Archaeology news

Silbury Hill, and other archaeological news

Gazette and Herald, February 2nd ... letters that were archived over 200 years ago seem to suggest Silbury Hill may originally have been constructed around a huge pillar - or tree trunk. Letters written in 1776 and stored in the British Library describe a 40 foot pole which once stood at the centre of the hill - when it was much smaller, little more than a large mound. When the hill was built up to its present size the tree trunk was buried in situ as on separate excavations a long cavity was found or fragments of oak timber within a cavity.

Vikings

The BBC History magazine volume 10:12 December 2009 ... has an article on the Vikings and what may have drove them to attack the monasteries of Britain, Ireland, and NW Europe. Robert Ferryman suggests one motivation might have been a desire to defend their own culture which was under threat from Christian missionary activity in which Britain, Ireland and the Frankish Kingdom played a prominent role. In 782AD Charlemagne's army forcibly baptised and then executed four and a half thousand German Saxons.