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By a correspondent
Indications from an official survey pin the famous Stonehenge traffic jam and local traffic ills on a westbound bottleneck on the A303 west of Countess Roundabout, where two lanes become one at a point 1.25 miles (2.00 km) inside the World Heritage Site (WHS). If we focus on this foremost problem, the situation and obvious solution becomes remarkably clear cut.
The WHS is 3.5 miles wide so only a 2.25+ mile tunnel avoids damage (of massive tunnel entrances, minimum 0.5 miles of new 4 lanes, plus an unknown effect on the water table). The obvious cheap relatively instant solution that will cause least archaeological damage (if detours are deemed impossible and a long tunnel prohibitively expensive) is a second westbound lane added by altering near as dammit the current footprint. Inducted as a clearway, 20,000+ travellers every day still get to glimpse the stones and the English Heritage/National Trust island theme park won’t exist purely for the mere 400–5,000 daily paying customers. The National Trust can always add a temporary A303 pedestrian underpass below the causeway at Stonehenge Bottom (a private one stands near Vespasian’s Camp) and we can spend the next 5-10 years campaigning and saving for a 3.5+ mile tunnel.

SH Extra Lane

It’s that time of year again. With just 3 months to go before the Current Archaeology Live! conference in London, the nominations for the Current Archaeology Awards have been released.


The awards are designed to celebrate some of the stories and people featured in the magazine throughout the course of the year. There is no panel of judges, the only votes that count are those from the readership in the public vote via the website, so it really is just down to you (collectively) as to who the winners are.

As in previous years, there are four main categories to vote for:

  • Research Project of the Year
  • Archaeologist of the Year
  • Rescue Dig of the Year
  • Book of the Year

The nominees in each category are as follows:

Research Project of the Year

  • How to build a dolmen: exploring Neolithic construction at Garn Turne
  • Maryport’s mystery monuments: investigating gigantic timber structure from the imperial twilight
  • Rethinking the Staffordshire Hoard
  • Exploring Anglo-Saxon settlement: the origins of the English village
  • The logboats in the lake: Bronze Age wrecks and Viking-style battle axes from Lough Corrib, Ireland

Archaeologist of the Year

  • Michael Fulford
  • Neil Holbrook
  • Simon Thurley

Rescue Dig of the Year

  • First impressions: discovering the earliest footprints in Europe (the Happisburgh Project)
  • Neolithic houses: exploring a prehistoric landscape at Kingsmead Quarry
  • The many faces of Silbury Hill: unravelling the evolution of Europe’s largest prehistoric mound
  • The sacking of Auldhame: investigating a Viking burial in a monastic graveyard
  • Buried Vikings: excavating Cumwhitton’s cemetery
  • Bodyguards, corpses, and cults: everyday life in the Roman military community at Inveresk

Book of the Year

  • Time’s Anvil: England, archaeology, and the imagination (Richard Morris)
  • Religion in Medieval London: archaeology and belief (Bruno Barber, Christopher Thomas and Bruce Watson)
  • The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain (Michael Bishop)
  • The Great Archaeologists (Brian Fagan)
  • The History of Archaeology (Paul Bahn)
  • Home: a time traveller’s tales from Britain’s prehistory (Francis Pryor)

I’ve already made my choices and voted. Now it’s your turn. Just visit the website or pick up issue 298 of the Current Archaeology magazine (available from 5th December) to read more about each of the nominees, and place your votes for each category.


December 2014

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