Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain

By Francis Pryor

A energetic and authoritative research into the lives of our ancestors, in response to the revolution within the box of Bronze Age archaeology which has been happening in Norfolk and the Fenlands during the last 20 years, and during which the writer has performed a principal role.

One of the main haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of modern instances was once the uncovering in 1998 at low tide of the so-called Seahenge off the north coast of Norfolk. This circle of wood planks set vertically within the sand, with a wide inverted tree-trunk within the heart, likened to a ghostly ‘hand achieving up from the underworld’, has now been dated again to round 2020 BC. The timbers are at present (and controversially) within the author’s safekeeping at Flag Fen.

Francis Pryor and his spouse (an professional in historical wood-working and research) were on the centre of Bronze Age fieldwork for almost 30 years, piecing jointly the lifestyle of Bronze Age humans, their cost of the panorama, their faith and rituals. The recognized wetland websites of the East Anglian Fens have preserved ten instances the data in their dryland opposite numbers like Stonehenge and Avebury, within the kind of pollen, leaves, wooden, hair, pores and skin and fibre discovered ‘pickled’ in dust and peat.

Seahenge demonstrates how a lot Western civilisation owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe within the final 4 millennia BC.

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Those gold gadgets are from Barrow G. eight at Wilsford, Wiltshire (2000–1800 BC): a wide conical button(top centre); pendants, maybe worn on a ribbon or as a part of a necklace (lower left); and goldcovered amber discs (right). strong humans in groups outdoors Wessex copied the richness of Wessex tradition burials. those gold gravegoods (a adorned plate, most likely worn at the chest, and items of a miniature drum-like field) are from a barrow at Little Cressingham, Norfolk (2000–1800 BC). even though superficially superb, shut exam of the workmanship exhibits it to be not as good as that of the real Wessex master-craftsman. high-quality goldwork used to be performed in different components of england. the intense sheet-gold cape from mould, Flintshire, Wales, was once present in 1833. It coated a physique which lay below a stone mound, or cairn, in a gravel pit (2000–1800 BC). colossal status stones weren't limited to Neolithic and Bronze Age non secular websites in Britain by myself. The Carnac alignments have been erected close to the coast of Brittany throughout the overdue Neolithic interval, round 3500 to 2500 BC. The aerial photo which first printed the faint cropmarks of the Etton causewayed enclosure (3800 BC). The darkish swirl is the mark left through an previous process the river Welland. the trench of the causewayed enclosure is a curving damaged line to its correct. at the different part of the river are the parallel furrows of the medieval box method and ring ditches of Bronze Age barrows. The Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Etton was once a sacred position, and traditional items have been taken care of in detailed methods. Corn-grinding stones, or querns, have been symbols of household existence, and this massive instance (it is part a metre lengthy) was once buried in a pit, on facet — a place suggesting that the stone can't be used. some of the most outstanding aerial pictures of British archaeology, taken through J. ok. St Joseph in July 1951. It exhibits cropmarks south of Maxey church, Cambridgeshire. within the foreground are the marks of the double-ditched Maxey nice Henge and the 2 parallel ditches of the Maxey Cursus (about 3500 BC) operating north. The fast results of de-watering on waterlogged Neolithic wooden (3800 BC) at Etton. The piece along the dimensions looks sound whilst nonetheless in position within the floor. The speedy results of de-watering on waterlogged Neolithic wooden (3800 BC) at Etton. while lifted, its underside is visible to be deeply cracked. proof for what occurred above flooring within the Bronze Age is unusual. the bottom of a notched log ladder (1000 BC) was once chanced on on the backside of a big quarry pit at Fengate. The notched log ladder from the Fengate quarry pit. it's been conscientiously complete and the bark got rid of. The wooden used is alder, a tree which likes turning out to be in tremendous rainy stipulations (the scale is six inches long). A notched log ladder within the courtyard of a disused Tibetan Buddhist temple at Namgyaling close to Marpha, within the Himalayas north of Kathmandu, Nepal. Ladders just like this have been in universal use in Bronze Age Britain. They have been changed through ladders with rungs in Roman occasions.

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