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Norfolk's Seahenges
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Dating project proves Norfolk's two Bronze Age Seahenges are same age

Research by Norfolk County Council's historic environment team has confirmed that Seahenge's sister circle was made from trees felled in the spring or summer of 2049BC - exactly the same year as the first circle which was excavated in 1998-9.
The tree ring dating (dendrochronology) project carried out over the past year provides further proof that the construction of the two 4000 year old Bronze Age monuments at Holme Beach on the North Norfolk coast, believed to be connected to ancient burial rites, must have been directly linked.

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RE: Seahenge
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Seahenge set to be complete for the first time in 10 years

An iconic ancient monument uncovered by the tides on a Norfolk beach will soon be complete for the first time in a decade.
Scientists have been studying and preserving the Seahenge timber circle since it was excavated at Holme, near Hunstanton, in early 1999.
There were protests after archaeologists decided to remove the upturned oak stump and ring of 55 posts from the sands.
But the 4000-year-old structure shed new light on how our ancestors lived, showing Bronze Age society was more advanced than had previously been believed.

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Ten years after he first set eyes on it, one of Britain's foremost archaeologists was visibly moved when he saw Seahenge in its new home yesterday.
Bronze Age expert, author and Time Team presenter Dr Francis Pryor toured the display of preserved timbers from the 4000-year-old monument as King's Lynn Museum officially opened after its 1.2m facelift.

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Holme Timber Circle
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The Holme Timber Circle (also known as 'Seahenge'), which was excavated in 1999, is currently undergoing conservation treatment at the Mary Rose Centre in Portsmouth. When this work is completed, the treated timbers will be displayed in the refurbished Lynn Museum in Kings Lynn from early 2008. Treatment of the timbers takes some time and it is anticipated that the large central tree stump will not be ready for display for some years. Consideration is therefore being given to producing a replica of the stump until conservation on the original timber has been completed.

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RE: Seahenge
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A decade ago one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries of recent times, which came to be known as Seahenge, was made on the North Norfolk coast. Within hours of being discovered on Holme next the Sea, the 4,000-year-old upturned oak stump and 55 timbers were declared to be of international importance.
Preserved by the peat surrounding them, the timbers hold valuable information on early Bronze Age wood-working and construction methods.

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Nearly 10 years after its controversial excavation, the mystery remains. While the upturned oak tree and its ring of timbers have taught us a few things we didn't know about our ancestors, we still don't know why they built it.
Late in 1998, a long-forgotten landscape began re-emerging from beneath the sands of Holme Beach, near Hunstanton.

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4,000-year-old Seahenge to rise again but not until 2008
CONSERVATION work on the Seahenge wooden circle is continuing apace but it will be at least a year before the Bronze Age monument will be on display in Lynn.
The 4,000-year-old structure was uncovered by waves on the beach at Holme in 1998, sparking frenzied interest from the archaeological community.
In 1999 the pieces were excavated and preserved before they were handed to the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth for conservation, with the ultimate aim of putting them on display in Lynn.
The pieces chosen to go on display in Lynn Museum are currently being removed from a waxy substance called peg, which holds the wood fibres together.
Over the next two or three months they will be freeze-dried to remove any remaining water, before they are cleaned by experts and transported to Lynn Museum.
Robin Hanley, area museums manager for West Norfolk, said staff will spend the following six months painstakingly creating mounts and supports for the individual pieces.

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Museum visitors will be able to experience more of the history of a remarkable Norfolk (England) monument next year - thanks to a cash windfall from the government. An exhibition of part of the Bronze Age timber circle, Seahenge, is set to be the crowning glory of a 1m redevelopment of King's Lynn Museum. The museum reopened to visitors following the completion of the first phase of the revamp.
Posts from the circle, which have been undergoing specialist conservation at the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth following their controversial excavation from the beach at Holme, near Hunstanton, in 1999, are due to return to Lynn after Christmas, ready for mounting in a specially-designed display. But extra features are now under discussion following news of the 65,000 grant, part of a national 4m payout for museum improvements by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation.
Area museums officer Robin Hanley said there were hopes of setting up a replica of the original structure, which was built in the spring or early summer of 2049 BCE.

"Obviously we are going to display about half of the original timbers but we felt it was important that people had a way to actually feel what it would have been like to walk into the circle. What survives is only very fragmented. The current plan is to have, effectively, a complete circle in the centre of the gallery, one half of which will be the original timbers and the other will be a full-size replica" - Robin Hanley.

A audio-visual display will show the dramatic change in the landscape around Seahenge from the Bronze Age, when it formed part of an inland farming community, to the shifting sands which revealed it to the world as the 20th century drew to a close. There are also plans for an interactive interpretation, charting the step-by-step progress of the timbers from their harvest in a local wood to their assembly into the circle, and to provide a resource centre offering a range of in-depth additional information about the Seahenge story as a whole.
The Seahenge display, which will form part of a wider exhibition about the history of West Norfolk, is due to open to the public next summer.

"Although we've only got temporary exhibitions for this year, we've been hugely encouraged by the levels of people coming through" Robin Hanley.

The museum is offering free admission this year.

Source EDP 24

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