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21 October 2013
Archaeologists to restore dolmen In Cornwall

Archaelogists are to finally start work on reconstructing Giant's Quoit, a portal dolmen built 5,000 years ago by Neolithic man living near Camborne (Cornwall, England). Following three years of fundraising the ancient scheduled monument is being restored with final excavations taking place between October 21 and 31 with an open day scheduled for the 27th.
     "The 5,000-year-old ruined Neolithic monument was sitting in a beautiful landscape, part of an old estate, which had lost its manor house when the mining industry had gone into decline. Currently the Quoit stones are spread around the site where the excavation will take place, and weather permitting we anticipate the erection of the first support stone, or orthostat, during the morning of 31st October," said Pip Richards, director of the Sustainable Trust. The Sustainable Trust, which owns the field, known as Cromlech Parc or Frying Pan Field, has £55,000 funding to carry out the work, which has been approved by English Heritage.
     Ms Richards added: "Restoration to the second and third orthostats will be in spring with the capstone placed near midsummers day in 2014." There will also be educational and outreach events taking place throughout this period. She added: "Bringing Neolithic history into focus through what was once considered just a pile of old stones, and giving the local community something to be proud of, makes us happy to undertake the work. So much good feeling and encouragement was engendered during the last phase of the project, it makes it all worthwhile."
     Volunteers have also pledged to carry on the work after taking part in the first phase of archaeological investigations last year. A film, depicting the site's history and archaeological significance is being made, and a bi-lingual ballad is also being commissioned along with the creation of a special App to help guide visitors around the site. Several exhibitions and talks will be held along with education days for schools once the work has been completed.
     "We can only guess the original uses prehistoric man had for these monuments. Burials and ancestor worship are thought to have occurred here," Added Ms Richards. "This is the only such monument in the area, as most of the existing quoits are on the moorlands of west Penwith," she said.
     Visit giantsquoit.org for more information on this project.

Edited from This is Cormwall (17 October 2013), Culture24 (18 October 2013)

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