BU research in action at Stonehenge Visitor Centre


A series of reconstructed Neolithic houses have opened at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre, with Bournemouth University research used as the basis for the reconstruction.

Original remains of Neolithic houses were uncovered at the Stonehenge site during the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which involved Bournemouth University staff and students.  The houses, at Durrington Walls, date to the time in which Stonehenge was constructed and are likely to represent the houses of those who were involved with building the monument.

Dr Kate Welham, one of the Co-Directors of the Stonehenge Riverside, said, “I feel immensely proud that the hard work by our archaeology students has ultimately contributed to this fantastic visitor experience at Stonehenge.  To see the result of our research presented in such an imaginative way is extremely exciting, and for it to be such as major part of the visitor experience is a real reflection of just what an important part of the Stonehenge story this work is.”

There are over a million visitors to Stonehenge each year, and the new Visitor Centre, including the work of academics and students from BU, was created to give more information and context about the history of Stonehenge. The new houses take centre stage at the Centre as they are based just outside.

Dr Kate Welham continued, “The houses are really important and such a key feature of the World Heritage Site that English Heritage decided to make them a major part of the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre.  They have reconstructed them and there are five houses which visitors can go into and explore what it might have been like to be living in the Neolithic time. They have been carefully reconstructed using traditional techniques and the original plans and finds from our excavations.

“It is also extremely unusual to find houses from this period and therefore they are extremely important archaeologically, beyond even their relationship with Stonehenge.”

To engage with the Stonehenge Landscape and learn more about the houses and the Stonehenge Riverside Project, download the Google Earth layer – Seeing Beneath Stonehenge.

Dr Philip Alford comments on keyword advertising for BBC article

Dr Philip Alford, director of the Digital Hub at Bournemouth University, spoke about whether keyword advertising on search engines is effective in an article on the BBC Technology website.

Companies can pay to have keyword advertising, which means that their website appears more prominently when a person searches for a particular term related to them.

But a recent eBay study found that most people who visited their site as a result of keyword advertising would have done so anyway.

Dr Alford, a senior lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Marketing at BU, said that eBay was an established brand and that keyword advertising may be more useful for smaller companies.

“eBay has become a household brand name, they already have a highly engaged user base,” said Dr Alford, adding that many people would search for the website directly.

“With Google ad words, particularly for smaller organisations, it can make a lot of sense because for some of them, their websites aren’t at a stage yet where they have been sufficiently indexed by Google, so they struggle to come up in natural searches for terms.”

You can read the full article here