search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Early Neolithic Enclosure Found in England

Friday, February 09, 2018

England Neolithic enclosureBERKSHIRE, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that a section of a 5,500-year-old causewayed enclosure, complete with encircling ditches and boundaries with gap entrances, has been uncovered at a quarry in southeast England. Wessex Archaeology researchers expect to find the rest of the oval-shaped monument intact. “So that will mean we’ve got a much better picture and an understanding of the site as a whole,” said fieldwork director John Powell. The bones of deer, foxes, cattle, pigs, and sheep or goats, and deliberately smashed, decorated pottery suggest the site was used as a ceremonial gathering place. Residues in the pottery vessels will be tested to try to determine what they held. Leaf-shaped flint arrowheads, serrated blades, stone axes, and grinding stones have also been found at the site, which may have been a seasonally wet landscape on the floodplain of the Thames River at the time the enclosure was in use. Human remains have also been recovered at the site. Osteoarchaeologist Jaqueline McKinley said the skull and left femur had been removed from one body, and cut marks were found on a skull placed in the bottom of a ditch. “Some causewayed enclosures don’t contain much in the way of artifacts,” Powell said, “whereas this one seems very rich in artifacts, which will be significant for the understanding of the Early Neolithic in Britain.” For more, go to “Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement