Thursday 30 May 2024

The Neolithic Landscape of Avebury and the Kennet Valley

New research "suggests that there is little evidence of widespread woodland removal associated with Neolithic farming and monument building, despite the evidently large timber requirements for Neolithic sites like the West Kennet palisade enclosures. Consequently, there was relatively light human disturbance of the hinterland and valley slopes over the longue durée until the later Bronze Age/Early Iron Age, with a predominance of pasture over arable land. Rather than large Neolithic monument complexes being constructed within woodland clearings, representing ancestral and sacred spaces, the substantially much more open landscape provided a suitable landscape with areas of sarsen spreads potentially easily visible."

FRENCH C, CAREY C, ALLEN MJ, et al. The Alluvial Geoarchaeology of the Upper River Kennet in the Avebury Landscape: a Monumental Transformation of a Stable Landscape. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Published online 2024:1-35. doi:10.1017/ppr.2024.6

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