Sunday, 6 March 2011

A well kept secret

One of Britain's leading experts on the Bronze Age archaeological sites of East Devon will be updating local history enthusiasts on the latest theories about a mysterious water shrine only a few miles outside Exmouth.

Back in the 1920s a Budleigh Salterton amateur archaeologist called George Carter upset the archaeological establishment of his day by publishing what were considered outlandish theories about the meaning of the strange pebble cairns in the area.

Now an international team of researchers led by Professor Christopher Tilley of University College London has shown that George Carter's ideas were well ahead of his time.

There's symbolism in those stones. Professor Christopher Tilley with one of the pebbles for which the Budleigh Salterton area is famous

"Carter may well have the last laugh from his grave!" says Professor Tilley. "Eighty years later most of what we know about the prehistory of the Pebblebed heathlands is due solely to his efforts."

Christopher Tilley's talk 'Jacob's Well - the fascinating story of a Bronze Age water shrine on Woodbury Common' is on Monday 21 March, at 7.30 pm in the Peter Hall, Budleigh Salterton. Entry is £1 for Friends of Fairlynch, £2 for non-members.

The Friends of Fairlynch support and fund-raise for Fairlynch Museum. Annual membership offers unlimited free entrance to the Museum during opening hours, three newsletters annually giving information about the Museum, and a programme of winter talks at a reduced entrance price.

New members, at an annual subscription of £10 per member, are most welcome. Please contact Alexis Zane on 01395 443437.

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