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Durrington Walls, Wiltshire: recent excavations at a ceremonial site of the early second millennium B.C.

  • J. F. S. Stone, Stuart Piggott and A. St. J. Booth

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The site known as Durrington Walls, in the parish of Durrington, Wiltshire (Nat. Grid Ref. 41/150437), has been known as an antiquity since the early nineteenth century, when its bank and ditch was recorded by Colt Hoare (Anc. Wilts. (1812), i, 169) and included by him in his map of the Stonehenge region. The nature of this vast enclosure, some 1,720 by 1,470 ft. in dimensions, with an average diameter of 1,600 ft., and an originally huge internal ditch and outer rampart enclosing the head of a combe above the river Avon, was not, however, appreciated until 1929, when the first serious study of the site was made by O. G. S. Crawford (Antiq. iii (1929), 49-59). In this account, which includes the first accurate plan of the monument and corrects serious errors in previous descriptions, Durrington Walls was recognized as one of a class of ceremonial monuments of the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age which included Avebury, Arbor Low, and many others, and consisting of a roughly circular area enclosed by a bank with internal ditch having two (or exceptionally at Avebury four) entrances, and in some instances at least standing stones within the area.

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page 169 note 1 For ease of reference, the Durrington sherds are numbered with a prefixed ‘D’, with reference to figs. 7 and 8 of this paper, and the Woodhenge pottery with a prefixed ‘W’ and the numbers as in Cunnington , Woodhenge (1929), pls. 2638.

page 169 note 2 Pottery of the types under discussion was originally defined as ‘Grooved Ware’ by one of us in 1936 ( Proc. Prehist. Soc. ii (1936), 191) , but it is now suggested that it should be referred to as Rinyo-Clacton Ware ( Piggott, , Neo. Cultures of Brit. Isles, 322).

page 177 note 1 Philippe, , Cinq Annfes des Fouilles … 36.

Durrington Walls, Wiltshire: recent excavations at a ceremonial site of the early second millennium B.C.

  • J. F. S. Stone, Stuart Piggott and A. St. J. Booth

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