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24 April 2010
Final Seahenge oak stump completes museum exhibit

After 12 years of preservation efforts, the 8 foot-high oak tree from the center of the Bronze Age Seahenge timber circle joined the rest of the excavated monument in the Lynn Museum (Norfolk, England). The stump, weighing one and a half tons, had to be lifted in through the front window of the museum. The exhibit, including a replica of the orginal formation, will open this summer. More than 20,000 visitors have already come to see the oak posts since they went on display two years ago.
     The oak posts from the outer circle underwent 10 years of preservation, with techniques similar to those used to preserve the Mary Rose, a warship of Henry VIII. Because of its size, the central oak required an additional two years of work. Funds for the preservation efforts were provided by the Mary Rose Trust of Portsmouth, U.K.
      Dr. Robin Hanley, area museums officer, explained that all of the 4,000 year-old timbers show marks from the individual axes used to harvest the wood. Seahenge was built on the edge of an ancient forest. Carbon and tree ring dating give a date of 2049 BP for the construction of the timber circle. It is the only known site of this kind ever found. A peat bog preserved the stumps after they were covered by sand, and a storm in 1998 revealved the monument.
     Excavation of the site was somewhat controversial. Christine Von Allwoderden, a local resident, commented that she thought the timber circle should have been left in Holme, where it was found.

Source: EDP 24 (18 April 2010)

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