It was long thought that huge and complex monuments like Mount Pleasant in Dorset had developed over many centuries – but new dating evidence suggests that the diverse elements of this site came together much faster than previously imagined, with intriguing implications for our understanding of these late Neolithic enclosures. Carly Hilts reports.
Happy New Year! It always feels odd when I sit to write my December letter, knowing that I am addressing you in a different year – and the past year has been a particularly strange one, both in our own lives and for archaeological fieldwork. I hope 2021 brings brighter times for us all – and I look forward to joining you there in a few weeks!
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.