Thursday 6 April 2023

Stonehenge: The Little ‘Big Other’ Author: Mike Parker Pearson

Stonehenge: The Little ‘Big Other’

Mike Parker Pearson

Journal of Urban Archaeology 2023 7:, 147-168

The distribution of Late Neolithic henges and stone circles (c.3600 - 2300 BC) in central southern England. Drawing by Irene de Luis. Click to embiggen.


Whilst Stonehenge cannot be considered urban, this famous stone circle was part of a much larger complex which included not only other monuments and significant topographic features but also extensive areas of late Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement during 2500-2200 bc. The unusually large settlement at Durrington Walls, less than 3 km to the east of Stonehenge, appears to have been occupied primarily seasonally and by people who brought their livestock from many different parts of Britain. With the arrival of Beaker-users, the settlement focus shifted to the west of Stonehenge. There is growing evidence that the Stonehenge complex was not a central place but a ‘peripheral place’, located on what may have been a long-term cultural boundary within southern Britain. 

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