Seahenge II

Seahenge 2 Seahenge II (WNKLAS 2013)

Seahenge II image, 2013: The seahenge II image was taken on 21st June 2013, during a West Norfolk and King's Lynn Archaeological Society and Nautical Archaeology Society visit. It was quite unexpected to come across the seahenge II (adjacent by a few hundred meters to the excavated seahenge site - now in Lynn Museum). This site appears, but is regularly been re-covered naturally by sand and mud. It has not been observed since that day and others have failed to note it on the beach, so it is rather a ghostly figure of a monument. It dates closely to the seahenge I, c.2049 BC (dendro-chronological date from timber samples). The society hopes that later in the year, or next year when tides are appropriate, to re-visit and survey the timbers in situ as no monitoring is occurring, as we understand it, of this earlier Bronze Age monument.

Its function must be similar to seahenge I, linked to burial, or the exposure of a body or body parts to the elements (excarnation), so birds and perceived spirits can take the soul of the departed to the next life! This is often referred to in anthropological circles as 'sky burial' as is practiced by Buddhist monks in Nepal. Of course, seahenge I, had the central upturned tree in the centre, linking the routes of the tree with the sky and the body laid out on the roots, with the tree bark and central stem, into the ground (where other spirits may have been perceived as dwelling). It is not clear if there was a similar element to Seahenge II - it may be eroded away, or simply not recorded as yet

The Original Seahenge

Seahenge (the Original)

From Dr Clive Bond

Seahenge 1998 Seahenge, 1998 Photograph
Seahenge I, images, 1998: The images P1010062 and P1010071, date back to the October 1998, when I visited the Holme-next-to-Sea beach when I came back from college (I had started a full-time PhD scholarship at the University of Winchester on prehistoric settlement). I visited on a weekend day afternoon and met many archaeologists working against the tide, to record the final quarter of the circle (Seahenge I, dated by dendro-chronology to 2050-48 BC, in brush wood and phragmites peat setting behind sand dunes), before it was lifted. It was very windy, with showers, with the sea water coming in, filling trenches. I met staff from NAU (Norfolk Archaeological Unit) who I'd worked with in September 1998, as part of the Time Team Bawsey Big Dig weekend.

Seahenge at dusk Seahenge, at twilight (1998)

Many were very upset, working at this location against the weather and odds, as they had been threatened by visitors to the beach, including selected elements of the pagan community and others, angry that the archaeologists moved the wood. It was seen as desecrating an ancient and deeply special religiously important site. That, is certainly a viewpoint and is the monument certainly did relate to the world of the ancestors for early Bronze Age people. I believe, this ritual and spiritual side of the monument and its landscape setting is still not adequately addressed by people, or in displays and exhibitions. Indeed, like Stonehenge and the solstice celebrations, out own seahenge touched a nerve with many with different and diverse beliefs and practices, which should be listened to, even if not fully understood by us. It was a difficult time - there was certainly a presence and beauty with this setting, the circle of wood upright posts, mirroring the sea/horizon arch across the beach.

Seahenge Reconstruction, Summer 2012: The Conference flyer attached (I organised a conference on West Norfolk Archaeology in 2012) has a picture of the reconstruction of Seahenge on its front. I gave a paper about the unique prehistory of West Norfolk, including the seahenge, the only one in the World (Save its sister monument on the beach). This reconstruction was completed by Time Team as part of a special Christmas special programme. It is still upstanding, in Thornham on a farm.

Tour of Historic Hardwick Cemetery (Sunday 11th June 2017)

Dr Paul Richards will be conducting a tour called 'Mariners, Merchants and Industrialists' at Hardwick Cemetery starting at the gates at 2pm (Charge £4).

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St Martha's Test Pits (Sunday 25th June 2017: 11am)

Archaeology demonstration at St Martha's Roman Catholic Primary School Summer Fete. The location is off Roseberry Avenue, Field Lane, Gaywood.

Binham History Group(Friday 23rd June to Sunday 25 June 2017: 9am start)

Investigation of an area identified by GeoPhysics and fieldwalking. Test pitsbeing dug over three days, all welcome.

Historic Pubs of Lynn (Friday 23rd June 2017)

Dr Paul Richards will be conducting a tour called 'Historic Pubs in Lynn' starting at True's Yard 6pm (Charge £5).

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Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know? (28th July 2017)

A public illustrated lecture to be held at St. Margaret's Minister, 4:30pm, by Dr. Laura Kalas Williams, Research Associate and Tutor, Department of English, the University Exeter.

Margery Kempe's boisterous mysticism and medicine: uncovered!. Tickets available from True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum £5


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Society Conference (25th November 2017)

Will be held at Marriott's Warehouse Trust, South Quay, King's Lynn, 10:00-17:00, Saturday 25th November. The subject is 'Women in the Archaeology and History of West Norfolk: Female Voices Across Time'. Places are free but limited and may be booked from True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum