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Outstanding 4,000-12 months-Outdated Seahenge In Norfolk – What Was The Goal Of The Bronze Age Monument?


Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com – One of the crucial extraordinary archaeological discoveries of current instances was the uncovering of the so-called Seahenge off the north coast of Norfolk, United Kingdom.

The enigmatic 4,00-year-old construction found in 1998 was a groundbreaking second in Bronze Age archaeology. Preserved within the shifting sands of Holme seaside on the North Norfolk coast, the distinctive timber circle named Seahenge resembled Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

Seahenge. Credit score: Discover Norfolk

“The circle was initially constructed on the saltmarsh away from the ocean and specialists estimate it to have been constructed of timbers relationship from the spring of 2049 BC.

It might have been positioned in an space shielded from the ocean by sand dunes and dust flats. This swampy space created a layer of peat which slowly coated the timbers, defending them from decay

The circle is 6.6m in diameter and includes of 55 closely-fitted oak posts initially standing as much as 3m in peak.

It’s thought to have been constructed by the individuals of the small farming communities who lived in wattle and daub spherical homes.” 1

In keeping with Francis Pryor and his spouse, an professional in historic wood-working and evaluation, Seahenge demonstrates how a lot Western civilization owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe within the final 4 millennia B.C.

Pryor is satisfied ‘Seahenge’ “was by no means at sea. The timbers had been constructed on dry land.” 2

Holme seaside was a salt marsh and never a sandy seaside 4,000 years in the past.

Steadily, over 3000-4000 years, the ocean has encroached the land and coated the peat beds which had been naturally preserving the timbers.” 3

Why Did Seahenge Grow to be A Controversy?

Archaeologists who examined Seahenge understood the traditional web site’s significance, and the location “has been firmly within the public’s eye since its controversial “rescue excavation” in 1999. The stays of the location, threatened by coastal erosion, had been faraway from their unique location with the intention of preservation and conservation at one other location.” 4

“As soon as eliminated the timbers had been taken to the Bronze Age Centre at Flag Fen, close to Peterborough, and had been positioned in recent water tanks to wash the mud and salts. After consultants had examined and studied them, a posh conservation venture was began. In 2008, half of the timbers and, two years later, the central stump had been placed on everlasting show in Lynn Museum.” 1

Remarkable 4,000-Year-Old Seahenge In Norfolk - What Was the Purpose Of The Bronze Age Monument?

Seahenge (Holme I) within the non permanent exhibition “The World of Stonehenge” on the British Museum. Credit score: JvL – CC BY 2.0

To avoid wasting Seahenge, eradicating the tree stumps earlier than they deteriorated was mandatory. Nevertheless,  transferring the tree stumps was a controversial determination, and lots of objected on environmental or spiritual grounds. “Some objectors had been utterly oblivious to the harm that the ocean might trigger to the timbers, which was one of many causes for transferring it.

Others, the druids, objected on spiritual grounds.

Different teams felt it might deliver the vacationers to Norfolk if it was left on the seaside and didn’t need it disturbed. Norfolk is a county wealthy in historical past, and this may have been one other nice feather in its cap.

The Norfolk Wildlife Belief  had been against the timber circle remaining on the seaside as a result of it lay on the sting of the Holme Dunes Nature Reserve and so they knew that crowds of individuals visiting the location would trigger nice disturbance to the feeding waders and different wildlife.” 3

At the moment, the Lynn Museum has the unique upturned tree stump, and among the unique timbers, and they’ve additionally made a life-size timber semi-circle Seahenge reproduction.

How Did Historic Folks Use Seahenge?

The aim of Seahenge has by no means been decided, however there are speculations, after all.

One concept states that the upturned tree stumps had been put there so useless our bodies might be laid on prime and birds and animals might decide away the flesh and bones.


“Whether or not or not the roots of the inverted tree ever held a corpse, I don’t know. However one thing did appear to be lacking. The tree was the focus of the whole monument, but it was empty. Possibly that was the impact the builders of the monument meant. We will’t inform.

We now know that the location was constructed in a short while. I might go as far as to counsel that it represents a single occasion, and I’m additionally assured that after the occasion was over, the circle ceased to retain its particular ‘magic’. I don’t assume this web site was revisited subsequently.

A last essential level: I don’t imagine that the actual spot on what’s as we speak Holme seaside was particularly essential within the Bronze Age. I think it was chosen as a result of the group who constructed the circle managed or had entry to that space throughout the bigger ritual panorama, and the exact spot was chosen as a result of it could have been barely larger than the bottom spherical about. Possibly there was another motive – maybe the presence of an oak seedling, or a gull’s nest. We will solely guess,” Francis Pryor writes in his guide Seahenge: A Quest For Life And Demise In Bronze Age Britain.

The aim of Seahenge continues to be a thriller. What can’t be denied, although, is that it stays an unimaginable monument to the talent and beliefs of our Bronze Age ancestors.

Written by Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com Employees Author

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