First Commissioner of Works
The First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings was a position within the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It took over some of the functions of the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1851 when the portfolio of Crown holdings was divided into the public and the commercial; the position was of cabinet level. The office was renamed Minister of Works and Buildings and First Commissioner of Works in 1940, Minister of Works and Planning in 1942, Minister of Works in 1943 and Minister of Public Buildings and Works in 1962. On 15 October 1970 the Ministry was amalgamated in the Department of the Environment
A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. "Erratics" take their name from the Latin word errare, are carried by glacial ice over distances of hundreds of kilometres. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders such as Big Rock in Alberta. Geologists identify erratics by studying the rocks surrounding the position of the erratic and the composition of the erratic itself. Erratics are significant because: They can be transported by glaciers, they are thereby one of a series of indicators which mark the path of prehistoric glacier movement, their lithographic origin can be traced to the parent bedrock, allowing for confirmation of the ice flow route. They can be transported by ice rafting; this allows quantification of the extent of glacial flooding resulting from ice dam failure which release the waters stored in proglacial lakes such as Lake Missoula. Erratics released by ice-rafts that were stranded and subsequently melt, dropping their load, allow characterization of the high-water marks for transient floods in areas like temporary Lake Lewis.
Erratics dropped by icebergs melting in the ocean can be used to track Antarctic and Arctic-region glacial movements for periods prior to record retention. Known as dropstones, these can be correlated with ocean temperatures and levels to better understand and calibrate models of the global climate; the term "erratic" is used to refer to erratic blocks, which Geikie describes as: "large masses of rock as big as a house, that have been transported by glacier-ice, have been lodged in a prominent position in the glacier valleys or have been scattered over hills and plains. And examination of their mineralogical character leads the identification of their sources…". In geology, an erratic is material moved by geologic forces from one location to another by a glacier. Erratics are formed by glacial ice erosion resulting from the movement of ice. Glaciers erode by multiple processes: abrasion/scouring, ice thrusting and glacially-induced spalling. Glaciers crack pieces of bedrock off in the process of producing the larger erratics.
In an abrasion process, debris in the basal ice scrapes along the bed and gouging the underlying rocks, similar to sandpaper on wood, producing smaller glacial till. In ice thrusting, the glacier freezes to its bed as it surges forward, it moves large sheets of frozen sediment at the base along with the glacier. Glacially-induced spalling occurs when ice lens formation with the rocks below the glacier spall off layers of rock, providing smaller debris, ground into the glacial basal material to become till. Evidence supports another option for creation of erratics as well, rock avalanches onto the upper surface of the glacier. Rock avalanche–supraglacial transport occurs when the glacier undercuts a rock face, which fails by avalanche onto the upper surface of the glacier; the characteristics of rock avalanche–supraglacial transport includes: Monolithologic composition – a cluster of boulders of similar composition are found in close proximity. Commingling of the multiple lithologies present throughout the glaciated basin, has not occurred.
Angularity – the supraglacially transported rocks tend to be rough and irregular, with no sign of subglacial abrasion. The sides of boulders are planar, suggesting that some surfaces may be original fracture planes. Great size – the size distribution of the boulders tends to be skewed toward larger boulders than those produced subglacially. Surficial positioning of the boulders – the boulders are positioned on the surface of glacial deposits, as opposed to or buried. Restricted areal extents – the boulder fields tend to have limited areal extent. Orientations – the boulders may be close enough that original fracture planes can be matched. Locations of the boulder trains – the boulders appear in rows, trains or clusters along the lateral moraines as opposed to being located on the terminal moraine or in the general glacial field. Erratics provide an important tool in characterizing the directions of glacier flows, which are reconstructed used on a combination of moraines, drumlins, meltwater channels, similar data.
Erratic distributions and glacial till properties allow for identification of the source rock from which they derive, which confirms the flow direction when the erratic source outcrop is unique to a limited locality. Erratic materials may be transported by multiple glacier flows prior to their deposition, which can complicate the reconstruction of the glacial flow. Glacial ice entrains debris of varying sizes from small particles to large masses of rock; this debris is transported to the coast by glacier ice and released during the production and melting of icebergs. The rate of debris release by ice depends upon the size of the ice mass in which it is carried as well as the temperature of the ocean through which the ice floe passes. Sediments from the late Pleistocene period lying on the floor of the North Atlantic show a series of layers which contain ice-rafted debris, they were formed between 70,000 years before the present. The deposited debris can be traced back to the origin by both the nature of the materials released and the continuous path of debris release.
Some paths extend more than 3,000 kilometres distant from the point at which the ice floes broke free. The location and altitude of ice-rafted boulders r
Menhir de Champ-Dolent
The Menhir de Champ-Dolent is a menhir, or upright standing stone, located in a field outside the town of Dol-de-Bretagne. It is over 9 meters high; the Menhir du Champ-Dolent is 2 kilometres south of Dol-de-Bretagne in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. It is in a small picnic area fenced off among the fields near the D795 road; the menhir is the tallest of Brittany's standing stones. Its height above ground is between 9.5 metres. It is made of pinkish granite, has an estimated weight of around 100 tonnes, it is oval in shape with a smooth surface. A cross was once placed on top to Christianize it, it has been registered as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1889. According to legend, the menhir fell from the skies to separate two feuding brothers who were on the point of killing each other; this legend is said to account for the name "Champ Dolent" which means "Field of Sorrow". Another legend states that the menhir is sinking into the ground, the world will end when it disappears altogether.
According to tradition, in the year 560 Chlothar I, King of the Franks, is said to have met his rebel son, here. Broken menhir of er grah Rudston Monolith Media related to Menhir du Champ Dolent at Wikimedia Commons
Gavrinis is a small island, situated in the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, France. It contains the Gavrinis tomb, a megalithic monument notable for its abundance of megalithic art in the European Neolithic. Administratively, it is part of the commune of Larmor-Baden. Reachable by boat from the town of Larmor-Baden, the island of Gavrinis is uninhabited. Located near the opening of Morbihan Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean, the island is a granite rock outcrop of 750 x 400m dimensions, its highest point dominates much of the surrounding area. The name Gavrinis is popularly believed to be derived from the Breton words gavr and enez, thus suggesting a meaning as "goat island"; this is a false etymology. In documents dating to 1184 and 1202, the island is named as Guirv Enes and Guerg Enes, respectively; the old Breton word Guerg is not related to gavr, but to parallels like Gaul gwery, or Old Irish ferg, signifying "wrath". The island is famous because of its important passage grave, a megalithic monument from the Neolithic period, belonging to the same broad context as the Breton megaliths of Carnac and Locmariaquer, connected with the monuments at Brú na Boínne and Maes Howe.
At the time of its construction, c. 3500 BC, the island was still connected with the mainland. The rich internal decorations make Gavrinis one of the major treasuries of European megalithic art; the tomb is remarkable for the care taken in its construction and its good preservation. The first excavations took place in 1835. Further research was undertaken by the archaeologist Zacharie Le Rouzic who began restoration work around 1930. Further works took place in the 1970s. Charles-Tanguy Leroux, former Director of Breton Antiquities, undertook studies and consolidation works in the 1980s. Further excavation is in the planning stages; the tomb was built late within the French megalithic sequence. Its use ceased around 3000 BC. At that time, the light wooden structures cladding its entrance were burnt, after which part of the mound collapsed and blocking the passage. A layer of windblown sand transformed the monument into a simple hillock; the stone mound has a diameter of about 50m. The mass of stones forming the cairn is internally structured by a series of walls, subdividing it into separate "ranks".
It is a characteristic example of Neolithic dry stone architecture. The mound covers a single rectangular slab-built burial chamber, located at the centre of the mound and measuring about 2.5m across. The chamber is built of about 50 placed slabs; the biggest of these is the ceiling slab. Such simple dolmen-type chambers, reached by passages, were common in Brittany between 4500 and 3000 BC. At the same time, similar monuments were constructed in Normandy and Poitou, in Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula; the chamber is reached from outside by passage. Of the 29 orthostat slabs that form the sides of the passage, 23 are decorated with carved symbols and patterns; some of the symbols appear to represent like axes and croziers or staffs. A common horn-like motif may symbolise cattle, a shape conventionally called the shield may be a stylised human figure. More abstract motifs include zigzag lines and snake-like lines. In 1984, it was discovered that the external side of some slabs, now covered by cairn material, is decorated, but in a different style from their internal face.
This decoration must have been applied. Archaeologists suspect that at least a number of those slabs may be in secondary use, having formed part of earlier monuments elsewhere. Most strikingly, the top of the chamber's ceiling slab bore the depiction of a bull, the horns of a further animal and a motif known from other monuments, interpreted as an axe but, interpreted as a representation of a whale, thus as a "mythic animal"; the slab can be joined with the ceiling stones of two other monuments, the Table des Marchands dolmen and the Er Vinglé tomb, at Locmariaquer, at a distance of 4 km. The three slabs appear to have once formed a massive 14m standing stone, similar to the great broken menhir of Locmariaquer, which broke or was broken, to be reused as three ceiling slabs, its decorations deliberately obscured. A replica of part of the Gavrinis passage with its decorated slabs can be visited in the Museum at the megalithic necropolis of Bougon. Charles-Tanguy Leroux, Gavrinis et les mégalithes du golfe du Morbihan, Éditions Jean-Paul Gisserot, 2006.
J. L'Helgouac'H, "Les Idoles qu'on abat", Bulletin de la Société Polymatique du Morbihan 110, 1983, pp 57–68. Charles-Tanguy Le Roux, "New excavations at Gavrinis", Antiquity 59, 1985, pp 183–187. Charles-Tanguy Le Roux, "Gavrinis et les îles du Morbihan", Guides archéologiques de la France, Ministère de la Culture, 1985. Charles-Tanguy Le Roux, Gavrinis, J. P. Gisserot, Paris 1995. CASSEN, S. et J. L'Helgouac'H, 1992. Du Symbole de la crosse: chronologie, répartition et interprétation. XVIIème colloque interrégional sur le Néolithique: Vannes 1990, actes. Rennes: RAO, supplément 5:223-235. Twohig, E. S. 1981. The Megalithic Art of Western Europe, Oxford: Clarendon Whittle, Alisdair, "Very Like a Whale: Menhirs,Motifs and Myths in the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition of Northwest Europe", Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 10, 2000, pp 243–259. Table des Marchand Newgrange Maes Howe Barnenez Bougon Knockroe French government guide to the Morbihan megaliths, excellent illustrations Gavrinis Images and comparisons to Newgrange in Ireland
Metsamor Castle is the remains of an old fortress located to the southwest of the Armenian village of Taronik, in the Armavir Province. It has been populated starting from the 5th millennium BC until the 18th century AD; the excavations of the tombs of Metsamor Castle began in 1965. The site is noted for its temple complexes consisted of seven sanctuaries. Neolithic stone circles dating back to ca. 5000 BC stand within the historical site, interpreted by enthusiasts of archaeoastronomy as an astronomical "observatory". The Museum of History and Archeology at Metsamor Site was opened in 1968, it is the repository of more than 22,000 items all uncovered at the site. Media related to Metsamor site at Wikimedia Commons The Armenian History", by Armenia's National Academy of Sciences "From the History of Ancient Armenia", by Dr. Suren Aivazyan "Evolution of the World Alphabets", by Dr. Armen Melkonyan
Augustus Pitt Rivers
Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers was an English officer in the British Army and archaeologist. He was noted for innovations in archaeological methodology, in the museum display of archaeological and ethnological collections, his international collection of about 22,000 objects was the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford while his collection of English archaeology from the area around Stonehenge forms the basis of the collection at The Salisbury Museum in Wiltshire. Throughout most of his life he used the surname Lane Fox, under which his early archaeological reports are published. In 1880 he adopted the Pitt Rivers name on inheriting from Lord Rivers an estate of more than 32,000 acres in Cranborne Chase. Born Augustus Henry Lane-Fox at Bramham cum Oglethorpe near Wetherby in Yorkshire, he was the son of William Lane-Fox and Lady Caroline Douglas, sister of George Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton; the politicians George Lane-Fox and Sackville Lane-Fox were his uncles.
In 1880, Lane-Fox inherited the estates of his cousin, Horace Pitt-Rivers, 6th Baron Rivers and with it the remainder of the Richard Rigby fortune. It was "an event that transformed his life." He was required to adopt the surname Pitt-Rivers as part of the bequest. On 3 February 1853, Pitt-Rivers married The Honourable Alice Margaret Stanley, daughter of the politician Edward Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley and of the women's education campaigner Henrietta Stanley, Baroness Stanley of Alderley. Augustus and Alice had nine children; as they were all born before Augustus took the new surname in 1880, their births are registered under the name of Fox. Alexander Edward Lane Fox-Pitt-Rivers, 2 November 1855 – 19 August 1927. St. George Lane Fox-Pitt, 14 September 1856 – 6 April 1932, electrical engineer and student of psychic phenomena. William Augustus Lane Fox-Pitt, 9 January 1858 – 1945?. Ursula Katharine Lane Fox-Pitt, 1859? – 1942. Lionel Charles Lane Fox-Pitt, 5 November 1860 – 1937?. Alice Augusta Laurentia Lane Fox-Pitt, circa 1862 – 11 March 1947.
Agnes Geraldine Fox-Pitt, 1863 – 7 December 1926. Douglas Henry Lane Fox-Pitt, 17 December 1864 – 19 September 1922. Arthur Algernon Lane Fox-Pitt, 12 April 1866 – 6 November 1895. Augustus had several notable descendants. One grandson was the anthropologist and anti-Semite George Pitt-Rivers, interned in 1940 under Defence Regulation 18B. George's children included Michael Pitt-Rivers, his brother, the anthropologist and ethnographer, Julian A. Pitt-Rivers. A further generation includes William Fox-Pitt, the equestrian. Lane-Fox had a successful military career as a staff officer, he was educated at the Royal Military College, for six months at the age of fourteen and was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards on 16 May 1845 as an ensign. In the course of a thirty-two year military career, albeit much interrupted by leave, he only once saw major front line action, at the Battle of Alma in 1854. In 1851 he became a member of the committee to experiment and report on the respective merits of the army's smoothbore muskets.
He was appointed to Woolwich to instruct in the use of the new Minié rifle in 1852. Subsequently, he was responsible for founding the Hythe school of Musketry in Kent and became its principal instructor, revising its Instruction of Musketry manual; the remainder of his service career revolved around musketry instruction and in 1858 he published a paper On the improvement of the rifle as a weapon for general use. He bought a promotion to Captain on 2 August 1850, he was promoted to the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel of the army "for distinguished Service in the Field" during the Crimean War. On 15 May 1857, he bought the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Grenadier Guards; the Brevet-Major Lane-Fox, was appointed a member of the Fifth Class of the Order of the Medjidie in 1858 for "distinguished services before the enemy during the ". He was promoted to colonel on 22 January 1867 and major general in 1877. Pitt Rivers was accorded the honorary rank of Lt General. Pitt Rivers' interests in archaeology and ethnology began in the 1850s, during postings overseas, he became a noted scientist while he was a serving military officer.
His interest began with the evolution of the rifle, which extended to other weapons and tools, he became a collector of artifacts illustrating the development of human invention. His collection became famous, after being exhibited in 1874–1875 at the Bethnal Green Museum, was presented in 1885 to the University of Oxford, he was elected, in the space of five years, to the Ethnological Society of London, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Anthropological Society of London. By the time he retired he had amassed ethnographic collections numbering tens of thousands of items from all over the world. Influenced by the evolutionary writings of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, he arranged them typologically and chronologically, he viewed archaeology as an extension of anthropology and, as consequence, built up matching collections of archaeological and ethnographic objects to show longer developmental sequences to support his views on cultural evolution. This style of arrangement, designed to highlight evolutionary trends in human artefacts, was a revolutionary innovation in museum design.
Pitt Rivers' ethnological collections form the basis of the Pitt Rivers Museum, still one of Oxford's attractions. His researches and collections cover periods from the Lower Paleolithic to Roman and medieval times, extend all over the wo
Filitosa is a megalithic site in southern Corsica, France. The period of occupation spans from the end of the Neolithic era and the beginning of the Bronze Age, until around the Roman times in Corsica; the site lies on road D57, a few hundred metres from the hamlet of Filitosa, 5 km west of Sollacaro, in the canton of Petreto-Bicchisano, arrondissement of Sartène, north of Propriano in the Corse-du-Sud département. It is located on a hill; the site was discovered in 1946 by the owner of Charles-Antoine Cesari. Systematic excavations started in 1954 by Roger Grosjean. Finds of arrow heads and pottery date earliest inhabitation to 3300 BC. Around 1500 BC, 2-3 metre menhirs were erected, they have been carved with representations of human faces and weapons. Roger Grosjean thought the menhirs may have been erected to ward off an invasion of a group of people called the Torréens; however this was unsuccessful: the menhirs were cast down, broken up and reused in some cases as building material by the Torréens.
The Torréens built circular stone structures on the site, known as torri, which may have been used as temples. The torri are remarkably well preserved; this theory had been disputed by works of F. De Lanfranchi, M. C. Weiss and Gabriel Camps. In total, about twenty menhirs of various times were counted in Filitosa, they constitute half of the total staff of these monuments in Corsica. The site of Filitosa is approached down a track through an ancient olive grove; the first monument to be seen is surrounding wall. The visitor comes upon the central monument. Various hut platforms are all around, the track leads a further 50m to the Western Monument or torri. From there, one can enjoy a view down the hill to a stone alignment of five megaliths, set around the base of a 2000-year-old olive tree. Behind the olive tree is the quarry, where the megaliths were extracted from. Pictures Filitosa official website