The Bell Beaker culture or short Beaker culture, is an archaeological culture named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the beginning of the European Bronze Age. Arising from around 2800 BC, lasting in continental Europe until 2300 BC, succeeded by the Unetice culture, in Britain until as late as 1800 BC; the culture was scattered throughout Western Europe, from various regions in Iberia and spots facing northern Africa to the Danubian plains, the British Isles, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The Bell Beaker culture follows the Corded Ware culture and for north-central Europe the Funnelbeaker culture; the name Glockenbecher was coined for its distinctive style of beakers by Paul Reinecke in 1900. The term's English translation Bell Beaker was introduced by John Abercromby in 1904. In its early phase, the Bell Beaker culture can be seen as the western contemporary of the Corded Ware culture of Central Europe. From about 2400 BC, the "Beaker folk" expanded eastwards, into the Corded Ware horizon.
In parts of Central and Eastern Europe – as far east as Poland – a sequence occurs from Corded Ware to Bell Beaker. This period marks a period of cultural contact in Atlantic and Western Europe following a prolonged period of relative isolation during the Neolithic. In its mature phase, the Bell Beaker culture is understood as not only a collection of characteristic artefact types, but a complex cultural phenomenon involving metalwork in copper and gold, specific types of ornamentation, shared ideological and religious ideas. A wide range of regional diversity persists within the widespread late Beaker culture in local burial styles, housing styles, economic profile, local ceramic wares. While Bell Beaker was introduced as a term for the artefact type at the beginning of the 20th century, recognition of an archaeological Bell Beaker culture has long been controversial, its spread has been one of the central questions of the migrationism vs. diffusionism debate in 20th-century archaeology, variously described as due to migration of small groups of warriors, craftsmen or traders, or due to the diffusion of ideas and object exchange.
Gordon Childe interpreted the presence of its characteristic artefact as the intrusion of "missionaries" expanding from Iberia along the Atlantic coast, spreading knowledge of copper metallurgy. Stephen Shennan interpreted the artefacts as belonging to a mobile cultural elite imposing itself over the indigenous substrate populations. Sangmeister interpreted the "Beaker folk" as small groups of mobile traders and artisans. Christian Strahm used the term "Bell Beaker phenomenon" as a compromise in order to avoid the term "culture"; the Bell Beaker artefacts at least in their early phase are not distributed across a contiguous areal as is usual for archaeological cultures, but are found in insular concentrations scattered across Europe. Their presence is not associated of burial customs. However, the Bell Beaker culture does appear to coalesce into a coherent archaeological culture in its phase. More recent analyses of the "Beaker phenomenon", published since the 2000s, have persisted in describing the origin of the "Beaker phenomenon" as arising from a synthesis of elements, representing "an idea and style uniting different regions with different cultural traditions and background."Archaeogenetics studies of the 2010s have been able to resolve the "migrationist vs. diffusionist" question to some extent.
The study by Olalde et al. found only "limited genetic affinity" between individuals associated with the Beaker complex in Iberia and in Central Europe, suggesting that migration played a limited role in its early spread. However, the same study found that the further dissemination of the mature Beaker complex was strongly linked to migration; this is true for Britain, where the spread of the Beaker culture introduced high levels of steppe-related ancestry, resulting in a near-complete transformation of the local gene pool within a few centuries, to the point of replacement of about 90% of the local Mesolithic-derived lineages. The origin of the "Bell Beaker" artefact itself has been traced to the early 3rd millennium, early examples of the "maritime" Bell Beaker design have been found at the Tagus estuary in Portugal, radiocarbon dated to c. the 28th century BC. The inspiration for the Maritime Bell Beaker is argued to have been the small and earlier Copoz beakers that have impressed decoration and which are found around the Tagus estuary in Portugal.
Turek sees late Neolithic precursors in northern Africa, arguing the Maritime style emerged as a result of seaborne contacts between Iberia and Morocco in the first half of the third millennium BCE. AOO and AOC Beakers appear to have evolved continually from a pre-Beaker period in the lower Rhine and North Sea regions, at least for Northern and Central Europe. Heyd concluded that the Bell Beaker culture was intrusive to southern Germany which existed contemporarily with the local Corded Ware culture. Conversely, the burial ritual which typified Bell Beaker sites appears to be intrusive to Western Europe, from Central Europe. Individual inhumations under tumuli with the inclusion of weapons contrast markedly to the preceding Neolithic traditions of collective, weaponless burials in Atlantic/Western Europe; such an arrangement is rather derivative of Corded Ware traditions. The initial moves from the Tagus estuary were maritime. A southern move led to the Mediterranean where'enclaves' were established in south-western Spain and southe
There are three related types of Neolithic earthwork that are all sometimes loosely called henges. The essential characteristic of all three is that they feature a ring-shaped bank and ditch, with the ditch inside the bank; because the internal ditches would have served defensive purposes poorly, henges are not considered to have been defensive constructions. The three henge types are as follows, with the figure in brackets being the approximate diameter of the central flat area: Henge; the word henge refers to a particular type of earthwork of the Neolithic period consisting of a circular or oval-shaped bank with an internal ditch surrounding a central flat area of more than 20 m in diameter. There is little if any evidence of occupation in a henge, although they may contain ritual structures such as stone circles, timber circles and coves. Henge monument is sometimes used as a synonym for henge. Henges sometimes, but by no means always, featured stone or timber circles, circle henge is sometimes used to describe these structures.
The three largest stone circles in Britain are each in a henge. Examples of henges without significant internal monuments are the three henges of Thornborough Henges. Although having given its name to the word henge, Stonehenge is atypical in that the ditch is outside the main earthwork bank. Hengiform monument. Like an ordinary henge except the central flat area is between 5 and 20 m in diameter, they comprise a modest earthwork with a wide outer bank. Mini henge or Dorchester henge are sometimes used as synonyms for hengiform monument. An example is the Neolithic site at Wormy Hillock Henge. Henge enclosure. A Neolithic ring earthwork with the ditch inside the bank, with the central flat area having abundant evidence of occupation and being more than 300 m in diameter; some true henges lack evidence of domestic occupation. Super henge is sometimes used as a synonym for a henge enclosure. However, sometimes Super henge is used to indicate size alone rather than use, e.g. "Marden henge... is the least understood of the four British'superhenges' (the others being Avebury, Durrington Walls and Mount Pleasant Henge".
The word henge is a backformation from the famous monument in Wiltshire. Stonehenge is not a true henge as its ditch runs outside its bank, although there is a small extant external bank as well; the term was first coined in 1932 by Thomas Kendrick, who became the Keeper of British Antiquities at the British Museum. Henges may be classified as follows: Class I henges, which have a single entrance created from a gap in the bank. Sub groups exist for these when three internal ditches are present rather than one. Henges are associated with the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, with the pottery of this period: Grooved Ware, Impressed Wares, Beakers. Sites such as Stonehenge provide evidence of activity from the Bronze Age Wessex culture. Henges contain evidence of a variety of internal features, including timber or stone circles, pits, or burials, which may pre- or post-date the henge enclosure. A henge should not be confused with a stone circle within it, as henges and stone circles can exist together or separately.
At Arbor Low in Derbyshire, all the stones except one are laid flat and do not seem to have been erected, as no stone holes have been found. Elsewhere only the stone holes remain to indicate a former circle; some of the best-known henges are at: Avebury, about 20 miles north of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire Knowlton Circles henge complex in Dorset Maumbury Rings in Dorset Mayburgh Henge in Cumbria The Ring of Brodgar in Orkney Thornborough Henges complex in YorkshireHenges sometimes formed part of a ritual landscape or complex, with other Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments inside and outside the henge. Earlier monuments associated with a henge might include Neolithic monuments such as a cursus, or a long barrow such as the West Kennet Long Barrow at Avebury, Wiltshire, or as in the case of Stonehenge, Mesolithic post holes. Monuments added after the henge was built might include Bronze Age cairns as at Arbor Low. Examples of such ritual landscapes are: Balfarg in Fife, Scotland Dunragit archaeological excavation site in Wigtownshire Heart of Neolithic Orkney, the UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Mainland, one of the islands of Orkney, Scotland Stonehenge and Associated Sites, the UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wiltshire, England mentioned: Arbor Low, Knowlton Circles, Stanton Drew stone circles, Thornborough HengesBurials have been recorded at a number of excavated henges, both pre-dating the henge and as a result of secondary reuse.
For example: At Avebury, at least two disturbed inhumations were found in the central area Cairnpapple and North Mains both had burials that pre-date the henges, as well as post-date them At King Arthur's Round Table, Cumbria, a cremation trench lay within the monument At Woodhenge, a central burial of a child was interpreted by its excavators as a dedicatory offering At Maxey, phosphate surveys suggest that burials may have been present within this monument Efforts to delineate a direct lineage for the henge from earlier enclosures have not been conclusive. Their chronological overlap wi
In the United Kingdom, a scheduled monument is a "nationally important" archaeological site or historic building, given protection against unauthorised change. The various pieces of legislation used for protecting heritage assets from damage and destruction are grouped under the term ‘designation’; the protection provided to scheduled monuments is given under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, a different law from that used for listed buildings. A heritage asset is a part of the historic environment, valued because of its historic, architectural or artistic interest. Only some of these are judged to be important enough to have extra legal protection through designation. There are about 20,000 scheduled monuments in England representing about 37,000 heritage assets. Of the tens of thousands of scheduled monuments in the UK, most are inconspicuous archaeological sites, but some are large ruins. According to the 1979 Act, a monument cannot be a structure, occupied as a dwelling, used as a place of worship or protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.
As a rule of thumb, a protected historic asset, occupied would be designated as a listed building. Scheduled monuments are defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. In England and Scotland they are referred to as a scheduled ancient monument, although the Act defines only ancient monument and scheduled monument. A monument can be: A building or structure, cave or excavation, above or below the surface of the land. A site comprising any vehicle, aircraft or other moveable structure. In Northern Ireland they are designated under separate legislation and are referred to as a scheduled historic monument or a monument in state care; the first Act to enshrine legal protection for ancient monuments was the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882. This identified an initial list of 68 prehistoric sites that were given a degree of legal protection; this was the result of strenuous representation by William Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, founded in 1877.
Following various previous attempts, the 1882 legislation was guided through parliament by John Lubbock, who in 1871 had bought Avebury, Wiltshire, to ensure the survival of the stone circle. The first Inspector of Ancient Monuments, as set up by the act, was Augustus Pitt Rivers. At this point, only the inspector, answering directly to the First Commissioner of Works, was involved in surveying the scheduled sites and persuading landowners to offer sites to the state; the act established the concept of guardianship, in which a site might remain in private ownership, but the monument itself become the responsibility of the state, as guardian. However the legislation could not compel landowners, as that level of state interference with private property was not politically possible; the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1900 extended the scope of the legislation to include medieval monuments. Pressure grew for stronger legislation. In a speech in 1907, Robert Hunter, chairman of the National Trust, observed that only a further 18 sites had been added to the original list of 68.'Scheduling' in the modern sense only became possible with the passing of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act 1913.
When Pitt Rivers died in 1900 he was not replaced as Inspector. Charles Peers, a professional architect, was appointed as Inspector in 1910 in the Office of Works becoming Chief Inspector in 1913; the job title'Inspector' is still in use. Scheduling offers protection because it makes it illegal to undertake a great range of'works' within a designated area, without first obtaining'scheduled monument consent'. However, it does not affect the owner’s freehold title or other legal interests in the land, nor does it give the general public any new rights of public access; the process of scheduling does not automatically imply that the monument is being poorly managed or that it is under threat, nor does it impose a legal obligation to undertake any additional management of the monument. In England and Wales the authority for designating, re-designating and de-designating a scheduled monument lies with the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture and Sport; the Secretary of State keeps the schedule, of these sites.
The designation process was first devolved to Scotland and Wales in the 1970s and is now operated there by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly respectively. The government bodies with responsibility for archaeology and the historic environment in Britain are: Historic England in England, Cadw in Wales, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland; the processes for application and monitoring scheduled monuments is administered in England by Historic England. In Northern Ireland, the term "Scheduled Historic Monument" is used; these sites protected under Article 3 of the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects Order 1995. The schedule contains over 1,900 sites, is maintained by the Department for Communities. There is no positive distinction yet for a single method of registering sites of heritage; the long tradition of legal issues did not lead to a condensed register nor to any single authority to take care of over the course of the last 130 years. The UK
English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments and places. These include medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses; the charity states that it uses these properties to ‘bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year’. Within its portfolio are Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Tintagel Castle and the best preserved parts of Hadrian's Wall. English Heritage manages the London Blue Plaque scheme, which links influential historical figures to particular buildings; when formed in 1983, English Heritage was the operating name of an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government titled the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, that ran the national system of heritage protection and managed a range of historic properties. It was created to combine the roles of existing bodies that had emerged from a long period of state involvement in heritage protection. In 1999 the organisation merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the National Monuments Record, bringing together resources for the identification and survey of England's historic environment.
On 1 April 2015, English Heritage was divided into two parts: Historic England, which inherited the statutory and protection functions of the old organisation, the new English Heritage Trust, a charity that would operate the historic properties, which took on the English Heritage operating name and logo. The British government gave the new charity an £80 million grant to help establish it as an independent trust, although the historic properties remained in the ownership of the state. Over the centuries, what is now called'Heritage' has been the responsibility of a series of state departments. There was the'Kings Works' after the Norman Conquest. Responsibility subsequently transferred to the Ministry of Public Building and Works to the Department of the Environment and now the Department for Culture and Sport; the state's legal responsibility for the historic environment goes back to the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882. Central government subsequently developed several systems of heritage protection for different types of'assets', introducing listing for buildings after WW2 and conservation areas in the 1960s.
In 1983 Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Heseltine gave national responsibility for the historic environment to a semi‑autonomous agency to operate under ministerial guidelines and to government policy. The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission was formed under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983 on 1 April 1984; the 1983 Act dissolved the bodies that had provided independent advice – the Ancient Monuments Board for England and the Historic Buildings Council for England and incorporated these functions in the new body. Soon after, the commission gained the operating name of English Heritage by its first Chairman, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. A national register of historic parks and gardens, was set up in 1984, a register for historic battlefields was created in March 1995.'Registration' is a material consideration in the planning process. In April 1999 English Heritage merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the National Monuments Record, bringing together resources for the identification and survey of England's historic environment.
By adoption this included responsibility for the national record of archaeological sites from the Ordnance Survey. These, together with other nationally important external acquisitions, meant that English Heritage was one of the largest publicly accessible archives in the UK: 2.53 million records are available online, including more than 426,000 images. In 2010–2011 it recorded 4.3 million unique online user sessions and over 110,000 people visited NMR exhibitions held around the country in 2009/10. In 2012 the section responsible for archive collections was renamed the English Heritage Archive; as a result of the National Heritage Act 2002, English Heritage acquired administrative responsibility for historic wrecks and submerged landscapes within 12 miles of the English coast. The administration of the listed building system was transferred from DCMS to English Heritage in 2006. However, actual listing decisions still remained the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture and Sport, required by the Planning Act 1990 to approve a list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.
Following the Public Bodies Reform in 2010, English Heritage was confirmed as the government's statutory adviser on the historic environment, the largest source of non-lottery grant funding for heritage assets. It was retained on grounds of "performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government"; however the department suffered from budget cuts during the recession of the 2010s resulting in a repairs deficit of £100 million. In June 2013 the British Government announced plans to provide an £80 million grant to enable English Heritage to become a self-financing charity; the national portfolio of historic properties remain in public ownership, but the new English Heritage will be licensed to manage them. The change occu
Bluestone is a cultural or commercial name for a number of dimension or building stone varieties, including: basalt in Victoria, in New Zealand dolerites in Tasmania, Australia. S. and Canada limestone in the Shenandoah Valley in the U. S. from the Hainaut quarries in Soignies and from quarries in County Carlow, County Galway and County Kilkenny in Ireland slate in South Australia The term "bluestone" in Britain is used in a loose sense to cover all of the "foreign" stones at Stonehenge. It is a "convenience" label rather than a geological term, since at least 20 different rock types are represented. One of the most common rocks in the assemblage is known as Preseli Spotted Dolerite—a chemically altered igneous rock containing spots or clusters of secondary minerals replacing plagioclase feldspar, it is a medium grained heavy rock, harder than granite. Preseli bluestone tools, such as axes, have been discovered elsewhere within the British Isles. Many of them appear to have been made in or near Stonehenge, since there are petrographic similarities with some of the spotted dolerites there.
The bluestones at Stonehenge were placed there during the third phase of construction at Stonehenge around 2300 BC. It is assumed that there were about 80 of them but this has never been proven since only 43 remain; the stones are estimated to weigh between 4 tons each. The majority of them are believed to have been brought from the Preseli Hills, about 250 kilometres away in Wales, either through glaciation or through humans organizing their transportation. A summary of the major aspects of the Stonehenge "bluestone conundrum" was published in 2008. In the same year a book devoted to the problem of bluestone provenance and transport concluded that the Stonehenge bluestones are an ill-sorted assemblage of glacial erratics. Further research into the origin of the bluestones was published in 2012. If a glacier transported the stones it must have been the Irish Sea Glacier. In support of the glacial erratic theory, researchers reporting in 2015 found no firm evidence of quarrying at Rhosyfelin in the Preselis.
However, in such event, one might expect to find other bluestone boulders or slabs near the Stonehenge site, but no such bluestones have been found. The archaeological find of the Boscombe Bowmen has been cited in support of the human transport theory. Preseli Bluestone dolerite axe heads have been found around the Preseli Hills as well, indicating that there was a population who knew how to work with the stones, In 2015, researchers reported they had confirmed the Preseli Spotted Dolerite stones at Stonehenge came from two Neolithic quarries at Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin in the Preseli Hills. Using radiocarbon dating, researchers dated the quarry activities to around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog. Project director Mike Parker Pearson of the UCL Institute of Archaeology noted the finding was "intriguing because the bluestones didn't get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC… It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that's pretty improbable in my view.
It's more that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire." In 2018 two of the quarries—Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin—underwent more excavation to reveal evidence of megalith quarrying around 3000 BC. If true, this shortens the period between transportation to the Stonehenge site. There are three distinct building materials called "bluestone" in Australia. In Victoria, what is known as bluestone is a olivine basalt, it was one of the favoured building materials during the Victorian Gold Rush period of the 1850s. In Melbourne it was extracted from quarries throughout the inner northern suburbs, such as Clifton Hill and Coburg, where the quarry used to source the stone for Pentridge Prison is now Coburg Lake. Bluestone was sourced in many other regions of the Victorian volcanic plains, used in towns and cities of central and western regions, including Ballarat, Kyneton, Port Fairy and Portland, it is still quarried at a number of places around the state.
Bluestone is hard and therefore difficult to work, so it was predominantly used for warehouses, miscellaneous walls, the foundations of buildings. However, a number of significant bluestone buildings exist, including the Old Melbourne Gaol, Pentridge Prison, St Patrick's Cathedral, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne Grammar School, Deaf Children Australia and Victorian College for the Deaf, Vision Australia, the Goldsbrough Mort warehouses and the Timeball Tower, as well as St Mary's Basilica in Geelong; some examples of other major structures that use bluestone include Princes Bridge, the adjacent Federation Wharf, Hawthorn Bridge. Because of its distinctive qualities, post-modern Melbourne buildings have made use of bluestone for nostalgic reasons; these include the Southgate promenade in Southbank, Victoria. Bluestone was used extensively as cobblestone, for kerbs and gutters, many examples which still exist in some of Melbourne's smaller city lanes and 19th-century inner suburban lanes. Crushed bluestone aggregate, known as "blue metal", is still used extensively in Victoria as railway ballast, road base, combined with bitumen, as road surfacing material, as well as in concrete making.
In South Australia, the name bluestone is given to a form of slate, much less durable than Victorian bluestone, but was valued for its decorative appearance. The interior of the stone
In archaeology, timber circles are circular arrangements of wooden posts interpreted as being either complexes of freestanding totem poles or as the supports for large circular buildings. Timber circles in the British Isles date to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age; the posts themselves have long since disappeared and the sites are identified from the circles of postholes that they stood in. Aerial photography and geophysical survey have led to the discovery of increasing numbers of the features. A postpipe survives in the posthole fill aiding diagnosis, they are more than 20 metres, up to 60 metres, in diameter and the posts that constituted them were more than 50 centimetres wide. Technically, they always consist of at least two concentric circles or ovals of timbers although there are variations on the rule such as the monuments of Seahenge and Arminghall, both in East Anglia which are described as being timber circles. Wider gaps between the posts are thought to have served as entrance routes.
The builders replaced the posts as they decomposed and in some cases stone circles were adopted instead during phases. They appear either alone or in the context of other monuments, namely henges, such as that at Woodhenge and henge enclosures such as those at Durrington Walls; the only excavated examples of timber circles that stood alone from other features are Seahenge and Arminghall in Norfolk and the early phases of The Sanctuary in Wiltshire. They served ritual purposes. Animal bone and domestic waste found at many timber circle sites implies some form of temporary habitation and seasonal feasting, they were built on high ground and would have been conspicuous. Isolated burials have been found at some sites but not enough to suggest a strong funerary purpose. Timber circles have a long history among Native American societies. From the 3400 year old Archaic period Poverty Point site in Louisiana to 2000 year old Hopewell tradition circles found in Ohio to the Sun Dance performed in wooden pole "corrals" by the Dhegihan-Siouan and Caddoan speaking peoples of the Great Plains.
An early example of a timber circle witnessed by Europeans was recorded by watercolor artist John White in July 1585 when he visited the Algonquian village of Secotan in North Carolina. White was the artist-illustrator and mapmaker for the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to begin the first attempts at British colonization of the Americas. White's works represent the sole-surviving visual record of the native inhabitants of the Americas as encountered by England's first colonizers on the Atlantic seaboard. Whites watercolor and the writings of the chronicler who accompanied him, Thomas Harriot, describes a great religious festival the Green Corn ceremony, with participants holding a ceremonial dance at a timber circle; the posts of the circle were carved with faces. Harriot noted that many of the participants had come from surrounding villages and that "every man attyred in the most strange fashion they can devise havinge certayne marks on the backs to declare of what place they bee." and that "Three of the fayrest Virgins" danced around a central post at the center of the timber circle.
The oldest known timber circles in North American archaeology were found at Poverty Point in 2009 by archaeologists from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Mississippi State University, led by Poverty Point station archaeologist Dr. Diana Greenlee, they discovered evidence in the 37.5 acres plaza area for multiple wooden post circular structures ranging from 82 feet to 206 feet in diameter. The site now has a ring of concrete posts marking the position of one of the circles. Other examples have been found at Hopewell culture sites in Ohio. Moorehead Circle was constructed about two millennia ago at the Fort Ancient Earthworks, it was discovered in 2005 by Jarrod Burks during magnetic surveys at the large hilltop enclosure near Lebanon, Ohio. The site consists of three concentric circles. Robert Riordan, Professor of Archaeology at Wright State University and lead archaeologist investigating the site, estimates that about two hundred wooden 10 feet to 15 feet tall posts were set in the outer circle.
According to radiocarbon dates performed on charcoal found at the site, it was built between 40 BCE and 130 CE, with other charcoal fragments from burnt posts dating to 250 to 420 CE, suggesting the circle was in use for several centuries. In September 2005 archaeologist Frank Cowan conducted excavations at the smaller circular enclosure at the Stubbs Earthworks in Warren County, Ohio. Carbon dating of charcoal found in post molds at the site have dated the structure to 200-300 CE; the existence of the series of woodhenges at Cahokia was discovered during salvage archaeology undertaken by Dr. Warren Wittry in the early 1960s in preparation for a proposed highway interchange. Although the majority of the site contained village house features, they formed a series of arcs of evenly spaced posts. Wittry hypothesized that the arcs could be whole circles and that the site was a calendar for tracking solar events such as solstice and equinoxes, he began referring to the circles as "woodhenges". Additional excavations found evidence for five timber circles in the general vicinity, now designated Woodhenges I through V in Roman numerals.
Each was a different diameter a
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list