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Sea Henge mark 2

9 July 2014

It seems there were two timber henges discovered at Holme on the Norfolk coast. The New Age druid demonstrators made a lot of fuss about the removal of the first one (now preserved in a museum setting) and yet there was another one out there all the time, in its watery grave. Inroads by the sea are hastening its disappearance – and the kind of ending that would have occurred if the first henge had not been saved (as the demonstrators wished).

Archaeologists, it seems, chose to save one henge and allow the other to be lost – presumably for pragmatic reasons, the cost of removal and renovation etc. The second henge appears to be more interesting than the first one – and was possibly a burial mound (all the soil and filling washed out). Go to www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/03/prehistoric-circle-dated-same-se… … which is the gist of the story. Both sea henge cricles date to the same year.

The same story is at http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/dating-second-timbe… … and the title presumably refers to the dendrochronology unit at the University of East Anglia. The timbers of both circles come from trees felled in 2049BC (tree ring data). However, at that time the timber circles were on dry land – or in boggy conditions according to some evidence, on the edge of the Fens, abutting The Wash. Now, their situation is one that is submerged, rising out of the waters at low tide (and not always). It is interesting to note the site is managed by a local Wildlife Trust whose main interest is not the preservation of the monuments of people. They appear to manage the site to allow the sea to make inroads as the marshes harbour lots of birds and plants they are particularly interested in. In other words, the henge has been sacrificed on the alter of envrionmentalism, where sea birds are encouraged and loss of dry land is considered acceptable. It is faintly reminiscent of the situation in the Somerset Levels last year – huge areas of fertile farm land being sacrificed to the sea on account of birds and their marshland environment.

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