Join us on Friday April 29th at the Ohio State University’s Newark Campus for an extraordinary opportunity to hear one of the world’s experts on Stonehenge speak about “Merlins Magic Circles: Stonehenge and the use of the Preseli Bluestones.”, OSU-Newark Campus, Founders Hall Auditorium, Friday evening, April 29th 7:00 PM

Stonehenge in central southern England is known the world over as an iconic symbol of Europes prehistoric past. In this lecture, Professor Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University, UK, will show that while Stonehenges origins as a ceremonial monument were conventional enough its later history was exceptional. Key to the transformation was the arrival of about 80 pillars of Bluestone rock brought a distance of around 250 km from the Preseli Hills of southwest Wales to Salisbury Plain. But why were these stones important? And what did they mean to Neolithic people? Using archaeological evidence from Stonehenge itself and from recent work in the Preseli Hills, and folklore and oral tradition dating back to the 13th century AD, a new picture of Stonehenge is emerging in which the stones themselves can be seen to have perceived magical properties connected with healing. Their re-use in later and ever more elaborate structures at Stonehenge show something of their power and significance and illustrate how the landscape of the Preseli Hills is constructed in microcosm at Stonehenge. People were attracted to the area from continental Europe, and what started out as a local focus became a celebrated place for prehistoric pilgrimage.

After Professor Darvill’s lecture, he and Ohio Historical Society archaeologist Brad Lepper will discuss what we know about Ohio’s Hopewell earthworks, especially the extraordinary Newark Earthworks, and how they compare with this new picture of Stonehenge.

About Timothy Darvill: Timothy Darvill is Professor of Archaeology in the School of Applied Sciences at Bournemouth University, UK. The author of over a dozen books, including Prehistoric Britain (2010) and Stonehenge: the biography of a landscape (2006) he has served as Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, was a Member of the Council of the National Trust, and is currently a Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His current research interests focus on archaeological resource management and the Neolithic of northwest Europe.

Posted April 22, 2011
Topics: Archaeology

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