Each month, this website features various information resources to explore the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Below, please find past resources pages.
2021-2022 Resource Pages
January 2021 Resources
February 2021 Resources
March 2021 Resources
April 2021 Resources
May 2021 Resources
June 2021 Resources
July-August 2021 Resources
September 2021 Resources
October 2021 Resources
November 2021 Resources
December 2021 Resources
January 2022 Resources
February 2022 Resources
March 2022 Resources
April 2022 Resources
May 2022 Resources
Books: This website has added two important resource guides for those visiting the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, and Wales. Added to each England, Scotland, and Wales Saints Resources page is a 2020 publication of the British Pilgrimage Trust, Britain's Pilgrim Places. The book covers 500 holy places and 48 major pilgrimage routes in the UK. Added to each England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland Stones Resources page is a 2018 publication, The Old Stones: A Field Guide to the Megalithic Sites of Britain and Ireland. The latter, which covers over 1,000 of British and Irish prehistoric places, was judged the Current Archaeology Book of the Year in 2019.
Publications: Highly recommended to the readers of this website is the bi-monthly publication, Scottish Islands Explorer, which, as its titles indicates, contains timely and enjoyable information about the many islands off the mainland of Scotland, and may be subscribed to for hard copies or received digitally at a reduced price.
Websites and Blogs: Readers are encouraged to click onto to the highly regarded blog of inveterate traveller to Scotland, Washington State resident Marc Calhoun. His blog, Exploring the Islands of the West: Journeys to the Western Islands of Scotland, chronicles his many visits since his first to Iona in 1988.
Podcasts: Viewers of this website may be interested in several podcasts that deal with the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles is the weekly podcast of the well-known Scottish archaeologist, author, and tv presenter of programs on the BBC. His podcasts are based on his 2018 book, The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places. Rupert Soskin and Michael Bott of Standing with Stones fame present The Prehistory Guys monthly. Each podcast interviews a prominent archaeologist. Lastly, the Thin Places Travel Podcast is presented by tour guide Mindie Burgoyne. In each episode she interviews authors and travel guides who take the listener to Saints and Stones sites in Ireland.
Passings: Tim Severin, a British adventurer who for 40 years meticulously replicated the journeys of real and mythic explorers, died on December 18, 2020 at his home in West Cork, Ireland. He was 80. One of his most famous journeys was the Brendan Voyage in 1976-1977. Convinced that the seven-year voyage across the Atlantic Ocean by St. Brendan, who lived between 489 and 583 A.D., was not just a legend, Severin and his four crew built a replica of Brendanâ€™s currach using traditional materials of wood and ox hides and launched it from Brandon Creek on the Dingle Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland. Sailing 4,500 miles (7,200 km) from Ireland to Newfoundland with stops in the Hebrides, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland en route, the journey was completed in 1977. Severin later wrote a book about the voyage entitled The Brendan Voyage: Sailing to America in a Leather Boat to Prove the Legend of the Irish Sailor Saints. A film of the voyage was made later, and it may be viewed on YouTube where it is divided into two parts: Part One and Part Two.
Additional Information: The six 2020 Rhind Lectures have been posted to youtube. This year's lectures, Neolithic Scotland: The Big Picture and Detailed Narratives in 2020, were delivered by Dr. Alison Sheridan, a British archaeologist who was Principal Curator of Early Prehistory at National Museums Scotland, where she worked from 1987 to 2019 in Edinburgh. Here is a link to the first lecture. The remaining five lectures may be accessed on the youtube website. To make the lectures more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website viewpure.com, where you simply add the youtube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: Wild Ruins B.C.: The Explorer's Guide to Britain's Ancient Sites is an important resource guide for those visiting the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, and Wales. As such, it has been added to each England, Scotland, and Wales Stones Resources page oin this website. The book by Dave Hamilton covers a variety pf megalithic sites throughout Britain "from the first human footprints of 800,000 years ago, to ancient axe factories, rock art, stone circles, mountain burials, sunset hill forts, lost villages and temples to the dead." Most valuable for the visitor are his elaborate instructions on how to get to the sites.
Publications: Current Archaeology is a publication that is highly recommended to the readers of this website. Published monthly, it focuses almost exclusively on the archaeology of Britain. Individual copies may be found in bookstores. Subscriptions to the hard copy version are available, as are digital monthly or yearly subscriptions from Exact Editions, which includes access to the 50 year back issues of this magazine. Some current articles are free on the magazine's website. Sample of Past Issues.
Websites and Blogs: The North Atlantic Arc is a personal chronicle of the travels of Massachusetts resident Mr Tattie Heid across the arc of the North Atlantic, from eastern Canada to northwestern Europe, with a particular focus on Scotland. It consists of daily journals and photographs of landscapes and townscapes, ancient monuments from the neolithic to the medieval, great churches and Scotch whisky distilleries, and whatever else catches his eye. According to the author, "There just might be a pub or two along the way." Great writing and wonderful photos. Highly recommended to readers of this website.
Podcasts: This website recommends A History of England in 100 Places, a podcast that steps "back in time to the very roots of our national identity to bring you the people and the stories that have helped shape England," many of which highlight the Saints and Stones of England. Specifically, we recommend the latest series on Faith and Belief, which covers such Saints sites are Lindisfarne, Fountains Abbey, and St. Martin's Church in Canterbury, among others. Here is an example podcast: Stonehenge, Lindisfarne, and a Holy Well.
Organizations: Readers are directed to the Caithness Broch Project, an organization dedicated to "Promoting, preserving and ensuring a lasting legacy for the archaeology of Caithness" in Northern Scotland. The Project has several goals: "promotion and signage of existing Caithness archaeological sites, authentic building of an Iron Age broch, and running the broch as a tourist attraction." Two organizers of the project were recently interviewed on the The Prehistory Guys podcast and also appeared in an Orkney Archaeology Society sponsored online talk last month. If interested, you can support the Caithness Broch Project by becoming a Member or a Friend of the Project.
Videos: Ocassionally, this website will feature a link to a video that pertains to the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. This month we feature a short video by Dig Ventures entitled Lindisfarne Before and After the Viking Raids. For more on the orgnization and their many projects including the one on Lindisfarne, see their website.
Books: This website recommends Digging Up Britain: Ten Discoveries, a Million Years of History, which traces the history of Britain through key discoveries and excavations. With British archaeologist Mike Pitts as a guide, this book covers the most exciting excavations of the past ten years. The book relates firsthand stories from the people who dug up the remains. Each chapter of the book tells the story of a single excavation or discovery from such sites as Star Carr, Gough's Cave, and Stonehenge. Pitts has been the long-time editor of editor of British Archaeology magazine.
Publications: British Archaeology, a bi-monthly publication of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), looks in depth at the latest archaeology news, discoveries and research within the UK and from British Archaeologists working overseas. Both print and digital editions of the magazine are included with membership in the CBA. In addition, membership includes a searchable back library of previous issues. To become a member, go to the CBA membership page.
Websites and Blogs: The Hazel Tree is a blog written by Jo Woolf, who lives by the sea in Argyll, Scotland, where she writes mostly about landscape, nature and history - in particular the many ancient sites such as standing stones, rock carvings, and early chapels that are scattered around the Scottish west coast and its islands. Highly recommended to readers of this website. Great writing and wonderful photos from that part of the world.
Podcasts: This website recommends two excellent podcasts this month. The first podcast comes from British broascaster Melvyn Bragg's excellent long-running radio program, In Our Time and is a discussion of the life of St. Cuthbert, one of the most venerated English saints who evangelized Northumbria. The second comes from the Thin Places Travel Podcast and features Martin Byrne speaking about the Carrowkeel Megalithic Complex near his home in County Sligo.
Organizations: This website highly endorses the work of the Orkney Archaeology Society, which supports the management and development of the amazing archaeological and historical resources in Orkney. The Society provides information on archaeological activity through publications and in-person and online meetings and events. The Society also runs an online shop with books and locally made craft items. Readers are encouraged to join the Society. Information on membership and current activities of the Society may be found online. Funds raised through membership, shop sales, and donations are used to award archaeological grants for projects in Orkney such as the major dig at the Ness of Brodgar. Also see the Society's Facebook page for additional information.
Videos: Current Archaeology Live! 2021 will run from March 5 to March 7 this year, a week later than originally slated. This year it will be, of course, a virtual event. Readers can view the various presentations by leading archaeological experts from across the UK on Current Archaeology's YouTube site. According to the magazine, the presentations will be availble for free on the above dates. List of Speakers. It is not clear if they will be available after the event.
Archaeological Course: Readers are direted to a wonderful opportunity to take a free archaeological course from the University of York in England. The four week course, Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr, is for anyone with an interest in the past and archaeology. There are no requirements except interest. For more information and to register, please go to the link above.
Books: This website recommends Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape by well-known British TV presenter Mary Ann Ochota. Wherever you go in Britain there is history woven into the landscape around you in the shape of a field, the wall of a cottage, a standing stone or churchyard, even in the grass under your feet. And there are literally thousands of sites scattered across the country that do not have tickets and tour guides, but are waiting to reveal their secrets. This book arms the explorer with the crucial information needed to "read" the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped Britain. Helpful photographs and diagrams point out specific details and typical examples to help you understand what you are looking at, or looking for. A very interesting and useful book.
Publications: Archaeology Ireland, which is published quarterly, provides the reader with a constant stream of articles, news and features, covering many areas in archaeology including science, art, architecture, history, geography, economics, sociology, anthropology, religion and more on the Emerald Isle. Both print and digital subscriptions are available. Each issue carries a detailed heritage guide of a major Irish archeological site, free to subscribers only.
Websites and Blogs: Sli Cholmcille: St. Columba's Trail. Sli means "way," and Sli Cholmcille explores the language and heritage of Ireland and Scotland through the life of Colmcille or St. Columba. It is a trail of many sites associated with the saint and his followers, linking Gaelic-speaking communities in the two countries. The website is a project developed by Colmcille, an initiative named after the saint. It was set up in 1997, a year which saw commemorations of the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Columba. In addition, the project is currently celebrating Colmcille1500, the life and legacy of St. Columba 1500 years from his birth. The 7th of December is the traditional birthday of the saint, and the commemoration opened officially on the 7th December 2020 and extends with events and celebrations throughout 2021.
Podcasts: Just off the British coast is a sunken world that was once the hub of mesolithic Europe.The first podcast this website recommends for April comes from British TV prresenter Dan Snow's History Hit podcast and is entitled The Lost World of Doggerland. Professor Simon Fitch, a specialist in Archaeological Sciences, joins Snow for this podcast. The second recommended podcast is from History Extra. Hear author Max Adams discussing his book The First Kingdom, Britain in the Age of Arthur, which pieces together the evidence to uncover what happened after the fall of Roman Britain in the podcast The Dark Ages: A "Black Hole" in Britain's History.
Organizations: The British Archaeological Association was founded in 1843 for the study of archaeology, art, and architecture, and to promote the preservation of historic monuments and antiquities. It exists to enhance understanding of the material culture of Europe and the Mediterranean, especially in Britain. An example of its work is the recent conference co-sponsored with English Heritage and held in January 2021 that focused on Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey between 1147 and 1167 A.D.
Videos: The recently released Netflix film The Dig tells the story of the the events of the 1939 excavation at Sutton Hoo, an Anglo-Saxon burial ground in Suffolk that unearthed a ship buried with a wealth of artefacts. Some have called it "the greatest treasure ever discovered in the UK." The National Trust of the UK has released a short video, Unearth the Real Story of Sutton Hoo, that goes behind the scenes. Lastly, the Time Team youtube website has an interview with Author John Preston, whose book the film was based upon. As this website has pointed out in previous homepages, to make youtube videos more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website viewpure.com, where you simply add the youtube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: The Road Wet, the Wind Close: Celtic Ireland by James Charles Roy. If I had to suggest books to read about the saints and stones of Ireland, this work no doubt would be on my list if not at the top of my list. Roy explores early Irish history from the island's first inhabitants around 7000 B.C. to the Norman invasion of A.D. 1169. Beautifully written, Roy combines scholarship with personal reminiscence and contemporary interviews to give a well-rounded portrait of the Celtic past and its hold on the present. Each chapter focuses on a particular geographical or archaeological site and examines the entire historical period the site represents. Highly recommended.
Publications: History Scotland. Scottish Archaeology is prominently featured in this publication, providing the reader with the latest Scottish archaeology news, including dig reports and finds analysis. In addition, archaeology volunteer opportunities, courses and summer schools, and onsite and online events, and recommded books are found on its website. Subscribing to this bi-monthly publication comes with exclusive access to online history, archaeology and heritage articles, interviews and more.
Websites and Blogs: The main goal of the The British Pilgrimage Trust, founded in 1914, is "to advance British pilgrimage as a form of cultural heritage that promotes holistic wellbeing, for the public benefit." According to the BPT "'Holistic wellbeing' includes physical, mental, emotional, social, community, environmental and spiritual health, and we aim to make these benefits accessible to wide new audiences. Pilgrimage has the potential to promote community and diversity in Britain's spiritual landscape." The BPT welcomes members. In 2019, it published its first book: Britain's Pilgrim Places, a great work covering more than 500 enchanting holy places, all 48 major pilgrimage routes, and every medieval cathedral in the U.K.
Podcasts: The great passage tomb of Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of County Meath is one of Ireland's most iconic monuments. A World Heritage Site, it is one of the most visited monuments by people from all over the world. This Amplify Archaeology podcast features Dr. Jessica Smyth of the University College Dublin discussing Newgrange & Neolithic Ireland. Our second presentation is an English Heritage Voices of England podcast that features trustee Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol on the legacy of pre-Christian beliefs. Discover what the earliest settlers in England believed, the evidence that can still be found in our historic landscapes, our ancient ritual monuments and our language, and how the arrival of Christianity changed English society as a whole in this podcast, How pre-Christian Beliefs Shaped Our Landscape, Landmarks and Language.
Organizations: In 2012, Dig Ventures launched the world's first-ever crowdfunded and crowdsourced archaeological excavation at Flag Fen, a Bronze Age wetlands site and Scheduled Ancient Monument near Peterborough, UK. It was a huge success, raising a worldwide community of over 250 citizen archaeologists and enough monetary contributions to run an internationally-important collaborative archaeological research project. Since then, the organization has run over 40 projects and grown its community each year. A current online course offered by the organizayoion may be of interest. See How to Do Archaeology.
Art/Photography: Aidan Hart, a member of the Greek Orthodox Church living in Britain, has been a full-time icon painter and carver for over twenty-five years. He has worked in more than twenty countries of the world and in many cathedrals and monasteries. According to Hart, "his aim, in accordance with the Byzantine icon tradition, is to make liturgical art that manifests the world transfigured in Christ." He has given this website permission to link to his site, Aidan Hart Sacred Icons, which contains a variety of beautiful icons. In particular, the reader is directed to the section of his website featuring Western Saints, many of whom are connected to the Saints Sites visited in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
Videos: Land, Sea and Sky: The Archaeology of Coasts and Islands was a 2020 conference sponsored by Archaeology Ireland that explores the archaeology and settlement of islands, coastal areas, and the sea that links them. The conference also exploreed the connections of archaeological heritage with local and coastal communities and its role in establishing a sense of place. Five different sessions are available for viewing online. Presentation List.
Books: Orcadia: Land, Sea and Stone in Neolithic Orkney by Mark Edmonds. The Orcadian archipelago is a museum of archaeological wonders. Its largest island, Mainland, is home to some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe, the most famous of which are the passage grave of Maeshowe, the megaliths of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and the village of Skara Brae. Following a broadly chronological narrative, and highlighting different lines of evidence as they unfold, Mark Edmonds traces the development of the Orcadian Neolithic from its beginnings in the early fourth millennium BC through to the end of the period nearly two thousand years later.
Publications: Orkney Islander. Orkney has been named the "best place to live in the UK" for the past eight years. This publication, produced by The Orcadian newspaper in Orkney's main town, Kirkwall, is a wealth of information on the archipelago's history, archaeology, and wildlife, as well as individual capsules of the main islands. As it is supported by advertisements, the publication gives the reader a feel for various skills and occupations of its residents. The archeology section (pp.58ff) covers the main digs currently on Orkney.
Websites and Blogs: A wealth of Orkney information may be found on Orkneyjar: The Heritage of the Orkney Islands, a privately-run, non-profit website, created and maintained by Orcadian Sigurd Towrie. Begun in 1997 to provide a platform to publish the numerous articles on Orcadian history and heritage that Towrie had written over the years, it is highly recommended.
Podcasts: The podcast recommended for June 2021, Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles, turns the British Isles upside down! Travelling to Orkney, off the northeast tip of Scotland, he uncovers ancient burial tombs and ceremonial halls, and gives us a glimpse of an influential powerhouse long hidden by time. As he tells the story of the profound changes this once formidable center of influence has undergone, he unravels the lessons history tells us and the pointers it gives to what may lay ahead in the future in Hidden Power: The Ness of Brodgar, Orkney.
Organizations: University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute is a world-class teaching and research organization dedicated to advancing our understanding of the historic environment through the creation, interpretation, and dissemination of archaeological knowledge. Its website, Archaeology Orkney, periodically issues information on ongoing published research in Orkney. In addition, the Institute has a blog that you can subscribe to.
Addendum: The reader is encouraged to once again visit a great Orkney resource that was highlighted on our March 2021 Homepage: Orkney Archaeological Society (OAS). The OAS has recently issued its annual publication for this year, the Orkney Archaeological Review 2021.
Videos: Orkney archaeologist Martin Carruthers of the University of the Highlands and Islands gave an online talk in April sponsored by the Orkney Archaeological Society about The Cairns, the dig he directs on South Ronaldsay. Titled The Life and Times of The Cairns: A Thousand Years of Living at a Broch Settlement, it is available on the Orkney Archaeological Society YouTube website.
Books: In Search of Angels: Travels to the Edge of the World by Alistair Moffat. In this book, the author journeys from the island of Eileach an Naoimh in the Garvellachs at the mouth of the Firth of Lorne to Lismore, Iona, and then north to Applecross, searching for traces of Irish saints Brendan, Moluag, Columba, Maelrubha, and others. He finds them not often in any tangible remains, but in the spirit of the islands and remote places where they passed their exemplary lives.
Publications: Historic Research England is a digital magazine produced by Historic England about the organization's work and work it funds to support the protection and management of the historic environment. The latest issue may be downloaded as a free PDF magazine. A special issue was published in 2020: Historic England Research Issue 16 focuses on archaeological research carried out or supported by Historic England.
Websites and Blogs: Well-known to the archaeological world, the Megalithic Portal was founded in 2001 by Andy Burnham, who still leads the effort. It is run by a team of voluntary editors and site administrators with input and contributions from thousands of photographers, archaeologists, locals, and visitors. The site's web resource runs on its own server with a huge database, maps, and image library and costs a significant amount to keep running long term. You can show your support by joining up as a Contributory Member, which gives you full membership in the Megalithic Portal Society. Well worth the 10 GBP per year, or equivalent in your currency. Membership Benefits. Burnham is also editor of The Old Stones, the Current Archaeology magazine Book of the Year in 2019. Note: If you are using VPN and have difficulty accessing the site, please disable your VPN.
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month presents The Prehistory Guys and their guest, Dr. Alison Sheridan, recently retired Principal Archaeological Research Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, speaking on the "Neolithization of Britain." Her special area is the crossover period between the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods in Britain and Ireland. In this interview you'll find out what makes her thesis on how the Neolithic 'package' made it across from the continent 6,000 years ago both compelling and controversial.
Organizations: The aims of Vindolanda Charitable Trust, founded in the spring of 1970, were for making the structures and artefacts available to the interested public, especially educational groups, and for engaging with people from all walks of life. Today, its vision is to excavate and preserve the Roman remains in the Trust's ownership in the central sector of the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site. The highlight of the Trust's blog is the presentation of the amazing finds from its many years of excavation.
Art-Photography: Jim Richardson is a well-known photographer for National Geographic magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER magazine. He has photographed more than fifty stories for National Geographic. He has given us permission to link to his website and its photography, which gives the viewer a look at the lives of the inhabitants of Scotland and the Celtic areas and the lands they live in. His photographs are terrific.
Videos: We present two videos this month - one short and one a bit longer, but both excellent presentations. The first Clava Cairns, Scotland is a 4K aerial film of amazing Bronze Age burial chambers. Presented by Megalithomania, this short video focuses on the Clava cairn, a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of three cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness in Scotland. There are about 50 cairns of this type in an area round about Inverness. The second video is entitled Dunnicaer - An Archaeological Investigation. On the coast of Aberdeenshire lies the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, a 7th Century A.D. Pictish power center. Nearby is Dunnicaer, an unassuming and substantially eroded sea stack that contains evidence to suggest it was an even earlier power center of the Picts. This film explores the investigations conducted by Aberdeen University into the site and helps uncover its mysterious past. Enjoy.
Books: Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland's Holy Mountain by Chet Raymo. For many years, acclaimed science writer Chet Raymo has lived part of each year on the Dingle Peninsula, near the foot of the mountain, and he has climbed it perhaps a hundred times, exploring paths that have been used for centuries by pilgrims in search of spiritual enlightenment. But the history and geography of Mount Brandon are what drew Raymo to it and offered him a lens through which to view the modern conflicts between science and religion. An excellent book.
Publications: The Council for British Archaeology Wales, an organization that serves to promote interest in the historic environment of Wales and to bring together those interested in Welsh archaeology publishes Archaeology in Wales, the journal on recent archaeological discoveries relating to Wales. The journal is free to subscribing members and is produced on an annual basis. It includes a gazetteer of recent archaeological work undertaken in Wales as well as longer contributions.
Websites and Blogs: Aside from the Megalithic Portal, The Modern Antiquarian is the other major website dedicated to ancient sites. It is based on Julian Cope's epic guidebook of the same name and his other book, The Megalithic European. Since launching in March 2000, the site has grown to be a massive resource for news, information, images, folklore & weblinks on sites across the UK, Ireland, and Europe, thanks to the efforts of its many constributors. Its "Latest News" column is particulary valuable, keeping interested parties up-to-date on issues involving stone sites.
Podcasts: From Cornwall to Orkney, stone circles are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the British Isles. Their history stretches more than 2 millennia, varying from the earlier huge stone circles such as Castlerigg, Avebury, and the Ring of Brodgar to the smaller and more regional circles that emerged after ca. 2,000 B.C. Their remains continue to attract great amounts of visitors right up to the present day. Our podcast for this month is The Ancients: Stone Circles and features Dan Snow chatting with Timothy Darvill OBE, a professor from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University and the author of Prehistoric Britain.
Organizations: The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (ScARF) is an organization that has been around for 240 years and actively supports the study and enjoyment of Scotland's past. ScARF publishes books and peer reviewed papers, runs an annual programme of lectures and conferences (such as the prestigious Rhind Lectures), and administers research grants and prizes. Following the creation of a national Scottish Archaeological Research Framework in 2012, the organization is formulating regional frameworks for all regions of Scotland, key parts of Scotland's Archaeology Strategy. Currently, ScARF has issued frameworks for five regions of Scotland. As an example, see: A Framework for the Western Islands, Orkney, and Shetland.
Art-Photography: This month we feature the superb photos of Ken Williams, photographer and researcher from Drogheda, in the heart of the Boyne Valley of Ireland, specializing in the prehistoric art and monuments of Western Europe. He describes his work thusly: "For the past 15 years I have been engaged in a long term photographic project centering on the megalithic monuments of Western Europe, entitled 'Shadows and Stone'" His work, which has been featured in a number of publications and media, has documented the discovery of many previously unrecorded carvings at some of Ireland's best known monuments as well as identifying previously unknown open-air rock art sites. He also has an interesting Shadow and Stones Blog on his most current work.
Videos:Our videos this month are both from Megalithomania and feature stone circles in Cumbria, England. The first features Castlerigg Stone Circle, considered by many to be the Lake District's most beautifully placed Megalithic site. The second features Long Meg and Her Daughters Stone Circle, and is dedicated to a reader of our Homepage, Paul Deterling, who will appreciate more than just the stone circles. Note: To make YouTube videos more enjoyable and eliminate the annoying ads that occasionally pop up at the worst times, go to the View Pure website, where you simply add the YouTube URL of the site you are watching and you can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland
by Carleton Jones. Dolmens and burial chambers, known as megalithic tombs, dot the Irish countryside and fascinate all who encounter them. Although these ancient structures are shrouded in mystery and beyond explanation, fresh archaeological interpretations provide new ways of understanding them. Jones features not only the most famous - e.g. Poulnabrone and Knowth - but also lesser known such as Fourknocks and Creevykeel. A big beautiful book with many great photos and illustrations.
Publications: The Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) managed by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland was introduced to these pages last month. One of its many publications is the ScARF Summary Neolithic Report edited by Kenny Brophy & Alison Sheridan. At 195 pages, it is a thorough look at this crucial period of Scotland's history.
Websites and Blogs: The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia "proposes to give its readers full and authoritative information." It is a valuable resource for all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, interested in the well-known and not-so-well-known saints and monasteries of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Examples: St. Aidan of Lindisfarne and St. Finnian of Movilla.
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month, Everything You Want to Know About England's Monasteries, is an English Heritage presentation. Two experts discuss these remarkable religious buildings, centers for incredible wealth and power throughout much of England's history, and describe what life was like for the monks and nuns who lived, worked, and worshipped at them, how they amassed such wealth, what happened to the monks and nuns after they were closed, and much more.
Organizations: The Yarrows Heritage Trust is "dedicated to the promotion and research into the built and natural environment of the Yarrows area" in the Caithness region in northern Scotland. Founded in 2002, the Trust has undertaken a number of projects, beginning with the Oliclett Mesolithic site, dating from up to 10,000 years ago. The organization's latest project is the Iron Age Swartigill Burn Dig, which concluded its work for 2021 last month.
Archaeological Kite Aerial Photography of Hamish Fenton is the Art/Photography site featured this month. Fenton photographs various archeological sites from the air, giving the viewer a different persopective on the megalithic structures usually only viewed from the ground. Fenton is also a frequent contributor to the Megalithic Portal website.
Videos: Dr. Emma Wells takes us on a journey along the famous St. Cuthbert's Way, a 62 mile (100 km) long-distance trail. Dr. Wells begins at the site of Old Melrose (Old Mailros) and finishes on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Dr. Janina Ramirez is also featured in this twenty-minute presenation.
Books: Sun Dancing: Life in a Medieval Irish Monastery and How Celtic Spirituality Influenced the World by Geoffrey Moorhouse. Visible on a clear day off the west coast of Ireland, the Skellig Islands, a cluster of cruel rocks, rise spectacularly from the Atlantic Ocean. A sanctuary to birds and seals today, for over six hundred years during the Middle Ages it was a center for a particularly intense form of monastic life, one that the author explores. Moorhouse's lively narrative is a superbly imagined account of the monks' isolated life - the spiritual struggles and triumphs and unbelievable physical hardships. To complement and enrich the book, Moorhouse establishes the historical context of Irish monasticism and describes the monks' influence and undeniable role in preserving western civilization, as well as unexpected connections between medieval Ireland and India, Egypt, and Byzantium, and the surviving impact of pagan mythology. An entertaining and enlightening work, Sun Dancing makes medieval Ireland come alive.
Publications: Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, producing maps since the mid-18th Century. Aside from producing its well-known and excellent Explorer and Landranger maps for the general public, it also publishes a number of useful publications such as its Pathfinder Guidebooks. An example is its Walks in the Peak District Pathfinder Book, which lists 28 beautiful circular walks around the Peak District graded by length and ranging from 3+ to 11+ miles.
Websites and Blogs: The Shetland Amenity Trust hosts an Archaeological Blog by Dr. Val Turner entitled "Off the Beaten Track" to help interested parties discover some of Shetland's hidden archaeology treasures. It is a well-kept secret that Shetland is full of archaeological treasures. Dr. Turner's blog visits several of these outstanding sites such as Punds Water and the Ness of Burgi found on the different Shetland isles.
Podcasts: Pre-historic Britain in Seven Burials features well-known archaeologist and TV presenter Alice Roberts on the History Hit podcast. How much can a burial really tell us about our ancient past? As her new book Ancestors demonstrates, old bones can speak to us across the centuries. Using new DNA analysis techniques, archaeologists are now able to uncover an unprecedented level of detail about the lives of our ancestors: Where they came from, what they ate, how they lived, what killed them, and what their burials really mean. This is the story of unlocking the past of ancient Britain.
Organizations: Transceltic is an organization dedicated to the Celtic nations and the Pan Celtic Movement. The six Celtic nations are Ireland (Eire), Scotland (Alba), Wales (Cymru), the Isle of Man (Mannin), Cornwall (Kernow), and Brittany (Breizh). These nations have a Celtic language that has been spoken into modern times and is still used. The Pan Celtic Movement seeks to promote greater appreciation of the shared heritage of the Celtic Nations. Transceltic is part of a grand tradition of Pan Celtic organizations, which includes the International Celtic Congress and the Celtic League.
Art-Photography: The Great Tapestry of Scotland. The brainchild of bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, historian Alistair Moffat, and artist Andrew Crummy, the Great Tapestry of Scotland is an outstanding celebration of Scottish history from the end of the last Ice Age to the present. More than 1,000 volunteer stitchers from around Scotland spent a total of 60,000 sewing hours using more than 300 miles of yarn to create the 160 panels that make up this extraordinary work of art. Like the Bayeux tapestry, the Great Tapestry of Scotland has been created on embroidered cloth, and is annotated in English, Gaelic, Scots, and Latin. This magnificent work is now permanently displayed in its own purpose built gallery and visitor center in Galashiels, Scotland.
Videos: Avebury: The Largest Stone Circle in the World. An aerial film by Megalithomania, this video also features several sites adjacent to the Avebury Circle such as West Kennett Avenue and The Sanctuary. To make the video more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website View Pure, where you simply add the youtube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne by Alistair Moffat. Lindisfarne, famous for its monastery, home to Saints Aidan and Cuthbert, and the place where the celebrated Lindisfarne Gospels were written, has long been a place of sanctuary. The author travels to - and through the history of - the fated island of Lindisfarne. Walking from his home in the Borders, through the historical landscape of Scotland and northern England, he takes us on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints and scholars, before arriving for a secular retreat on the Holy Isle.
Publications: The Lindisfarne Scriptorium is a publisher of books and other offerings based on Holy Island. It describes its work thusly: "Taking spiritual and visual inspiration from the work of the monks who created wonderful books like the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells, the calligraphy, illumination and illustration we offer you is a merging of old skills with new materials and new techniques inspired by ancient sacred works...Our inspiration is also drawn from the rich Celtic spirituality of Northumbria, our Christian faith, and the beautiful environment of Holy Island. We aim to follow the great Monastic Scriptorium tradition of producing pieces of artwork that give glory to God and help His people to worship." Aside from books, it also produces cards, calendars, CDs, and DVDs.
Websites and Blogs: Holy Island's E-Mail Magazine covers a variety of topics relating to living on or near the island of Lindisfarne. You can view past issues and subscribe to receive issues of this free and informative monthly newsletter.
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month presents BBC In Our Time: The Lindisfarne Gospels. Melvyn Bragg discusses the 8th century manuscripts that united the Celtic and Roman church and cultures in England, and are often seen as the first artworks of Christian Britain. With Dr. Michelle Brown, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library and author of A Guide to Western Historical Scripts: From Antiquity to 1600; Dr. Richard Gameson, Reader in Medieval History at Kent University and editor of St Augustine and the Conversion of England; Professor Clare Lees, Professor of Medieval Literature at King's College London and author of Tradition and Belief: Religious Writing in Late Anglo-Saxon England.
Organizations: The Lindisfarne Centre is the ideal starting point for a visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
As the Centre describes itself, "Our knowledgeable staff can help you plan your time and provide tips and ideas for making the most of the island: where to go, where to enjoy refreshments and where to stay. Enjoy interactive displays on the history and heritage of Lindisfarne, packed with plenty of children's games and activities. Learn how the monks produced the world-famous Lindisfarne Gospels and see a facsimile of this national treasure. Understand the terror of the Viking raid of A.D. 793, and listen and learn from islanders about community life and the island's special natural history."
Art-Photography: The Lindisfarne Gospels, a beautifully decorated book of the four Gospels, was made by a single artist-scribe, Bishop Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, working in the monastery of Lindisfarne around 715-720 A.D. A masterpiece of Insular culture (of the islands of Britain and Ireland), it skillfully blends artistic, calligraphic, and textual components drawn from Celtic, Germanic, and Mediterranean cultures. The original book resides in London at the British Library. In 2022, the book will go on display in the Northeast of England in Newcastle, on loan from the British Library.
Videos: We present three videos this month. The first is a repeat of the excellent video, Lindisfarne Before and After the Viking Raids presented by Dig Ventures. The second, Who Lived on Lindisfarne Before, During, and After the Viking Raids?, also from Dig Ventures, is an informative discussion with Dr. David Petts of Durham University and Maiya Pina-Dacier of Dig Ventures. Lastly, we offer The Geology of Lindisfarne, a geologic tour around Holy Island by Ian Jackson, who is retired from his post as Operations Director of the British Geological Survey.
Books: Ancestors: A History of Britain in Thirteen Burials by Alice Roberts. An extraordinary exploration of the ancestry of Britain through seven burial sites. By using new advances in genetics and taking us through important archaeological discoveries, Alice Roberts, pre-eminent archaeologist, broadcaster and academic, helps us better understand life today. We often think of Britain springing from nowhere with the arrival of the Romans. But in Ancestors, Professor Roberts explores what we can learn about the very earliest Britons - from their burial sites. Although we have very little evidence of what life was like in prehistoric times, here their stories are told through the bones and funerary offerings left behind, preserved in the ground for thousands of years. Told through seven fascinating burial sites, this groundbreaking prehistory of Britain teaches us more about ourselves and our history: how people came and wentand how we came to be on this island. One reviewer has called this work "a terrific, timely and transporting book - taking us heart, body and mind beyond history, to the fascinating truth of the prehistoric past and present."
Publications: In September, this website listed the Neolithic Report by the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) managed by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland the ScARF Summary Neolithic Report, a thorough look at this crucial period of Scotland's history. This month we list ScARF's Highland Archaeology Research Framework (HighARF), the culmination of a three-year project led by Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH) to create a regional research framework for the Highland Council region. The Highland Regional ScARF covers the area of the Highland Council, the largest council area in Scotland. The area has varied topography, which has influenced settlement patterns for over 14,000 years.
Websites and Blogs: The Easiest Guide to Scotland's Archaeological Time Periods and Ages. If you would like to know more about Scotland's past, it helps to know the different time periods. This website is great for the newcomer to archaeology. This guide begins with the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods and ends with the Medieval and Post Medieval or Modern Periods. Each period gives dates, discusses artefacts to be found and lists sites to visit. Produced by Dig It!, the hub for Scottish archaeology, this website is great for newcomers and a handy refresher for those more familiar with Scottish archaeology.
Podcasts: History Extra: The Dark Ages: A 'Black Hole' in Britain's History. Max Adams discusses his book The First Kingdom, Britain in the Age of Arthur, which pieces together the evidence to uncover what happened after the fall of Roman Britain. He explains some of the current theories about the era 400-600 AD, and why Arthurian myths have proven so popular.
Organizations: Cornwall has amongst the largest collection of nationally protected heritage sites of any county in Britain, with more than 1,340 Scheduled Monuments, more than 12,500 Listed Buildings, 145 Conservation Areas, 37 Registered Parks and Gardens, 2 Registered Battlefields, 8 Designated Wrecks and the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The Cornish Cornwall Archaeological Society seeks to identify new archaeological sites through survey and excavations, record sites, monuments and buildings in the field as part of one off or long term projects, protect sites, monuments and buildings through co-operation with landowners, Historic England and Cornwall Council, conserve archaeological monuments through active management work on site, monitor the condition of our monuments through field visits, and help fund archaeological research projects in the county by awarding grants, among other pursuits.
Art-Photography: The Arbroath Tapestry is an intricate embroidered three-panel tapestry created by Angus embroidery and textile artists to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath and the history and heritage of Arbroath Abbey. The embroidered tapestry is permanently displayed in the Arbroath Abbey visitor center. Arbroath Tapestry is an extraordinary wonderfully crafted work made by the Arbroath Tapestry Group, a group of highly skilled Angus women. The Arbroath Tapestry has been designed by Scottish artist Andrew Crummy, designer of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland, the embroidery artists aspired to create a tapestry which gave greater prominence to the Declaration and placed the history of Arbroath and its Abbey at the forefront.
Videos: The Prehistory Guys interview Professor Alice Roberts, who discusses the many facets of her body of work including her latest book, Ancestors: A History of Britain in Thirteen Burials. This interview is included especially for Guido, one of our website's frequent visitors, who admires the lovely and talented Professor Roberts and her work. Note: Many Youtube videos have ads. Should you find that Youtube videos you are watching have ads, to make the video more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times go to the website View Pure, where you simply add the Youtube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: In the Land of Giants: A Journey Through the Dark Ages by Max Adams.
The five centuries between the end of Roman Britain and the death of Alfred the Great have left few voices save a handful of chroniclers, but Britain's "Dark Ages" can still be explored through their material remnants: architecture, books, metalwork, and, above all, landscapes. Max Adams explores Britain's lost early medieval past by walking its paths and exploring its lasting imprint on valley, hill, and field. From York to Whitby, from London to Sutton Hoo, from Edinburgh to Anglesey, from Anglesey to Bardsey Island, from Falmouth to Mallaig, and from Hadrian's Wall to Loch Tay among others, each of his ten walking narratives form free-standing chapters as well as parts of a wider portrait of a Britain of fort and fyrd, crypt and crannog, church and causeway, holy well and memorial stone. One reviewer has described the book as "part history lesson, part travelogue, and part philsophical musing." See Podcasts below featuring Max Adams on the "Dark Ages."
Publications: The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland has been around for 240 years, actively supporting the study and enjoyment of Scotland's past. The Society publishes academic and non-fiction books about Scotland's archaeology and history.
See the following link for the Society's latest offerings.
Websites and Blogs: Working Stone is a website devoted to the prehistoric stone tools of Orkney. A reader can explore traditions of working stone from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age, at the same time tracking the social history of artefact collecting across the region over the past 200 years. The site allows you to explore several paths. You can search for different types of artefacts and for information on the techniques involved in their making. You can also find out about raw materials and chronology; how rocks mattered, how technological traditions changed over time and how local ways of doing things were set in relation to broader trends. And since most artefacts were recovered during excavations, you can search by selecting the name of individual sites. You can also search via the "biographies" thread, which documents the entangled stories of individual artefacts, the people who collected them and the households and institutions through which different things have passed. In addition, there is a gallery of approximately 1,100 images of flint and stone tools from Orkney; further images and 3D models of artefacts and sites are embedded throughout the site.
Podcasts: The Dark Ages: A 'Black Hole' in Britain's History. Max Adams discusses his book The First Kingdom: Britain in the Age of Arthur, which pieces together the evidence to uncover what happened after the fall of Roman Britain. He explains some of the current theories about the era 400-600 AD, and why Arthurian myths have proven so popular.
Organizations: The Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society was founded in 1967 by a group of visionaries who saw the need to raise awareness of the county's past. A voluntary, non-profit-making association, all proceeds from sales of subscriptions and publications are utilized exclusively in the day-to-day running of its activities. In 1967, the aims of the Society were identified as "the collection, recording, study and preservation of the history and antiquities of Kerry, including the preservation of historical and antiquarian remains, the promotion of scientific excavation and the publication of a journal." During the following years, those aspirations have expanded to include the nurturing, fostering, and promoting of interest in the wider culture and heritage of the county.The Society hosts a series of autumn, winter, and spring lectures. During the summer months, it organizes outings to a variety of sites of historical or archaeological interest, sometimes even venturing abroad. Membership subscription also entitles members to free entry to the vast majority of these events.
Passings: We have learned from Orkney that well-known archaeologist Caroline Wickham-Jones has passed away. A specialist in the Stone Age, Wickham-Jones studied archaeology at the University of Edinburgh before undertaking a second degree, in Heritage Management, at the University of Birmingham. After a distinguished career in excavation, experimental archaeology, and lecturing, which took her all over the world, she moved to Orkney where she worked as a consultant archaeologist as well as continuing her extensive research. She was also involved in numerous projects and maintained a blog on matters archaeological. You can also access her online lectures. Aside from scholarly papers, she also is the author of several books such as her well-known work, Between the Wind and the Water: World Heritage Orkney.
Art and Photography: 3-D Reconstructions of Scotland's Largest Pictish Fort.Underneath the quiet village of Burghead on the coast of Moray, Scotland lies the subtle remains of an ancient fort. It was previously thought that the fort had been built by the Romans or the Vikings.
Excavations have shown that it was a Pictish power center dating from the 6th -10th centuries A.D.
Videos: The Wonder of Skellig Michael. A short aerial view of this famous island and its monastery off the County Kerry coast by Peter Cox Photography. For 600 years, Skellig Michael (Sceilig MhichÃl in Irish Gaelic, meaning Michael's rock) was an important center of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. An Irish Celtic monastery situated almost at the summit of the 755 foot high rock, it was built in ca.7th century. Legend associates its founding with St. Fionan. The monastic complex, arrived at after a steep climb of 600+ steps, contains a cluster of six clochans (beehive huts), two oratories, and several small terraces on a plateau approximately 700 feet above sea level.The monastery survived a number of Viking raids in the 9th Century, notably in 823 A.D. The community at Skellig Michael was never large - probably 12 monks and an abbot. Skellig Michael became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Additional Photos. To make the video more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website View Pure, where you simply add the YouTube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: The Hebrides by Paul Murton. Well-known as a documentary film maker whose work includes Grand Tours of Scotland and Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands, Murton has spent half a lifetime exploring some of the most beautiful islands in the world, including the Hebrides. He has travelled the length and breadth of Scotland's rugged, six-thousand-mile coastline and sailed to over eighty islands. In this book, Murton visits each of the Hebridean islands in turn, introducing their myths and legends, history, culture and extraordinary natural beauty. In addition, he meets the people who live there and learns their stories. He meets crofters, fishermen, tweed weavers, Gaelic singers, clan chiefs, artists, postmen, and bus drivers, people from every walk of life who make the islands tick. This blend of the contemporary and the traditional creates a vivid account of the Hebrides and serves as a unique guide to the less well-known aspects of life among the islands.
Publications: The Scottish Islands Explorer. Highly recommended previously in an earlier homepage, the bi-monthly publication, Scottish Islands Explorer, is produced by Editor Fred Silver and his daughter and Deputy Editor Melissa at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The magazine contains timely and enjoyable information about the many islands off the mainland of Scotland. It may be subscribed to for hard copies or received digitally at a reduced price.
Websites and Blogs: Taigh Chearsabhagh is a museum and arts centre on North Uist. The Centre champions heritage, visual arts, and the Gaelic language and culture on the isle. In its galleries and award-winning museum, it features stimulating and dynamic programs of cultural events throughout the year for the local community and the island's many visitors. The Centre presents regular visual art, moving image and heritage exhibitions, as well as live music events, art classes for children and adults, writers groups, and a community-focused education & outreach program. Located in Lochmaddy, the main port of entry on the island, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre is right on the shoreline of a marine Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month presents Wild for Scotland: Peat and Sands, a road trip on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Your guide Kathi Kamleitner explores a landscape that is shaped by time, as she drives from standing stones to sandy beaches and everything in between. After the story, she shares with you her top 5 tips to get the most out of your road trip on the west coast of Lewis.
Organizations: Established in 1931, the National Trust for Scotland has an excellent website on the Hebrides, both inner and outer. The largest member organization in Scotland, it is supported by more than 300,000 members and funded largely by donations. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, NTS encourages people to connect with the things that make Scotland unique while protecting them for future generations. According to the organization, "We do it so our heritage will always have a home. We do it so our countryside will remain unspoiled and accessible. We do what we do for the love of Scotland."
Art-Photography: Visit the Outer Hebrides. Yes, it is a travel website, but the photos therein give a great look at these marvelous islands and all they have to offer the traveler. There is also valuable information on everything from archaeology to Gaelic culture to local food and drink.
Videos: The Outer Hebrides. A dramatic flyover of several ancient and sacred sites in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the film includes the 5000-year-old Callanish Stones plus numerous other stone circles, Scotland's tallest standing stone, Callanish XI, an Iron-Age house on a beach, a 2000-year-old broch by the sea, and nearby islands, lakes, and landscapes. To make the video more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website View Pure, where you can simply add the YouTube URL of the site you are watching and watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: How to Build Stonehenge by Mike Pitts, Editor of the UK publication British Archaeology. This new book, published in March 2022, looks at the past decade of ground-breaking discoveries at Stonehenge made possible by cutting-edge scientific techniques. Having tracked the precise provenance of the bluestones in Wales, is it possible to plot their journey to the Salisbury Plain? And how might teams of labourers lacking machinery or even pack animals have dragged them 150 miles to the site? How did they carve joints into the sarsen boulders, among the hardest stones in the world, and then raise them into place? Pitts draws on a lifetime of study to answer these questions, revealing how Stonehenge stood not in austere isolation, as we see it today, but as part of a wider world, the focus of a megalithic cosmology of belief, ritual and creativity.
Publications: Archaeology in Wales. The Council for British Archaeology Wales serves to promote interest in the historic environment of Wales and to bring together those interested in Welsh archaeology. CBA Wales also produces Archaeology in Wales, the journal on recent archaeological discoveries relating to Wales. The journal is free to subscribing members and is produced on an annual basis. It includes a gazetteer of recent archaeological work undertaken in Wales as well as longer contributions.
Websites and Blogs: Northern Saints Trails. This is an initiative to position North East England as the crossroads of British Christianity through the development of six long-distance walking trails based on existing ancient pilgrimage routes. The Trails portray the region's saints and their stories, set against a backdrop of the very best of the region's attractions, landscapes, places to eat and drink and visitor accommodation. The trails are rooted in the region's considerable Christian heritage, but walking and pilgrimage appeal to those of other faiths or those who are not religious; motivations to walk the trails will vary from relaxation, personal spirituality, a walking challenge, the chance to get back to nature and discover stunning landscapes, health and wellbeing, family activities or to uncover the region's fascinating history. The trail descriptions are found online.
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month, Welsh History Podcasts, discusses various historical and archeaological subjects. A good example is the episode entitled To the Hillfort, which is about the borderlands of Britain being divided by the developing hillforts of the Iron Age.
Organizations: Established he The Atlantic Centre was established in 1931 on the Isle of Luing, one of the Slate Isles. The Centre opened an office in 2015 and provides a marvellous visitor destination as well as cafe and events and programs for locals and visitors to enjoy. The Luing History Group has a permanent space in the Centre to display changing local history exhibitions on archaeology, social history, industrial history, natural history, and the geology of Luing and the surrounding uninhabited islands: the Garvellachs, Scarba, Lunga, Torsa, Shuna, Fladda, Belnahua, and Rubha Fiola.
Art, Photography, 3D Imaging: Sketchfab is a 3D modeling platform website to publish, share, discover, buy and sell 3D, VR and AR content. It provides a viewer based on the WebGL and WebXR technologies that allows users to display 3D models on the web, to be viewed on any mobile browser, desktop browser or Virtual Reality headset. Presented here are the Sketchfab 3D archeaological creations of Dr. Hugo Anderson-Whymark, Curator of Prehistory (Paleolithic to Neolithic) at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.
Videos: Hill of Tara. Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland takes us on a tour of the monuments on the Hill of Tara at sunrise, with no one else around. On a beautiful bright (but cold) morning, we visit the Banqueting Hall, the Rath of the Synods, the Mound of the Hostages and more.To make the video more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website View Pure, where you can simply add the YouTube URL of the site you are watching and watch the programs without interruptions.
Books: The Burren and the Aran Islands: Exploring the Archaeology by Carleton Jones. The Burren and the Aran Islands form a region renowned for its geology, flora and archaeology. Possibly the greatest interest is in its archaeology but the ancient monuments are often perceived as shrouded in mystery and beyond explanation. Recent studies, however, have shed considerable light on the functions of these monuments and the people who built them. This book presents these archaeological interpretations in an attractive and engaging manner. After a brief introduction the book is divided into two parts, the Burren and the Aran Islands. Significant sites are highlighted within broader themes such as The First Farmers on the Burren and Christianity and Pilgrimage on the Aran Islands. More tangential topics such as Building a Wedge Tomb are also included and many of these are explained in concise 'panel' features such as Contemporary Travellers' Accounts of Tower Houses and Cross-Decorated Stones of the Aran Islands.
Publications: Journal of Irish Archaeology. The Journal of Irish Archaeology (JIA) is the journal of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. It is a peer-reviewed, annual journal, comprising articles on Irish archaeology and related topics. Editorship of the journal changes every two years, rotating among the archaeology teaching staff in third-level institutions on the island of Ireland. The most recent issue, Volume XXX (2021), was published in November 2021.
Websites and Blogs: Pilgrim Paths of Ireland. The Pilgrim Paths of Ireland are a collection of ancient religious routes with well-documented claims of having been used by pilgrims since ancient times. Walking these ageless trails not only offers the opportunity for spiritual renewal, but also provides a link to our past while contributing to sustainable tourism and community development in each area. Pilgrim Paths Ireland is the national representative body for Ireland's pilgrim paths. It was founded at a meeting in Nenagh to represent Ireland's principal penitential paths. Its objective is to promote greater awareness and use of Ireland's historic pilgrim routes. The Irish pilgrim logo has been adopted as the symbol for pilgrimage in Ireland. It comes from a cross-slab near Ballyvourney, Co Cork showing a Maltese Cross in a circle with a tonsured figure, probably a pilgrim, above it. The Maltese Cross has been identified by archaeologist Peter Harbison as an important early symbol of pilgrimage.
Map with links to paths.
Podcasts: Our podcast for this month, Amplify Archaeology Podcast, features interviews with Ireland's top archaeological experts and and specialists. Listen to discussions of the key periods, themes, and stories and the different types of sites and artefacts that can tell us how people lived in the past. The podcasts also give an insight into the profession and practice of archaeology and the various techniques and scientific methods that help to build the picture of Ireland's history. Also, the podcasts feature interviews with teams digging iconic sites like Glendalough, Kilkenny Castle and the Rock of Cashel. Each episode has its own page with shownotes and links that allow you to dig deeper into the particular themes and references that were discussed during the show. To date, topics such as ogham stones, passage tombs, conflict and battlefield archaeology, and practices like digital heritage or living history can help to understand the past have been discussed. In addition, discussions featured the groundbreaking new insights from the passage tomb complexes at Carrowkeel and Newgrange.
Organizations: Sligo Community Archaeology Project.Sligo has an exceptional wealth of archaeological monuments spread throughout the county, from mounds and tombs to castles and medieval churches. The archaeology of Sligo dates from earliest times to the present day and includes approximately 6,500 known sites which are located throughout the countryside. Landowners, including farmers, developers, public bodies and the general public, are the custodians of this heritage resource. Increasingly, local communities are realising the value of their local archaeological resource and there is a demand for greater community involvement with the county's archaeology whether through directly experiencing sites and monuments, or by developing heritage trails, exhibitions or events.
The Sligo Community Archaeology Project focuses on promoting awareness, knowledge and understanding of the local archaeological resource among individuals and community groups in the county; Promoting heritage best practice in relation to researching and undertaking works relating to archaeological monuments and; Developing a strategic approach to community archaeology in County Sligo, through working with key stakeholders on specific themes.
Art, Photography, 3D Imaging: Ken Williams is featured for the second time in these pages, as very few have captured such stunning photos of Ireland's megalithic structures as he has. Williams is a photographer from Drogheda, County Louth, in the heart of the Boyne Valley. As he describes his work, "Although I am now based in County Wicklow, barely a week passes without a visit back to the monumental landscape around Newgrange and Knowth, the places that first sparked my passion for prehistory. My specialist area is the prehistoric art and monuments of Western Europe. For almost twenty years I have been engaged in a photographic project centering on the megalithic monuments of Western Europe, under the working title 'Shadows and Stone.'
Videos: Two videos this month, both from Mythical Ireland. First, a visit to the Megalithic Highlights of County Sligo: Carrowkeel, Carrowmore, and Knocknarea. Second, a visit to the River Boyne and the Late Neolithic Monuments at Newgrange.