Celebrating World mental Health Day on the 10 October provides a very suitable occasion to promote the recently published volume of papers entitled Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being. The result of a cross-faculty research programme, the editors include Timothy Darvill, Kerry Barrass, and Yvette Staelens from FST and Vanessa Heaslip from FHSS.
Contributions to the volume arise out of the public outreach work associated with the HLF-supported Human Henge project, including a session at the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) meeting at the University of Cardiff in December 2017, and a whole-day multi-disciplinary conference held at Bournemouth University in April 2018. The aim of bringing these papers together was two-fold. First, is to illustrate how archaeological sites, ancient landscapes, and the historic environment more generally, are being used rather successfully as tools to enhance mental health well-being in a range of communities across Britain and beyond. The projects and approaches described deserve wide recognition for their international levels of originality in terms of the deployment of aspects of the historic environment in novel ways, the significance of what is being achieved in changing people’s lives for the better, and the rigour that has been applied in thinking through the underpinning logic and the practices themselves. Second, is to prompt further debate about the contribution that the historic environment can make to the attainment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 over the next decade or so, and to assess the contribution that this work can make to delivering public value from heritage assets.
Using archaeological sites and historic landscapes to promote mental health well-being represents one of the most significant advances in archaeological resource management for many years. Its potential contribution to health-care and wellness initiatives is boundless. Prompted by the Human Henge project working within the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, the papers in this volume provide an overview of work going on across Britain and the near Continent at many different scales. Contributors share experiences, and discuss the outcomes, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of heritage-based well-being projects.
Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being (Archaeopress: 2019) is available in printed form and can be downloaded free as an open access publication by clicking here.
Royal Mail is celebrating Britain’s prehistory with the release on 17 January 2017 of a set of eight commemorative stamps accompanied by presentation materials written by BU’s Professor Timothy Darvill. Four stamps feature well-known prehistoric sites: Skara Brae village in Orkney (3000-2500BC); Avebury henge and stone circles in Wiltshire (c.2500 BC); Grime’s Graves flint mines in Norfolk (c.2500 BC); and Maiden Castle hillfort in Dorset (c.400BC). The other four stamps feature spectacular prehistoric objects: an antler headdress from Star Carr in North Yorkshire (9000BC); the gold cape from Mold in Flintshire (c.1900-1600BC); bronze horns from Drumbest in County Antrim (800BC); and the richly decorated bronze shield from the Thames at Battersea in London (350-50BC). Designed by True North and illustrated by Rebecca Strickson all the images combine aspects of original use with how the sites and objects appear today.
The presentation pack includes an illustrated summary of Britain’s prehistoric past, while the information card accompanying first-day covers and souvenir sets provides brief descriptions of the sites and objects featured on the stamps. Handstamps on first-day covers show a flint arrowhead on the standard cancellation from Edinburgh, and a distinctive archaeological trowel as an alternative postmark linked with Avebury near Marlborough.
Individual stamps can be purchased from Post Offices across the UK, while presentation packs and souvenir issues can be obtained from the Royal Mail on-line shop.
Collaborative research between Professor Tim Darvill in the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at BU and Professor Fritz Lüth of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin was featured in a short television programme made by ARD, the first German channel, first broadcast on 26 November. The programme focuses on the extensive high resolution geophysical surveys being undertaken within the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Site, and was filmed during the 2016 fieldwork season in September. Click here to view the programme.
Following the government’s ratification of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 1984 the first clutch of sites in the UK were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986. These comprised: the Castle and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; Durham Castle and Cathedral; Ironbridge Gorge; Stonehenge and Avebury and associated sites; Studley Royal Park including the remains of Fountains Abbey; the Giant’s Causeway; and St Kilda. Celebrations are planned at many of these sites; that for Stonehenge and Avebury includes an international conference looking at how understandings of these iconic prehistoric monuments and their landscapes have changed over the last 30 years. It will be held in the Corn Exchange in Devizes, Wiltshire, on Saturday 19 November 2016, and contributions include a lecture by BU’s Professor Timothy Darvill entitled ‘Stonehenge: Beyond rock and roll’.
Pupils at the Jewell Academy in Bournemouth have built a scale-model of Stonehenge in the school grounds using 80 house-bricks. The work was as part of an outreach visit by Professor Tim Darvill from the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science to introduce young scholars to the results of recent research at Stonehenge. Orientated on the mid-winter sunset the model should survive long enough to help celebrate the end of term and the start of the winter festival in six weeks time!
Current Archaeology, the UK’s best-selling archaeological magazine, features news of BU’s discovery of a previously unrecorded Neolithic long barrow in the Cotswolds in its December issue that goes on sale today. The excavations, directed by Professor Tim Darvill and Dr Martin Smith from the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, revealed a large stone-built mound dating to around 3800 BC. Such mounds served as territorial markers as well as burial places for communities living in the area. The work forms part of a larger study looking at the history and development of the Cotswold landscape since prehistoric times and includes collaboration with staff from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.
Professor Timothy Darvill OBE will deliver the 2013 Corfield Nankivel Memorial Lecture on Thursday 5 December 2013 in the Truro Baptist Church, Chapel Hill, Truro, at 7:30 pm. The title of his lecture is ‘Stonehenge Rocks’ and in it he will discuss findings from excavations at Stonehenge and in the Preseli Hills of Southwest Wales.
The lecture is hosted by the Cornwall Archaeological Society (http://www.cornisharchaeology.org.uk/winterlectures.htm)