Neolithic circles in Britain damaged by retired businessman

The Heritage Trust

In a similar act of heritage vandalism to the one reported below in China, a retired businessman has been found guilty of causing unprecedented damage earlier this year to one of Britain’s ancient Neolithic sites. 73 year-old Roger Penny bought the Priddy Circles in Somerset as a ‘pension investment’. The Circles, which date to 3,000bce, are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and were probably built around the same time as Stonehenge. The Mail Online reports yesterday that –

They [the Priddy Circles] have been described by English Heritage as ‘probable Neolithic ritual or ceremonial monuments similar to a henge’. Penny hired two contractors to ‘tidy’ and renovate the area, near the village of Priddy on Somerset’s Mendip Hills, but failed to get permission from English Heritage. One contractor used rubble to fill swallet holes, natural holes inside the ring which may be the key to its creation. Moving a gate led…

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4,000 year-old heritage site destroyed in China

The Heritage Trust

Cultural heritage site in China’s Henan Province destroyed
TheShanghai Daily reports on the 24 October that –
A developer in central China’s Henan Province is facing severe punishment after destroying a 4,000-year-old cultural heritage site for a construction project, ignoring warnings from local authorities, officials said yesterday.
1 meter deep ground level of the Longshan Cultural site of Shang and Zhou dynasties (c. 16th century-256 BC) in Zhengzhou City was damaged by bulldozers, said Xin Yingjun, director of the excavation department of the city’s cultural heritage bureau. Debris of ancient pottery jars, bowls and goblets have been found in the earth dug out by bulldozers and experts were evaluating the age of the cultural relics, Xin said.
…before construction was due to start, experts and officials with the bureau found a 93-meter-long, 26-meter-wide and 2.3-meter-deep cultural heritage site full of cultural relics and…

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Appalling News: Ash Trees are Threatened and Politicians are Brain-Dead

Francis Pryor - In the Long Run

The Forestry Commission have just announced that a deadly disease of native ash trees has been imported into Britain and has escaped and been found on their land in East Anglia. In fairness, the Commission staff are moving heaven and earth to stop/contain it and have done much to raise the public’s interest in the threat. This development potentially marks the start of a process that will lead to the permanent mutilation of the British Rural landscape. Dutch Elm Disease was bad, catastrophic even, but this will be far, far worse. I am at my wit’s end: why, oh why, didn’t politicians do anything about it, before it was too late? The situation is exactly like it was when Dutch Elm Disease was imported. The pathogen was known to be across the sea and lay beneath the bark; so we on our little island continued to import trees with bark intact. It…

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That ONE Scandinavian word you can`t really translate


I`s not just one word – it`s both a noun and a verb. In Norway it`s koselig (noun) and kose (verb), in Denmark hyggelig (noun) and hygge (verb) and I believe the Swedish words for it is mysigt (noun) and mys (verb).

So what is koselig/hyggelig/mysigt? What is that word that can`t be translated and which isn`t even the same word in the three Scandinavian countries? What is that word that defines us so much but which we can`t bring with us when we go abroad? We only pine for it when we`re somewhere else.

Some people would translate it into cosy, but that`s just wrong. A bed can be cosy but it doesn`t explain what koselig/hyggelig/mysigt is. So I`ll try with a picture:

This family here is using that one Scandinavian word you can`t really translate. When the autumn and winter gets darker (it`s pretty dark here…

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Giants of Wessex

The Heritage Trust

The Marlborough Mound by William Stukeley
A talk by Jim Leary, of English Heritage, entitled Giants of Wessex: Silbury Hill, the Marlborough Mound, and the Hatfield Barrow will take place on the 12 March 2013 from 19:30 at the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum. The museum announces that –

Over the last few years the three giant round mounds of Wessex have seen some form of archaeological work. In 2007 and 2008 Silbury Hill was the focus of a multi-million pound project which included opening and retracing the 1968 tunnel into the heart of the Hill. 2010 saw excavations at Marden, one of the largest Neolithic henge monuments in Britain, which provided evidence for the now demolished mound known as the Hatfield Barrow – said to have been as much as 15m tall. Whilst, in the autumn of that year coring work through the Marlborough Mound produced six…

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Anthropology Museum Offers Ability to Adopt an Artifact of Indigenous Cultures

International Museum of Cultures Blog

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC), a unique Anthropology museum in Dallas, allows the public to help preserve artifacts of indigenous cultures from around the world.

Through “Adopting an Artifact,”a patron will become an advocate for ethnic and cultural diversity, thereby furthering the mutual respect and peace between peoples of this world. Adopting an artifact creates an emotional bond between the patron and the artifact, along with the culture of the artifact’s origin.

The IMC recognize the person, family, classroom, or even a business, that adopts an artifact by displaying a small plaque along with the QR code in the museum near their adopted artifact for others to see.

Adoption cost
$250 dollars (tax deductible)

Program Benefits:

  • Receive a limited 3 month membership
  • 15% discount to the gift shop
  • A certificate of adoption
  • A photograph of the artifact
  • Information about the artifact
  • A QR code for smart phones.


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Carwynnen Quoit – a short story

The Heritage Journal

We have been following the story of the planned reconstruction of Carwynnen Quoit, in Cornwall, with interest for some time now, with stories in May 2009, May 2012, June 2012, and most recently last month.

One community aspect of the reconstruction project that is a little different from the ‘norm’, is the creation of a local writer’s group, to help record thoughts and ideas about the quoit and adjoining area, and the restoration work itself. An early example of the group’s work recently appeared on their Facebook page and is entitled ‘The Musket Ball’, after one of the finds from the preliminary excavation in July. We reproduce it here, with permission:

The Musket Ball. by Clare Dwyer

Ancient structures, such as stone circles, burial mounds and others, were regarded with superstition and not a little fear since pre-Christian times. Many stories grew up around them. Some…

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Bohemond Becomes a Genius

Long Man “charitised”

The Heritage Journal

The ostomy stunt at the Long Man of Wilmington that we mentioned two days ago went ahead.


We understand that it was authorised on the basis it would cause no physical damage and wouldn’t be for long. Our thesis is that damage to respect for monuments (especially hill figures it seems) can lead to physical damage to monuments.

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Das goldene Byzanz

New at LacusCurtius & Livius

“A series of one thousand years of crime, weakness, iniquity, and lack of character”: that is how Georg Hegel described the history of the Byzantine Empire. This image still exists – if there is an image at all, because the western world has almost forgotten Byzantium. In our schools, there is hardly any attention paid to the medieval empire, and in our daily conversation “Byzantine” is almost synonym to luxury, decadence, splendor, corruption, and overcomplexity.

One example may suffice: during last year’s primaries, the Republican candidate Herman Cain called for abolishing America’s “Byzantine tax system”. As a matter of fact, the Byzantines knew only two taxes: a poll tax and a land tax. Compared to this, Cain’s own 9/9/9 plan was quite, eh, Byzantine.

My fascination for Byzantium started when a friend took me to the Byzantine Museum in Thessaloniki. Since then, I have visited several other museums, churches, castles…

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