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PATHWAYS TO THE PAST 2015

This 9th annual year of walks and talks was another very successful weekend. It began on Saturday May 30th with a guided walk by Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis entitled Catching the light of the sun and moon. The circular walk started at the Mên-an-Tol , where the lunar standstill was explained, whereby the full moon would have shone through the holed stone. Then a walk across the bluebell-strewn moors led to the Nine Maidens stone circle, with the truncated outlier stone that marked the midsummer solstice sunset. From here the walk continued to Bosiliack Barrow, with its midwinter solstice sunrise alignment, before returning to the start. In the afternoon David Giddings took the group to Nanjulian Courtyard House settlement in a walk entitled Living on the Edge. The features of the settlement were explained, and then the walk continued down the cliff path with stunning views to Nanjulian cove and some barrows on the headland. In the evening Paul Bonnington returned for the ninth year to give this year’s illustrated talk on Hot Metal: the discoveries that changed the world. He showed how the invention of metal making had such a profound effect on Copper and Bronze Age societies, and visited many places in the Near East before bringing the story back to Cornwall.
On the Sunday morning, archaeologist Charlie Johns gave a beautiful slide presentation on Ancient sites on the Isles of Scilly, in which he was able to show not only the wide variety of sites in their context, but also the up-to-date research that has been going on over there. This was followed in the afternoon by a guided walk and poems (entitled Stories in the Stones) with Adrian Rodda, who this year took a record 56 people to sites in the Merry Maidens area, including the Pipers and Gûn Rith standing stones, holed stones as a gatepost and in a farm wall, two crosses, the stone circle, Tregiffian barrow, and a little-known outlying stone to the circle. Finally, the codicile to the weekend was a fascinating talk by John Moss at the North Inn at Pendeen on Dowsing at ancient sites. This completed a weekend of much interest and discussion of ideas, good friendships made and renewed, and some splendid weather for all the walks.
The date for the 10th anniversary weekend in 2016 is Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. Make a note in your diaries and don’t miss this popular event!ning 07927 671612, or by e-mailing: focus@cornishancientsites.com

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