Archaeological investigations 3km from Stonehenge have revealed a series of massive pits possibly representing a late Neolithic circular boundary centred on the Durrington Walls ‘superhenge’.
In recent years, a flurry of archaeological work in the Stonehenge landscape has uncovered a wealth of spectacular new details about this area’s prehistoric use. Above all, these findings clearly show that our knowledge of the past is constantly evolving. When it comes to archaeological analysis, there are very few certainties, and re-examining earlier evidence in light of either new finds or the development of new technologies is essential to get nearer to the truth.
Previous isotopic analysis of animal remains from Durrington Walls, a large henge enclosure 3km northeast of Stonehenge, demonstrated that both cattle and pigs were brought to the complex from across Britain (see CA 334). Now, a further study looking at pig bones from three other nearby Neolithic sites, as well as examining the Durrington Wall pigs more thoroughly, has found that this was not an anomaly – it seems that all these complexes served as meeting points for people from across the British Isles.
Any excavation carried out a stone’s throw from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and some of its attendant monuments – Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, and, of course, the eponymous monument – is going to be special. The archaeology uncovered at the former military site at Durrington, comprising (among other features) two post-hole alignments, a Late Iron Age defensive ditch, and evidence of Roman-period settlement, is no exception. The post alignments formed part of the ‘web of interconnectivity’ through the ritual landscape. The Iron Age ditch followed the orientation of the postholes, hinting at continuity of landscape organisation. A bluestone disc found in one of the ditches of the later settlement could represent a prized object collected from Stonehenge in the Roman period.
The discovery of London’s Temple of Mithras enthralled the public and inspired a generation of archaeologists. In 1954, tens of thousands queued for hours to see the newly uncovered Roman remains. Today, the temple has opened to visitors once more, reconstructed close to its original location – CA went along to find out more. Around […]
A newly opened exhibition at Stonehenge documents the diet of the community thought to have been responsible for erecting the main phase of the monument – including the surprisingly far-flung origins of some of their food.
Joe Flatman explores half a century of reports from the past. A selection of articles mentioned by Joe Flatman in this month’s column below can be accessed for free for one month via Exact Editions, starting 6 July. Use the links within the text to jump to the individual articles, or click on the covers below. […]
Glastonbury has a knack of attracting stories. It is a place where legends of a once and future king and feet in ancient time provide a beguiling backdrop to remarkable archaeological remains. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey enticed a succession of investigators in the 20th century, but all of them left their endeavours incompletely published. […]