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Showing posts with the label Ancient Sites

Huaca Pucllana: A Journey Through Time in the Heart of Lima

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In the vibrant city of Lima, Peru, amidst the bustling streets and modern architecture, lies a hidden gem that whispers tales of ancient civilizations – Huaca Pucllana. This enigmatic pyramid, a testament to the ingenuity and cultural richness of Peru's past, stands as a silent sentinel, a captivating reminder of the Lima Culture that thrived from 200 to 700 AD. Emerging from the desert sands, Huaca Pucllana is a grand adobe pyramid, intricately crafted by the Lima Culture. Its impressive structure, spanning seven platforms, once served as a ceremonial and administrative center, housing temples, residences, and burial grounds. The pyramid's strategic location, overlooking the fertile valleys and the Pacific Ocean, underscores the Lima Culture's deep connection to the land and sea. Over the centuries, Huaca Pucllana has captivated archaeologists and historians, offering invaluable insights into the Lima Culture's beliefs, practices, and daily life.

Portheras Barrow: A Prehistoric Monument in Cornwall

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Portheras Barrow is a Neolithic burial mound located in Cornwall, England. It is one of the largest and best-preserved barrows in the county, and it is thought to date back to around 3000 BC. The barrow is made up of a mound of earth and stone, and it originally had a stone chamber at its center. The chamber has since been destroyed, but some of its stones can still be seen. Portheras Barrow was first excavated in 1891, by the antiquarian William C. Lukis. Lukis found a number of artifacts in the barrow, including pottery, flint tools, and human bones. He also found the remains of the stone chamber. Portheras Barrow is located on Portheras Common, near the village of St. Just. The common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and it is home to a variety of wildlife, including rare plants and animals. Portheras Barrow is a significant archaeological site, as it provides us with valuable insights into the lives of the Neolithic people who built it. The barr

The Valley of Stones: A landscape of sarsen boulders in Dorset

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The Valley of Stones is a National Nature Reserve in Dorset, England, that is home to a unique landscape of scattered sarsen boulders. These large, naturally occurring stones are thought to have formed during the last ice age, when freeze-thaw cycles caused the sandstone on the nearby hills to fragment and slump downhill. The sarsen stones in the Valley of Stones are some of the largest and most impressive in southern England. They range in size from small pebbles to boulders that weigh over 100 tons. The stones are a warm, honey-brown color and have a weathered, textured surface. Among the boulders lies a hidden treasure: a Neolithic polishing stone. This polishing stone, or polissoir, is a large boulder with a smooth, concave surface. It is thought to have been used by Neolithic people to sharpen and polish their stone tools. The polishing stone was discovered by a team of volunteers who were clearing vegetation from the valley floor. It is the only undisturbed polissoir to have been

Chapel Carn Brea: A Cornish Hilltop with a Rich Archaeological History

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Chapel Carn Brea is a hill in Cornwall, England, with a rich archaeological history. The hill is home to a number of prehistoric monuments, including a Bronze Age barrow, a medieval chapel, and a World War II observation post. The Bronze Age barrow is the most prominent archaeological feature on Chapel Carn Brea. It is a large mound of earth and stone that was built over 4,000 years ago. The barrow was likely used as a burial place for important members of the community. In the 13th century, a medieval chapel was built on top of the Bronze Age barrow. The chapel was dedicated to St Michael of Brea, and it was tended by a succession of hermits. The chapel fell into disrepair in the 18th century and was eventually demolished in 1816. During World War II, Chapel Carn Brea was used as an observation post. A shelter was dug into the east side of the hill, and a lookout tower was built on the summit. The observation post was used to monitor for enemy aircraft and ships. Today, Chapel Carn Br

Sancreed Holy Well: A Place of Pilgrimage and History

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Sancreed Holy Well is a sacred spring located in the village of Sancreed in Cornwall, England. It has been a place of pilgrimage and healing for centuries, and is one of the most well-known holy wells in Cornwall. The well is located in a beautiful grove of pine and holly trees, and is surrounded by an air of mystery and enchantment. The water in the well is said to have healing powers. Near the well are the ruins of a medieval chapel. The chapel is thought to have been dedicated to Saint Creed, a local saint. However, the pagan traditions associated with the well continued, and it remained a place of pilgrimage for people of all faiths. The chapel was destroyed during the English Civil War, but the well itself remained intact. In the 19th century, the well was cleared and restored, and the chapel ruins were excavated. In 1910, a modern Celtic cross was erected near the well and the chapel ruins. If you are looking for a place to connect with the ancient spirits of Cornwall, then Sancr

Chun Castle and Chun Quoit: Two ancient Cornish landmarks

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Chun Castle and Chun Quoit are two of the most impressive ancient landmarks in Cornwall, England. Located near the village of Pendeen, they offer visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region. Chun Castle is a large Iron Age hillfort, built around 2,500 years ago. It is situated on a prominent hilltop, affording stunning views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. The fort is surrounded by two massive stone walls, with the inner wall enclosing an area of around 10 acres. The interior of the fort contains the remains of several roundhouses, which would have been the homes of the people who lived and worked there. Chun Castle is thought to have had a defensive purpose, given its strategic location and the presence of the two stone walls. However, it is also likely that the fort was a center for trade and social activity. The proximity of the fort to the much older Chun Quoit suggests that the two sites may have been connected in some way. Chun Quoit is a Neol

The Inca Ruins of Ollantaytambo: A Must-Visit in the Sacred Valley

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The Inca Ruins of Ollantaytambo, located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, are one of the most impressive and well-preserved Inca sites in the country. The ruins are a testament to the ingenuity and engineering skills of the Incas, and offer visitors a glimpse into their culture and way of life. Ollantaytambo was an important religious, administrative, and agricultural center for the Incas. The ruins include a series of temples, palaces, and terraces, as well as a sophisticated irrigation system. The most impressive structure at Ollantaytambo is the Temple of the Sun, a massive unfinished temple complex that is thought to have been dedicated to the Inca sun god, Inti. Another highlight of the Ollantaytambo ruins is the Intihuatana stone, a sacred stone that was used by the Incas for astronomical observations. The Intihuatana stone is located on a hilltop overlooking the ruins, and offers stunning views of the surrounding valley. In addition to the ruins themselves, the town of Ollantaytamb

Dolmens in England

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England is home to some fascinating ancient sites, including stone circles and dolmens (cromlechs). A dolmen is a type of single-chamber tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical stones supporting a large horizontal capstone. Here we list five dolmens that are worth a visit when travelling in England. TRETHEVY QUOIT Trethevy Quoit is an impressive portal dolmen (cromlech) consisting of five standing stones capped by a large stone. There is also a rear stone which once collapsed and now lies inside the chamber. It's believed that the whole structure was originally covered by a mound. The monument is almost 2.7 meters high and dates to the early Neolithic period, around 3500-2500 BC. At the upper end of the capstone is a porthole which may have been used for astronomical observation. However, some people suggest that the hole was drilled there for decoration purposes. SPINSTER'S ROCK Spinster's Rock is a Neolithic dolmen situated in a farm field near Drewsteignton in D

Craig Rhos-y-Felin

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Craig Rhos-y-Felin is a bluestone outcrop on the north side of the Preseli Mountains. Evidence suggests that this site was used as a quarry during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, around 4000 to 5000 years ago. Craig Rhos-y-Felin is known for being one of the sites where some of the bluestones that form Stonehenge's inner horseshoe were quarried. But in fact, just one of these bluestones pillars were quarried here. The other site is known as Carn Goedog and it's where the majority of the bluestones were quarried. Bluestone outcrops are formed of natural vertical pillars. These pillars can easily be extract off the rock face by opening up the vertical joints between each pillar. It's believed that the Neolithic people needed only to insert wedges into the joints between the pillars and then lower each pillar to the foot of the outcrop. Craig Rhos-y-Felin is located near Crymych in Pembrokeshire, Wales. © All rights reserved

Carn Enoch and the mysterious rock with tally marks

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Carn Enoch is an ancient settlement on Dinas Mountain. It comprises rock outcrops and a possible ring cairn or hut circle. It's amusing walking around the rock outcrops and finding some interesting formations. A closer look reveals man-made cuts that appear to be very precise. But the most interesting sight is the rock with tally marks. The origin of these marks are a bit of a mystery. Nobody really knows what they mean. Some people suggested that they could be a lunar calendar. Others believe that the grooves were created by shaping and polishing stone axes in the Neolithic period. But there is also an interesting theory told to us by a local. Legend has it that when the ancient pilgrims walked past the stone on their way across the pilgrim path, they marked the stone to let other pilgrims know that they have passed that point. This was their way of communication. Carn Enoch is located near Fishguard in Wales. © All rights reserved

Silbury Hill

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Silbury Hill is one of the largest prehistoric human-made mounds in the world. It's believed to have been built between 2470 and 2350 BC. Its original purpose is unknown. The mound is composed mainly of chalk and clay and it stands about 30 metres high. The mound we see today was not constructed in a single campaign, but enlarged over several generations. The mound was excavated in 1776 by Edward Drax, who directed a group of miners to dig a vertical shaft from the summit to the centre of the mound. Edward Drax expected to find a central burial chamber, but he didn't find anything. The mound was excavated again in 1849. This time, a horizontal tunnel was dug into the mound. Again, no central burial chamber was found. Between 1968 and 1970, another tunnel was excavated. This investigation led to the conclusion that Silbury Hill had three different phases of construction. The tunnels were never backfilled which contributed to the opening of a crater on the summit and the collapsi

Stones of Avebury

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Avebury is a village in the county of Wiltshire in England known for containing a significant number of ancient monuments. The most famous monument is the Avebury Stone Circle. Avebury Stone Circle is the world's largest stone circle, comprising of other monuments within it, including a cove and two stone circles. The stone circle is located inside the henge that encircles part of Avebury village. Some stones at Avebury have names and these names are based on the stories that are related to the stones. Most of the stones are part of the stone circles. But two of them form a stone setting that is believed to be older than the stone circles. DEVIL'S CHAIR This stone got its name from a naturally formed seat on one side of the stone. Directly above the seat is a hole known as "chimney". Legend has it that if you run around the stone anti-clockwise, you will summon the Devil. RING STONE The Ring Stone is a broken piece of stone once smashed by an enraged church minister.

Cerrig Duon Complex

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The Cerrig Duon Complex consists of a stone circle, stone rows, a standing stone and an arrangement of stones. These monuments date back to the Bronze Age period (between 2500 - 800 BC) and probably were part of a ceremonial site. The stone circle comprises 20 stones that rise to no more than 0.6m in height. There are two stone rows nearby the stone circle but it can be very difficult to see them because of their size. The Maen Mawr Standing Stone is the largest stone of the complex. This stone aligns with other two small stones. Some people suggest that Maen Mawr acts like the gnomon of a sundial, projecting a shadow that aligns with the small stones on midsummer day. The Compass Stones are an arrangement of stones not very far from the stone circle. The high points of the stones are aligned to the cardinal points. Some people believe that this could have been a cairn. The Cerrig Duon Complex is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. © All rights reserved

Prehistoric Sites in Somerset

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Somerset is a county in Southwest England well known for its prehistoric landscape. The stunning landscape is composed of rolling hills, large flat expanses of land and an extensive coastline. Here we list six prehistoric sites that are worth a visit. CHEDDAR GORGE Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge formed by meltwater floods during the periglacial periods which have occurred over the last 1.2 million years. The gorge is almost 400 feet deep and three miles long. This is England's largest gorge and it consists of crags, pinnacles and caves. The most popular caves known as Gough's Cave and Cox's Cave, were produced by the activity of an underground river called Cheddar Yeo River which emerges in the lower part of Gough's Cave. The caves contain stalagmites and stalactites which can be visited by the general public. Cheddar Gorge is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest known as Cheddar Complex. The gorge is also known for the discovery of Britain's oldest com

The Land of Sarsen Stones

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Sarsen stones are sedimentary rocks mostly made up of quartz sand cemented by silica. The stones are found mostly across England, being Wiltshire the county with the largest amount of these stones. It's believed that they were moved to the area through glacial action during the ice age, around 5 to 10 million years ago. Sarsen stones were used in the construction of ancient monument such as Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circles. But they can also be found scattered naturally across fields. In this post we list 5 places with large amounts of sarsen stones that can be visited in the county of Wiltshire. PIGGLEDENE Piggledene is probably the most famous site of its kind, containing a large amount of sarsen stones scattered across a field. This site is a remnant of a much larger landscape of sandstone periglacial deposits. Many of the stones have been removed in the past to provide building materials in the area. It's possible to see where the stones were worked, split and cut. It&#

Ruinas de Todos Santos

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The archaeological site of "Todos Santos" was discovered in 1972 during the excavations for the construction of a house. It consists of a complex of stone buildings constructed in different periods of time by different cultures: the indigenous Canari, the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors. The structure with limestone walls was constructed by the Canaris between 750 AD and 1463 AD for the purpose of housing. The Inca wall with trapezoidal niches and lintels was built between 1463 AD and 1533 AD for military purposes. A system of aqueducts was also unearthed. The stone mills were built by the Spanish conquistadors between 1533 AD and 1822 AD for the purpose of grains productions. They also built an aqueduct to provide water for the mills. It's unclear if these different cultures interacted with each other at some point in history. The site of Ruinas de Todos Santos is located in the city of Cuenca in Ecuador. © All rights reserved

Top Ancient Sites in Somerset

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Somerset is a rural county in South West England, offering a wide range of prehistoric landscapes in addition to impressive ancient sites. The county has a long history of settlement and is known to have been settled from Palaeolithic times. It's steeped in history and folklore, making it the perfect place to explore England's past. Here is a list of the top ancient sites in this amazing county. GLASTONBURY TOR Glastonbury Tor is certainly one of the most iconic ancient sites in England. It's a hill with a 14th century tower on its top which is all that remains of St. Michael's Church. Glastonbury Tor is a conical hill that rises 158m above the Avalon Marshes. Its peculiar shape is due to a combination of the unusual geology and the distinctive terraces surrounding the hill. The top of the hill is formed from a succession of rocks assigned to the Bridport Sand Formation. These rocks sit upon clay and limestones deposited during the early Jurassic Period. Read more about