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Uffington White Horse. Image Wikimedia Commons 

The summer exhibition this year at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, “…explores the mysterious chalk hill figures carved into the landscape of Britain – with a particular emphasis on Wiltshire. There are many white horses and hill figures carved into the landscape across the country, from the Uffington White Horse, to the Cerne Abbas Giant and the Long Man of Wilmington.” This, “…exhibition, however, focuses primarily on Wiltshire from the spirited white horses galloping across the landscape to the military badges which are poignant reminders of the past.”*

On Saturday, 24 July 2010, in conjunction with the above, there will be a Day School with leading experts exploring the chalk figures carved into the landscape of Britain.

  9.30am – Arrival and welcome.
10.00am – Introduction by Brian Edwards, Public Historian.
10.15am – Paul Newman ‘Galloping through the centuries: introducing Britain’s hill figures: History, culture and controversy.
11.30am – David Miles ‘The Uffington White Horse: A biography of an English icon’.
  1.30pm – Bryn Walters ‘New discoveries and other thoughts on prehistoric monumental iconography’.
 2.45pm – Professor Martin Bell ‘The Wilmington Giant: A geoarchaeological perspective’.
 3.45pm – Rodney Castleden ‘Two chalk giants. who are they – and how can we tell?

Finish 5pm.

“There will be a break for lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Bring sandwiches or try one of the pubs and cafes in town. A full programme, including more information about each topic, can be downloaded here.”

* See also –

Stonehenge. Image credit Heritage Action

by our correspondent

The first ever seminar reporting and discussing academic research of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site took place in a packed Devizes Town Hall on Saturday 22nd May 2010.

Almost exclusively focused upon prehistory, a whopping fourteen presentations covered a range of aspects that the wider public would rarely if ever encounter. That was precisely the point of this seminar, which was jointly put on by the Prehistoric Society and the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society on behalf of the Avebury Archaeological and Historical Research Group. The research into (what is seen as) the two halves of the WHS has never been pulled together in this way and it favourably ticked a box by facilitating information direct to the public.

The gap between what academics know and the impression that circulates in the public domain can only get narrower through such initiatives. Another seminar is envisaged for next year.

An excellent report by Alex Down on the seminar can be found on Eternal Idol


May 2010

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