News & Recent Additions
Talks to launch new guidebook for Avebury - Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May
Twenty years since the publication of the last official guidebook, the launch of the National Trust's new guidebook for the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Avebury will be celebrated with two talks plus commemorative cocktails on Bank Holiday Monday 4th May.
Dr Rosamund Cleal, the Curator of the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury says:
"Our new guidebook is up to date with the latest discoveries and research at Avebury and Silbury Hill Visitors can find it difficult to get a clear idea of how the henge forms part of a much larger prehistoric landscape because the whole World Heritage Site cannot be seen from any one place. As well as providing a souvenir of Avebury the pictures in the Guidebook have been chosen to reveal aspects of the history and archaeology of the area as well as giving an overview of the monuments and landscape."
To launch the new guide Dr Cleal will be giving a short illustrated talk, starting at 2:00 p.m., on the background to some of the stories which could only be briefly mentioned in the guide. At 2:45 p.m. Bob Trubshaw, author of 'Sacred Places: Prehistory and Popular Imagination' and who has been photographing Avebury for almost thirty years, will talk about the people who have made Avebury what it is today. His photographs are among those used in the new guidebook and are also available to buy from the NT shop.
Between the two talks, Dr Cleal and Bob Trubshaw will be available to discuss in more detail aspects of Avebury's past while the audience will be invited to try drinks and cocktails commemorating key people in Avebury's history including 'Aubrey's Delight', a 'Stonebreaker Robinson' or even the 'Killer Keiller Cocktail'.
The event is free and will take place in the Study Centre (situated behind the Barn Museum in the centre of Avebury) starting at 2:00pm on Bank Holiday Monday 4th May 2009.
For further information please contact Judi Holliday on 01672 539384.
The Lindow Man exhibition at Manchester Museum has won the Design Week Award for best temporary exhibition design.
HAD recently received an enquiry about whether we have any project activity in the Isle of Mann - an area we have yet to reach.
It seems the noth west coast of the island has many tumuli (burial mounds) in close proximity and yet these are not well known. Moreover, the Manx Museum displays ancient pagan human remains from the west of the island.
Clearly the island deserves our interest and support.
Inspired and motivated to do something positive to show respect for the ancestors, local OBOD member Billy Dickinson composed this poem....
Here lay your bones
Oh Ancient Ones!
But where are you now ?
Shapers of this land.
Here lay your bones
Under stone and sand
So carefully placed
In bosoms of this land
Here lay your bones
So raise yourselves to Summer Realms !
That you might return
To this sacred land.
If you too are inspired by Billy's action, and would like to get involved as a HAD local representative or member of a HAD group, then contact us and we will help you to get started.
The ancestors deserve your support.
Gloucester City Museum is currently revising its human remains policy. HAD was included within the review group and has had its comments accepted, including advice from HAD's guidelines for the display of human remains. Most gratifying was the agreement to use bio-degradable containers where humain remains are reburied. Gloucester's policy will be published on the Gloucester City Museum web page when it becomes available.
New exhibition opening at The Manchester Museum
Lindow Moss: A Place of Finding by Stephen Vaughan
13 December 2008 – 12 July 2009
A new photography exhibition Lindow Moss: A Place of Finding by Stephen Vaughan documenting the landscape at Lindow Moss; the mysterious place where the preserved body of Lindow Man was found, opens at The Manchester Museum on 13 December 2008.
Over a period of more than four years, through changing seasons, Vaughan regularly returned to Lindow Moss in order to repeatedly photograph the trackway that runs through the centre of the peat bog, as well as the ‘peat-rooms’ that sub-divide the landscape on either side.
At the centre of the bog, and on its periphery, Vaughan’s photographs pay attention to the slow passage of time in the landscape – from small changes in the contemporary surface, to the revealed layers of distant centuries.
Vaughan commented, ‘for me, the vivid representation of the 'place of finding' is vital in order to connect the body to its original resting place. My photographs aim to provide a definitive and rich record of the landscape of Lindow Man's deposit and discovery.’
Stephen Booth, Curator of Temporary Exhibitions said, ‘Stephen Vaughan's work is a testament to the passage of time and disappearing landscape. His stunning photography captures perfectly the atmosphere of Lindow Moss, adding further mystery to the discovery of Lindow Man.’
The digging of peat has taken place on Lindow Moss for many years. It is being excavated so intensively that the landscape is rapidly disappearing. The primary purpose of Vaughan’s photographs arises from an urgency to record this ‘place of finding’, before it is completely emptied and destroyed.
Lindow Moss: A Place of Finding was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2005.
The Manchester Museum
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays 11am – 4pm with FREE ENTRY
The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
T: (0)161 275 2634 F:(0)161 275 2676
HAD was recently made aware of a travelling fair reportedly with human remains in its care.... "Recently a fair in Melton Mowbray had a 'museum of oddities' in a big lorry. It contained a very odd collection of built in cases with signs written like market stall signs, and very dusty and in a poor condition, and felt rather like a modern art experience! Damien Hirst must have been inspired by this sort of thing. It had lots and lots of malformed animal foetus's and fake taxidermy stuffed bird/animal freaks etc (These are well known to museums- victorian taxidermists liked making them for fun. Some said they were from Barnums (Barnum and Bailey's circus). It is suspected that the entire collection could well be a victorian one passed down or sold to different showmen. It had a petrifiied remains of an 8'3" giant man from a cave in chile which may or may not have been real. It said it was buried under guano so was preserved. Then it had a "bog woman from dartmoor". From what I know of bog remains, this certainly looked real. She seemed early, and very complete. If she was a fake she was a very good one. There is no reason why e.g. victorian workmen finding such human remains would not have sold them to a travelling fair." HAD would like to hear from you if you have visited this travelling show and can send us your impressions, or if know of any similar cases of reported bog bodies or similar on display.
A nationalist MSP has called for the remains of Mary Queen of Scots to be returned to Scotland. This is an interesting case, which if successful, might raise a precedent for 'repatriation' of other human remains within the UK.
Lindow Man and His Stories - a two day of conference to be held at The Manchester Museum on 14th & 15th November.
Prof Ronald Hutton will be giving a key note address on the Friday evening. Among other speakers, Emma Restall Orr will be speaking on 'The Quest and Experience of Deep Connections with Land and Ancestry: A Pagan Perspective of Lindow Man'.
|Lindow Man Day School - provisional programme||72 KB|