Friday 19 August 2016

Durrington Walls - Post Removal Thoughts.

I have linked before to Gillings, Mark and Pollard, Joshua (2016) Making megaliths: shifting and unstable stones in the Neolithic of the Avebury landscape. Cambridge Archaeological Journal261-32.
where they discuss "the web of practices and transformations bound up in the extraction and movement of megaliths during the Neolithic of southern Britain....their removal, movement and resetting represented a remarkably dynamic and potentially disruptive reconfiguration of the world as it was known. Megaliths were never inert or stable matter, and we need to embrace this in our interpretative accounts if we are to understand the very different types of monument that emerged in prehistory as a result "

The discovery that the anomalies under the bank at Durrington Walls were postholes which seem to have only held posts for a short period before they were removed is being interpreted as  that it was "a time of particularly intense religious and political rivalry" with a change of organiser who demanded the posts be removed and a bank erected.

That the posts were carefully removed and not just burnt, chopped or slighted suggests to me that they were treated with some reverence, and as others have suggested were then reused. It may well be that the raising and removal of the posts were all part of the same tradition and yet again we see the evidence of hard work being a demonstration of devotion.

Link to the earlier discussion:

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