Was Stonehenge first constructed in Wales?

From The Guardian:

Evidence of quarrying for Stonehenge’s bluestones is among the dramatic discoveries leading archaeologists to theorise that England’s greatest prehistoric monument may have first been erected in Wales.

It has long been known that the bluestones that form Stonehenge’s inner horseshoe came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, around 140 miles from Salisbury Plain.

Now archaeologists have discovered a series of recesses in the rocky outcrops of Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, to the north of those hills, that match Stonehenge’s bluestones in size and shape.

Read the full article.

Viking connection to Northeast Scotland

From the Archaeology News Network:

Their exploits are more linked to the Northern Isles and the west coast of Scotland, with monastries raided, islanders murdered and gold and silver plundered. But new research – and a clutch of archaeological finds – has now suggested that the North East may not have escaped the fury of the Norsemen after all.

Academics at Aberdeen University have been working to fill the “blank space” of Viking activity in Aberdeenshire and Moray, with written history barely touching on the area so far. Using finds recorded through the Treasure Trove system and the input a team of metal detectors in the North East, a picture of possible Viking activity in the old Pictish Kingdom of Fortriu during the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries is now emerging.

Read more at: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.de/2015/11/viking-link-to-north-east-of-scotland.html#.VlNByHarRhE

Gildas

St. Gildas was a monk who chronicled the history of the British isles from the time near the end of the Roman era to the coming of the Saxons. He lived approximately from 500 – 570 AD. His most famous work is the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain). It is an important piece of writing as it is one of few contemporary writings of the period surrounding sub-Roman Britain. I have linked to the translation of the document below:

On the Ruin of Britain

Britain Begins by Barry Cunliffe

Britain-Begins-Barry-CunliffeBritain Begins by Barry Cunliffe

Paperback: 568 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0199679452

Product Description:

The last Ice Age, which came to an end about 12,000 years ago, swept the bands of hunter gatherers from the face of the land that was to become Britain and Ireland, but as the ice sheets retreated and the climate improved so human groups spread slowly northwards, re-colonizing the land that had been laid waste. From that time onwards Britain and Ireland have been continuously inhabited and the resident population has increased from a few hundreds to more than 60 million.

Britain Begins is nothing less than the story of the origins of the British and the Irish peoples, from around 10,000BC to the eve of the Norman Conquest. Using the most up to date archaeological evidence together with new work on DNA and other scientific techniques which help us to trace the origins and movements of these early settlers, Barry Cunliffe offers a rich narrative account of the first islanders – who they were, where they came from, and how they interacted one with another. Underlying this narrative throughout is the story of the sea, which allowed the islanders and their continental neighbours to be in constant contact.

The story told by the archaeological evidence, in later periods augmented by historical texts, satisfies our need to know who we are and where we come from. But before the development of the discipline of archaeology, people used what scraps there were, gleaned from Biblical and classical texts, to create a largely mythological origin for the British. Britain Begins also explores the development of these early myths, which show our ancestors attempting to understand their origins. And, as Cunliffe shows, today’s archaeologists are driven by the same desire to understand the past – the only real difference is that we have vastly more evidence to work with.

Rating: 4.5 stars on Amazon (21 reviews)