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Wednesday 11 January 2017

History of Stonehenge digs

This is a short history of Stonehenge digs -- sent in by Garry Denke.  I'm not going to publish stuff about the hunt for coal on Salisbury Plain,  since those who are interested in such things can find it elsewhere.  But this is of broader interest, so here we are.


Complete History of Stonehenge Excavations

1611. King James I investigated Stonehenge "to see 'The stone which the builders refused.'"
King James Version, 1611

1616. Doctor William Harvey, Gilbert North, and Inigo Jones find horns of stags and oxen, coals, charcoals, batter-dashers, heads of arrows, pieces of rusted armour, rotten bones, thuribulum (censer) pottery, and a large nail.
Long, William, 1876, Stonehenge and its Barrows. The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Volume 16

1620. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, dug a large hole in the ground at the center of Stonehenge looking for buried treasure. (Diary)

1633-52. Inigo Jones conducted the first 'scientific' surveys of Stonehenge.
Jones, I, and Webb, J, 1655, The most notable antiquity of Great Britain vulgarly called Stone-Heng on Salisbury plain. London: J Flesher for D Pakeman and L Chapman

1640. Sir Lawrence Washington, knight, owner of Stonehenge, fished around Bear's Stone (named after Washington's hound dog). Bear's Stone profile portrait a local 17th century attraction. (G-Diary)
The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Volumes 15-16

1652. Reverend Lawrence Washington, heir of Stonehenge, commissions Doctor Garry Denke to dig below Bear's Stone, reveals lion, calf (ox), face as a man, flying eagle, bear (dog), leopard, and hidden relics. Bear's Stone (96) renamed Hele 'to conceal, cover, hide'. (G-Diary)

1653-6. Doctor Garry Denke auger cored below Hele Stone 'The stone which the builders rejected' on various occasions. Gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, bone, concrete discovered at 1-1/3 'yardsticks' (under flying eagle). Elizabeth Washington, heir of Stonehenge.
Denke, G, 1699, G-Diary (German to English by Erodelphian Literary Society of Sigma Chi Fraternity). GDG, 1-666

1666. John Aubrey surveyed Stonehenge and made a 'Review'. Described the Avenue's prehistoric pits. (the 'Aubrey Holes' discovered by Hawley, not Aubrey).
Aubrey, J, 1693 (edited by J Fowles 1982), Monumenta Britannica. Sherborne, Dorset: Dorset Publishing Co

1716. Thomas Hayward, owner of Stonehenge, dug heads of oxen and other beasts. (Diary)

1721-4. William Stukeley surveyed and excavated Stonehenge and its field monuments. Surveyed the Avenue in 1721 extending beyond Stonehenge Bottom to King Barrow Ridge. Surveyed the Cursus in 1723 and excavated.
Stukeley, W, 1740, Stonehenge: a temple restor'd to the British druids. London: W Innys and R Manby

1757. Benjamin Franklin observes Bear's Stone (96) lion, calf (ox), face as a man, flying eagle, bear (dog), leopard, and Hele Stone 'hidden' relics below them. (Diary)

1798. Sir Richard Hoare and William Cunnington dug at Stonehenge under the fallen Slaughter Stone 95 and under fallen Stones 56 and 57.
The Ancient History of Wiltshire, Volume 1, 1812

1805-10. William Cunnington dug at Stonehenge on various occasions.
Cunnington, W, 1884, Guide to the stones of Stonehenge. Devizes: Bull Printer

1839. Captain Beamish excavated within Stonehenge. (Diary)

1874-7. Professor Flinders Petrie produced a plan of Stonehenge and numbered the stones.
Petrie, W M F, 1880, Stonehenge: plans, description, and theories. London: Edward Stanford

1877. Charles Darwin digs at Stonehenge to study 'Sinking of great Stones through the Action of Worms'.
Darwin, Charles,1881, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits. London: John Murray

1901. Professor William Gowland meticulously recorded and excavated around stone number 56 at Stonehenge.
Gowland, W, 1902, Recent excavations at Stonehenge. Archaeologia, 58, 37-82

1919-26. Colonel William Hawley extensively excavated in advance of restoration programmes at Stonehenge for the Office of Works and later for the Society of Antiquaries. Hawley excavated ditch sections of the Avenue, conducted an investigation of the Slaughter Stone and other stones at Stonehenge, and discovered the 'Aubrey Holes' (misnamed) through excavation.
Hawley, W, 1921, Stonehenge: interim report on the exploration.
Antiquaries Journal, 1, 19-41
Hawley, W, 1922, Second report on the excavations at Stonehenge.
Antiquaries Journal, 2, 36-52
Hawley, W, 1923, Third report on the excavations at Stonehenge.
Antiquaries Journal, 3, 13-20
Hawley, W, 1924, Fourth report on the excavations at Stonehenge, 1922.
Antiquaries Journal, 4, 30-9
Hawley, W, 1925, Report on the excavations at Stonehenge during the season of 1923.
Antiquaries Journal, 5, 21-50
Hawley, W, 1926, Report on the excavations at Stonehenge during the season of 1924.
Antiquaries Journal, 6, 1-25
Hawley, W, 1928, Report on the excavations at Stonehenge during 1925 and 1926.
Antiquaries Journal, 8, 149-76
Pitts, M, Bayliss, A, McKinley, J, Boylston, A, Budd, P, Evans, J, Chenery, C, Reynolds, A, and Semple, S, 2002, An Anglo-Saxon decapitation and burial at Stonehenge. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 95, 131-46

1929. Robert Newall excavated Stone 36.
Newall, R S, 1929, Stonehenge. Antiquity, 3, 75-88
Newall, R S, 1929, Stonehenge, the recent excavations. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 44, 348-59

1935. Young, W E V, The Stonehenge car park excavation. (Diary)

1950. Robert Newall excavated Stone 66.
Newall, R S, 1952, Stonehenge stone no. 66. Antiquaries Journal, 32, 65-7

1952. Robert Newall excavated Stones 71 and 72. (Diary)

1950-64. A major campaign of excavations by Richard Atkinson, Stuart Piggott, and Marcus Stone involving the re-excavation of some of Hawley’s trenches as well as previously undisturbed areas within Stonehenge.
Atkinson, R J C, Piggott, S, and Stone, J F S, 1952, The excavations of two additional holes at Stonehenge, and new evidence for the date of the monument. Antiquaries Journal, 32, 14-20
Atkinson, R J C, 1956, Stonehenge. London. Penguin Books in association with Hamish Hamilton. (second revised edition 1979: Penguin Books)

1966. Faith and Lance Vatcher excavated 3 Mesolithic Stonehenge postholes.
Vatcher, F de M and Vatcher, H L, 1973, Excavation of three postholes in Stonehenge car park. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 68, 57-63

1968. Faith and Lance Vatcher dug geophone and floodlight cable trenches. (Diary)

1974. Garry Denke and Ralph Ferdinand set out to confirm Sir Lawrence Washington, knight and Reverend Lawrence Washington's revelation (G-Diary). Auger cores 1.2m (4ft) below Heel Stone 96 (under face as a man). Gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, bone, concrete confirmed. No coal in cores. Stonehenge Free Festival.
Denke, G W, 1974, Stonehenge Phase I: An Open-pit Coalfield Model; The First Geologic Mining School (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). GDG, 74, 1-56

1978. John Evans re-excavated a 1954 cutting through the Stonehenge ditch and bank to take samples for snail analysis and radiocarbon dating. A well-preserved human burial lay within the ditch fill. Three fine flint arrowheads were found amongst the bones, with a fourth embedded in the sternum.
Atkinson, R J C and Evans, J G, 1978, Recent excavations at Stonehenge. Antiquity, 52, 235-6
Evans, J G, 1984, Stonehenge: the environment in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age, and a Beaker burial. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 78, 7-30

1978. Alexander Thorn and Richard Atkinson. NE side of Station Stone 94. (Diary)

1979-80. George Smith excavated in the Stonehenge car park on behalf of the Central Excavation Unit.
Smith, G, 1980, Excavations in Stonehenge car park. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 74/75 (1979-80), 181

1979-80. Mike Pitts excavated along south side of A344 in advance of cable-laying and pipe-trenching. In 1979, discovered the Heel Stone 97 original pit (96 original Altar Stone pit). Survey along the Avenue course identified more pits. In 1980, excavated beside the A344 and discovered a stone floor (a complete prehistoric artifact assemblage retained from the monument).
Pitts, M W, 1982, On the road to Stonehenge: Report on investigations beside the A344 in 1968, 1979, and 1980. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 48, 75-132

1981. The Central Excavation Unit excavated in advance of the construction of the footpath through Stonehenge.
Bond, D, 1983, An excavation at Stonehenge, 1981. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 77, 39-43.

1984. Garry Denke (and Hell's Angels) seismic survey. Auger cores 1.2m (4ft) below Heel Stone 96 (under lion head). Gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, bone, concrete reconfirmed. No coal in cores. Stonehenge Free Festival.
Denke, G, 1984, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Surveys at Heelstone, Stonehenge, United Kingdom (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). GDG, 84, 1-42

1990-6. A series of assessments and field evaluations in advance of the Stonehenge Conservation and Management Programme.
Darvill, T C, 1997, Stonehenge Conservation and Management Programme: a summary of archaeological assessments and field evaluations undertaken 1990-1996. London: English Heritage

1994. Wessex Archaeology. Limited Auger Survey.
Cleal, R M J, Walker, K E, and Montague, R, 1995, Stonehenge and its landscape: twentieth-century excavations (English Heritage Archaeological Report 10). London: English Heritage.

2008. Timothy Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright set out to date the construction of the Double Bluestone Circle at Stonehenge and to chart the history of the Bluestones, and their use.
Darvill, T, and Wainwright, G, 2008, Stonehenge excavations 2008. The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 89, September 2009, 1-19
Mike Parker Pearson, Julian Richards, and Mike Pitts further the excavation of 'Aubrey Hole' 7 discovered by William Hawley, 1920.
Willis, C, Marshall, P, McKinley, J, Pitts, M, Pollard, J, Richards, C, Richards, J, Thomas, J, Waldron, T, Welham, K, and Parker Pearson, M, 2016, The dead of Stonehenge. Antiquity, Volume 90, Issue 350, April 2016, 337-356

2012-3. Stonehenge A344 road excavated and removed. (Diary)

Complete History of Stonehenge Excavations

Any missing Digs?


PeteG said...

you've been Denked! The guys a complete nutzo, do a google search on him. He's been trolling forums for years.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Oh yes, I know all of that. Most of his stuff goes straight in the bin, but I thought this one might be of interest, and I was in a benign mood.........

MoA said...

I concur with Pete the list is incomplete of course but also spurious. there is enough serious duff stuff on this blog. Wheat and chaff.

Incidentally Dr I gave a Stonehenge stone talk recently (was A bit rude about 'icy gainsayers') stressing the importance of the jointing in the Carn G and CRyf quarries (also pointed out the inconvenient C14 dates and other difficulties) and hence the IKEA nature of the two sites (first mooted by Ms Rosie Hardman).

A very perceptive question was asked are the two sites the closest well-jointed (suitable) rocks to SH? Ie were they the nearest IKEA stores.

The value of giving lectures is often you get more back than the audience.


BRIAN JOHN said...

In answer to the question about well-jointed rocks, there is nothing very wonderful about either Carn Goedog or Rhosyfelin. There are equally wonderful sites with well-jointed rocks all over the place on Preseli -- and NOTHING special about either of the locations where certain people get very excited about fantastical "quarries"....... and as for IKEA, shall we just forget about all that?

MoA said...

It does answer your oft-asked question why no eastern sourced rocks at SH. Simples, no IKEAS in that area.

Now aren't we all for a bit of Nordic Noir, pace the neo-Zapotec detective. They could do with a bit of IKEA there and the odd spot of lime-wash and rendering.

£70 royalties/year, that is GOOD going!!
A colleague once said his royalties on a British strat book paid for his annual skiing holiday, never seen a room fill with hate so swiftly.
Dr I is lucky if he makes 5 euros/year.

Other closest suitable IKEA outlets are the Clee Hills Salop and Devon/Cornwall.
So not to be totally dismissed.


Dave Maynard said...

I fear the earnest Myris may have been misunderstood. The question seems to be ‘if you were at SH where would you find the nearest well-jointed rocks?’ Certainly not in Hampshire, or in Berkshire, but further west there are many. Are there other sources of suitable ‘well-jointed rock’ closer at hand? In south east Wales perhaps? Of course, in Pembrokeshire there are plenty, most lying on the ground without needing to extract them from an outcrop (which is very difficult).

Don’t knock IKEA as a source point for material culture; from an archaeological perspective, it is very interesting. For many years, St Helens, due to many reasons, was my most frequented store rather than any closer IKEA stores, although all are a trek from west Wales. Can we find any analogies between IKEA locations and the spread of current cultural material and the Rinyo-Clacton (Grooved Ware) we were talking about a few weeks ago?


BRIAN JOHN said...

Were Carngoedog and Rhosyfelin the nearest IKEA stores? Clearly they were not. So what is that supposed to prove? That our heroic ancestors must have targetted those sites because they were somehow "special"? Problem is that we still do not know that any monoliths at Stonehenge actually came from those two places, as we never tire of pointing out on this blog. Our jolly geologists have NOT shown with certainty that the foliated rhyolites came from there they think they came from, and neither have they shown that all of the spotted dolerite monoliths at Stonehenge came from Carngoedog rather than from )fpr example) Cerrig Marchogion. Then there are all the other rocks represented at Stonehenge. How many IKEA stores do we want.

This all brings to mind my post of a long time ago, about Woolworths!

MoA said...

Well name nearer stores with suitable lithologies (you cannot just go around Trump-eting)up wild statements without some evidence- where would the world be coming to.

There are the Clee Hills, perhaps somewhere in the Malverns tho' I don't know any natural outcrops of well-jointed rocks, there is nothing suitable in dead-dog cider land. The west country, Cornubia perhaps.
Of course this is why your oft-asked question "why are there no rocks from the east of England amongst the orthostats" is answered there are no IKEAS there.

Of course the Rhyolite A-C debitage comes from a SH orthostat what other reason can there be for them.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Myris -- you are being very wicked (again) in suggesting that the builders of Stonehenge were preferentially looking for elongated pillars. They were not. There are just six elongated pillars in the assemblage of 43 stones -- and far more nondescript boulders. Just look at the evidence on the ground. See my post:

and lots of other posts as well.

Enough of this cockeyed mythology!

Dave Maynard said...

How can a glacier be like IKEA?

When it brings lots of exotic things from far and distant places to delight the locals!


Garry W. Denke, Sr. said...

MoA said... "the list is incomplete"

What digs are missing? Thank you.

Garry W. Denke, Sr. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.