Solving Stonehenge - the archaeological debate

As part of our 150th anniversary celebrations Salisbury Museum is gathering together leading experts on Stonehenge for a public debate about the purpose of the stones. Called Solving Stonehenge, the debate will be the high point of our 150th anniversary conference on 2 and 3 October and will feature contributions from archaeologists who have directed work at the site over the past 20 years.

Stonehenge has been a vital part of the history of Salisbury Museum. The first official guidebook to Stonehenge was published by former Curator and Director Frank Stevens in 1916. The Museum’s collections contain finds from every major excavation at the site and since the Victorian times the Museum has had permanent displays about the monument. More recently the Museum has hosted temporary exhibitions about Stonehenge ranging from Inspired by Stonehenge (souvenirs and contemporary culture inspired by the stones) to Touchstone (contemporary art inspired by the Stonehenge Riverside Project).

Adrian Green, Director of the Museum said ‘this is the first time that all the leading Stonehenge archaeologists have been gathered together for a public debate in recent times. With all their conflicting opinions about the role of the monument, and the opportunity for the public to quiz the experts, this promises to be a thought provoking event.’

The debate speakers will be Professor Tim Darvill, Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Mike Pitts and Julian Richards. The debate will be chaired by Andrew Lawson. There will also be a paper about recent survey work at Stonehenge by English Heritage archaeologist David Field on the afternoon of 2 October and a tour of the Stonehenge landscape on the afternoon of 3 October.

Further details
The Solving Stonehenge debate is part of the 150 Years of Salisbury Museum Conference on 2 and 3 October 2010. Tickets for the conference are £60 for members and £75 for non-members, which includes the full conference programme, buffet and Solving Stonehenge debate on the evening of Saturday 2 October. Separate tickets for the Stonehenge debate are £15.

Further details can be found on this website, or contact Salisbury Museum on 01722 332151 or email For media enquiries speak to Administration and Marketing Officer Sara Willis.