evidence and authentic materials, the buildings are intended to provided visitors with an insight into life 4,500 years ago. Among the exhibits is a reconstruction of the wooden roller system which many archaeologists believe primitive man used to transport the huge stones at least part of the journey from quarries in south west Wales, 240 miles away.

Major renovations of surrounding area

The new visitor centre, designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall, is part of a major project to transform the site, which will include removing the existing car park, old visitor centre and fencing, restoring the landscape and shutting down the road. As a result of the closure of the A344 the monument will be reunited with The Avenue – the ancient processional approach to the stone circle. In January work will start on removing the existing facilities and returning the car park to grass, to be complete by the end of June next year.
Reconstruction of Roller System

Reconstruction of Roller System

Pic: Telegraph

A shuttle will now take visitors from the new centre up to the stone circle, which they can view, although those who prefer to walk will be able to complete the last section of the journey on foot. English Heritage’s chief executive Simon Thurley said:

This world famous monument, perpetually described as a mystery, finally has a place in which to tell its story.

A Modern Druid’s Perspective

For some years now the famous monument has been at the centre of controversy between some pagans and some archaeologists regarding both the treatment of the human skeletal remains discovered on or near the site and access to the site, with some heated arguments on both sides. Corwen Broch, renowned Druid and Ancient Music Scholar/Practitioner from the Ancient Technology Centre writes about the new centre. He says:

Corwen Broch - Ancient Music Specialist

Corwen Broch – Ancient Music Specialist

Pic: Kate & Corwen

Firstly some thoughts about the location and the building. The new visitor centre is a considerable distance from the stones. The stones can’t be seen from it, although it has some good views of the surrounding countryside. The building is interesting, a single roof covers two distinct ‘pods’, one of which, clad with timber, holds the ‘gallery’ (museum) and the other made of glass holds the cafe and shop. The space between the two makes a fairly wide atrium which holds the ticket booth, and to be honest is a bit of a wind tunnel in the winter, though it will be wonderful in the summer when the majority of visits are made. The tickets now cost around £15 for adults, almost twice what it cost before. I think this reflects the improved facilities, but is a little overpriced. I’d have been happy to pay £10 to £12. Once the Neolithic buildings are finished it will feel better value perhaps as there will be more to see.

The shop is large and has a very good selection of books, including some of the more thoughtful Pagan and Druid books and a lot of history and archaeology books. I know I’ll be going back for these. The new guidebook by Julian Richards is £4.99 and very good value, well written, informative and brilliantly illustrated. I wasn’t able to buy a copy of the exhibition guide as they were out of stock.

Step out of the circular cinema and ahead is a group of interpretation boards with the grand name of The Meaning Totems. These have some quotes on them, and there are more diverse literary quotes on the wall too. There is also a film playing in this area on four screens, which has a potted history of the various interpretations antiquarians and archaeologists have made of Stonehenge over the last few centuries. The film includes a disappointingly brief reference to how some modern people think the site is important, annoyingly misusing the word ‘spiritualism’. This absence of the contemporary is a big gap in the permanent exhibition.

Honouring the Ancient Dead

Now some background to the debate; for several years a Pagan pressure group called Honouring the Ancient Dead (HAD) have been campaigning to encourage reburial or failing that the sensitive display of human remains. HAD have consulted with both Pagans and museum professionals and drawn up a code of best practice for the display of human remains, which you can read here. Also more recently Mr Arthur Pendragon and his allies have been campaigning vigorously to have the cremated human remains found in one of Stonehenge’s Aubrey Holes reburied rather than displayed in the visitor centre, and indeed they were protesting outside the visitor centre today.

I personally am not opposed to the display and retention of human remains providing they are displayed sensitively. In fact I’d go so far as to say I am in favour of the display of human remains as I feel they can be a tangible link to the lives of our ancestors in a way nothing else can. All that said however the remains at Stonehenge are not displayed sensitively. They are in the same cases as antler picks and reconstructed arrows which seems to symbolically reduce them to the status of inanimate objects rather than what was once the remains of a thinking feeling human being. One person’s bones in particular are wired together and displayed upright fixed to a board in a way that made me viscerally uncomfortable. It is extremely saddening to me that English Heritage did not take a middle way with these remains and at least abide by HAD’s best practice guidelines. The current lack of sensitivity seems almost calculated to prolong the controversy and the protestations and plays into the hands of those most opposed to the display of human remains whilst making it difficult for those of us in favour of display to defend English Heritage.
Finished Reconstruction

Finished Reconstruction

Pic: Stonehenge

Waiting for the Land Train

The only fly in the ointment at the Henge end of things was the long wait for the land train to pick us up. Today the wind was blowing strongly and it was raining quite hard, pretty usual conditions for Salisbury Plain, yet there is no shelter of any kind or even a fence to break the wind while you wait. We stood in the rain for 10 minutes whilst the tourists around us began to shiver and shake in their thin clothes, unprepared as they were for an extended period outdoors in the British weather. My advice then is to wrap up very warm and bring waterproofs as an umbrella will probably not cut it in Salisbury Plain’s famous wind…

So to conclude the visitor centre is vastly improved. The exhibition succeeds in its aim of setting Stonehenge in its context and answering the most commonly raised questions whilst providing a more in depth experience for those who seek it. The shop is good and the cafe although basic is serviceable and not overpriced. The Neolithic buildings when finished will be very interesting and really enhance the visitor’s experience. The setting of the Stones themselves is enormously improved.

If the human remains were displayed more sensitively I would be completely happy.

Read the rest of Corwen’s superb review and thoughts about the new visitor centre on his and Kate’s blog – Kate & Corwen’s Blog.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Nov 10 2013

New Smartphone App gives access to entire database of Welsh Archaeological Treasures

Archwilio - Welsh Archaeology

Archwilio – Welsh Archaeology

Pic: Google Play Store

All of Wales’ archaeological treasures are to be accessible via an app for the first time.

Archwilio, which claims to a world first for a whole country, will allow users of tablets and smartphones to access records about what lies under foot in both rural and urban areas.

It was commissioned by all four Welsh archaeological trusts and designed by the University of South Wales.

The app will also allow the public to interact and add new information.

Archaeological details are displayed on a map.

Chris Martin, regional archaeologist at Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, told BBC Wales ahead of the app going live on Thursday:

The app has been developed by the four Welsh archaeological trusts who are responsible for curating the historic environment records and the app will allow you to interact with those records on your phone anywhere in the UK.

You’ll be able to call up information about sites which are under your feet and you’ll be able to edit those records and add new records and take photographs of them and supply this information back into the historic environment records.

The app will also allow the public to interact and add new information

Organisers hope to source more information from the public about the landscape and archaeology of Wales. [source]

Archwilio (vb. “to explore” or “examine”) explains

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, launches Archwilio App at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.

The new Archwilio phone app puts the heritage of Wales on the map. Available to download for free, it makes it possible for anyone with a suitable smartphone to access information on the thousands of known archaeological and historic sites in Wales. The historic environment records of Wales were already available online, but with the launch of the Archwilio app Wales will make this wealth of information, collected by generations of investigators, available to mobile users, allowing them a glimpse of the hidden heritage all around us.

The Archwilio app marks an important leap forwards in using technology to discover the heritage of Wales. As well as allowing users to check records, the app can be used to add information, opening up opportunities for volunteers to get directly involved in archaeological recording and investigation. The Archwilio app truly opens archaeology to everyone in Wales. [source]

The App in use

The App in use

Pic: Google Play Store

More about the App

The free app holds information on famous and lesser known sites.

These include details of:

  • A conservation project undertaken on a substantial so-called lost coastal medieval settlement near St Ishmaels in Carmarthenshire.
  • A Roman trading settlement alongside the Menai Strait on Anglesey. The app will allow walkers on the Anglesey coastal footpath, which runs through the site, to be made aware that they were walking through a 2,000 year old settlement.
  • A possible Roman fort near Wiston in Pembrokeshire.
  • The site of the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella. Founded in 1170 it was already partially ruined at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and today there is very little left to see of a once grand religious site.
  • Ffos y Fran, Merthyr Tydfil – the location of a reclamation scheme of derelict industrial land on the northern edge of Gelligaer. The site has been the focus of intense industrial activity, primarily coal and iron ore extraction, for well over 250 years.

The app will be launched by Culture Minister John Griffiths at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

Read the original article on the BBC News website

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Sep 25 2013

Breakthrough Kickstarter project to recreate our prehistoric world running out of time!

Imagine the possibilities as you explore a stunning visualisation of a 3D digital world generated from archaeological and paleo-environmental data. Marcus Abbott has already created the 3D world, but needs your help in order to make it freely available to the world. With only 12 days to go and a miniscule target budget of only £800 (or $1200), they are only just over a quarter of the way there with £257! Strewth! This is an amazing technology, an incredible chance to view the landscape that our ancestors would have walked upon using the very latest in 3D visualisation tools, the very latest in technology… and it’s slipping away! Aarrgghh!

Who is the Genius behind this Breakthrough Idea?

Marcus Abbott is the Head of Geomatics & Visualisation at York Archaeological Trust and studied Archaeology at Lampeter Uni. He also works for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. His work in Archaeological Visualisation is well known, and he has been employed to perform digital analysis of Stonehenge, the Rudstone Monolith, Neolithic tombs, prehistoric wetland (like Flag Fen) and even partially submerged cannons in the West Indies! With this background, he is superbly qualified to complete this project. He tells us that:

This project is a visual representation of what we know about a past landscape, it combines archaeological data and scientific data with cutting edge digital recording and visualisation techniques to produce a virtual world.

A Digital World

Dwellings on a Sacred Water site

Pic: Marcus Abbott

Above is an example of what the Sacred Water site at Flag Fen or at Shinewater could have looked like, based on interpolated topographical data combined with the most up-to-date archaeological references. He is planning to start with the amazing Flag Fen, that we’ve talked about before, and he says:

This world is a representation of the Bronze Age in East Anglia and focuses on an area known to be of religious significance during this time. The landscape is a wetland environment and has been generated entirely digitally. The archaeology has been reconstructed from actual evidence found on sites in the area. Round houses and wooden platforms, track ways, fences and the great causeway structures of Flag Fen are all present in the landscape.

This project is a visual representation of what we know about a past landscape, it combines archaeological data and scientific data with cutting edge digital recording and visualisation techniques to produce a virtual world.

The Project has completed much of the 3D modelling and the world exists on a computer hard drive. Currently there is no way for anyone to visit this place and explore the past. We have a very limited QTVR as a test and fly through, but would like to offer a more interactive narrative to the landscape.

The Re-Created Landscape

A Re-created LandscapeTile

A Re-created LandscapeTile

Pic: Marcus Abbott

With a modest budget of £800 we can build an interface and host this world. Our idea is to create an online experience using the archaeological material, allowing free access to the world so that others can experience and learn about our current understanding of this past landscape.

We would like to create a story through which the visitor can experience the landscape, the story focuses around a lone traveller who comes upon this landscape for the first time. The story will be told by developing an interactive panoramic VR experience with some 360degree video panoramas, and directional sound. The interactive elements will be mixed in with animation and video to create a unique way of exploring the past.

Real archaeological sites have been 3D recorded and form the basis of an interpretation, a link between these 3D models and the landscape will be made. This world is based on actual data.

Neolithic man in his environment

Neolithic man in his environment

Pic: Marcus Abbott

If we raise more than the target funding we will expand the landscape further North. Our lone traveller and online visitors will be able explore an extended landscape. We already have concept images that illustrate our travellers first encounter with a standing stone.

A Personal Statement from Marcus

I am a digital heritage professional, who has been working in cultural heritage for over 15 years. I specialise in the visualisation of archaeological sites, concepts and ideas. I have completed many projects in digital heritage, and recently completed a visualisation project at Stonehenge which resulted in the discovery of 73 previously unrecorded prehistoric carvings.

Marcus Abbott -  A Man with a Vision

Marcus Abbott – A Man with a Vision

Pic: Marcus Abbott

I am a digital heritage professional, who has been working in cultural heritage for over 15 years. I specialise in the visualisation of archaeological sites, concepts and ideas. I have completed many projects in digital heritage, and recently completed a visualisation project at Stonehenge which resulted in the discovery of 73 previously unrecorded prehistoric carvings. I rely on a training in archaeology, digital technology and fine art to complete many varied and interesting projects. I have worked with Landscape artist Kate Whiteford producing virtual versions of her archaeoloigcally inspired work at Jesus College Cambridge and at Domain de Coubertin in France.
I am passionate about continuing to research innovative ways to represent and present our cultural heritage in the digital age

I am passionate about continuing to research innovative ways to represent and present our cultural heritage in the digital age.

More information can be found on my website and articles on the Stonehenge project can be viewed on my new academia page.

If you can help Marcus in this amazing project, drop by his Kickstarter page and help out in any way that you can!

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