Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Stonehenge Landscape Survey

Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society





Analytical Surveys of Stonehenge and its Immediate Environs, 2009–2013: Part 1 – the Landscape and Earthworks



By DAVID FIELD, NEIL LINFORD, MARTYN BARBER, HUGO ANDERSON-WHYMARK, MARK BOWDEN,
PETER TOPPING and PAUL LINFORD
With contributions by
MARCUS ABBOTT, PAUL BRYAN, DEBORAH CUNLIFFE, CAROLINE HARDIE, LOUISE MARTIN, ANDY PAYNE, TREVOR PEARSON, FIONA SMALL, NICKY SMITH, SHARON SOUTAR and HELEN WINTON


Integrated non-invasive survey in the Stonehenge ‘triangle’, Amesbury, Wiltshire, has highlighted a number of features that have a significant bearing on the interpretation of the site. Among them are periglacial and natural topographical structures, including a chalk mound that may have influenced site development. Some geophysical anomalies are similar to the post-holes in the car park of known Mesolithic date, while others beneath the barrows to the west may point to activity contemporary with Stonehenge itself. Evidence that the ‘North Barrow’ may be earlier in the accepted sequence is presented and the difference between the eastern and western parts of the enclosure ditch highlighted, while new data relating to the Y and Z Holes and to the presence of internal banks that mirror their respective circuits is also outlined.

Conclusions:

Multi-disciplinary, non-invasive, analytical survey techniques
have produced a considerable amount of fresh
data relating to the chronological depth and spatial
relationship of sites and features across the ‘triangle’
which provides a broader context for the pivotal
monument of Stonehenge. The latter can now be seen as
part of a suite of immediately adjacent ceremonial and
burial monuments, the earliest of which may be a small
formerly unrecognised Cranborne Chase-style long
barrow, while several others with henge-like affinities
might be expected to fit within a 3rd millennium BC
cultural spectrum and to have been contemporary with
one or more of the Stonehenge phases.....On the ground
the presence of subtle earthworks at Stonehenge has
an important bearing on the interpretation of the
structural phasing of the site, for while some features
attest to the attrition of the historic period, others are
undoubtedly ancient and add new details relating to the
enclosure ditch, Y and Z Holes, the possibility that the
‘North Barrow’ is an earlier feature, and introduce a
previously unobserved mound amongst the stones. Laser
scanning of the ground surface has provided a detailed
record of subtle undulations that depict the site’s
chronological and cultural biography. Accompanying
these data are the high-resolution GPR results collected
over the Stonehenge monument which successfully
revealed a series of anomalies to complement both
existing geophysical data sets and the earthwork
surveys. Deeper lying geological anomalies, possibly
flint seams or layers of marl within the chalk, have also
been revealed beneath the site although it is unclear
whether these might have once had surface expression.....



Lots of fascinating stuff - get a copy.

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