Marthering Marden

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Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 10:44 am

As previously mentioned by Hattie, archaeo's (from the University of Reading Archaeology Field School) had been poking around underneath Silchester. They've moved on, and this year's Field School is at Marden Henge.

Coincidentally, on the same weekend, Chateau Boreades is playing host to folks working on that, and an International Documentary Film Crew(!) - Hattie will reveal all regarding the latter in due course (shhh, TME teaser).

Meanwhile the folks fiddling in the middle of Marden are getting excited because they've found a Neolithic building, with a pig's jaw. I forget where I read it, but IIRC it was said that the interior of Marden was originally covered with a smooth flat layer of clay. The trad. archaeos trotted out the stock "ritual significance" phrases with no insight into what it was meant to be used for.

Our insight was that you bother lining something with clay if you want to make it waterproof. From there, we might ponder on the significance for astronomic observations of having a flat pool of water that reflected the sky above.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby TisILeclerc » 11:01 am

The experts have another opinion on the clay waterproofing. Apparently it was an ancient sauna.

'Archaeologists' interest in the site was rekindled four years ago when experts discovered an ancient sauna at the site, which is thought to be the oldest building in Britain'

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/585647 ... Stonehenge

Image

I think you can even see the sauna in this picture. Although it looks like a cattle trough to me.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 6:43 pm

It says

In 2010 the 39-year-old directed excavations at Marden Henge and found a pre-ritual "sweat room" at the site. ... It has been suggested sauna users might even have helped haul the huge stones upright at Stonehenge, or that the different monuments might have been used by competing communities.

WTF is "pre-ritual"? And where's the evidence?
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 8:51 pm

You too can be a megalithic tourist!

The dig runs until July 25 and visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10am and 5pm. Groups must book in advance by calling 07912 998970 or emailing a.s.clarke@reading.ac.uk

http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/ ... thic_life/
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 9:11 pm

Can the TME team beat the student diggers to some useful conclusions?

Marden Henge has always been the wallflower in the family of Wiltshire Henges, despite having the biggest "footprint" of them all.

Why should that be?

A few stray thoughts....
1) The absence of "deck furniture" to fall over is the most obvious reason. Were there megaliths there, and where did they go?
2) Another reason is its location; it's not on one of the prime cross-country routes (like the A4 and A303) to attract the attention of passers-by.
3) Further, so it never had the likes of William Stukeley & Co bigging it up.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 9:13 pm

Anyway, our students are getting stuck in.

Is it me, or does there seem to be an awful lot of ginger there?

Image
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby TisILeclerc » 9:16 pm

Image

It is the dawning of the age of the ginger emojis

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology ... ds-5913113
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 11:17 am

B'Jeez, is it Friday night in Maryhill?
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 2:34 pm

TisILeclerc wrote:The experts have another opinion on the clay waterproofing. Apparently it was an ancient sauna.
'Archaeologists' interest in the site was rekindled four years ago when experts discovered an ancient sauna at the site, which is thought to be the oldest building in Britain'.


It must have been a chuffing enormous sauna if the whole interior of the henge was covered in clay, and it would have needed a lot of kindling.

Or was it an open-air megalithic municipal Lido leisure complex?

Even megalithic folk liked to go on holidays.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 11:35 am

It occurs to me that we are still missing a henge of significance.

My train of thought went something like this:
What if each of the Wiltshire henges was dedicated to each of the four elements?
Fire, water, air, and earth.

Stonehenge = Sun = Fire
Avebury = Earth?
Marden = Water?
? = Air?

This is just a germ of an idea. I may have the associations wrong.
e.g. the ditch at Avebury was filled with water, so perhaps Avebury = Water?
Maybe Marden = Earth?

At the moment I've no idea which henge would be associated with Air, or why.

Any thoughts?
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