Saturday 15 June 2024

A well travelled ceremonial macehead from West Kennet

 A fascinating study of another stone brought into the ancient Wessex landscape.

"While it is not possible to suggest a geographical origin for the rock at this stage of research,nonetheless it is very exotic for this region. The nearest in situ sources are c. 150 km away, and would be Cornubia in southwest England, or southwest Wales;other possibilities include North Wales, the English Lake District and northeast England. Fine-grained acid to intermediate microporphyritic rocks are widespread within ‘highland’ Britain from Cornubiato Scotland and this would include the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland, which is the source of the lumps of granodiorite (‘grus’) recently excavated from the Late Neolithic post-holes of the West Kennet Palisade located 1 km to the south of the WKAOS (Gillings et al.2022; Ixer et al. 2022)....

The production of the WKAOS macehead is in keeping with many other maceheads in Britain. Its manufacture involved a series of techniques (pecking, grinding, boring, polishing etc.) that were used in the production of a number of different tools and ornaments. This is not to say, however, that its making did not require skill and certainly it would have been a labour intensive process. No use-related traces are visible on the surviving surface of the macehead, yet there are clear traces that emerge from the relationship between the macehead and its wooden haft. What our analysis highlights is that the hafting of the macehead was not one single moment in its life, but was repeated multiple times...."

Tsoraki, C., R. E. Bevins, R. Ixer, N. Pearce, J. Pollard and B. Chan 2024. Object histories in prehistoric Britain: a stone macehead from the West Kennet Avenue occupation site, Southern Britain. In A. Verbaas, G. Langejans, A. Little and B. Chan (eds), Artefact biographies from Mesolithic and Neolithic Europe and beyond. Papers in honour of prof. dr. Annelou van Gijn, pp.169-182. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 52. Leiden: Sidestone Press.. 10.59641/pp090sb. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome on fresh posts - you just need a Google account to do so.