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Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK: High Resolution Geophysical Surveys in the Surrounding Landscape, 2011

  • Timothy Darvill (a1), Friedrich Lüth (a2), Knut Rassmann (a3), Andreas Fischer (a4) and Kay Winkelmann (a5)...

Abstract

An extensive high-resolution geophysical survey covering 2 km2 was undertaken to the north of Stonehenge in June and October 2011. The survey is important in providing, for the first time, abundant detail on the form and structure of the Stonehenge Cursus, including the recognition of entrances in both of the long sides. Much additional information about the internal form of round barrows in the Cursus Round Barrow Cemetery, the course of the Avenue, the course of the so-called Gate Ditch, and numerous tracks and early roads crossing the landscape was recorded. A series of previously unrecognized features were identified: a pit-arc or cove below a barrow on the west side of King Barrow Ridge, a square-shaped feature surrounded by pits on the east side of Stonehenge Bottom, and a linear ditch on the same solstical axis, and parallel to, the southern section of the Stonehenge Avenue. An extensive scatter of small metallic anomalies marking the position of camping grounds associated with the Stonehenge Free Festival in the late 1970s and early 1980s raise interesting conservation and management issues.

En juin et octobre 2011, une vaste prospection géophysique à haute résolution fût effectuée sur une surface de deux kilomètres carrés au nord de Stonehenge. L'importance de cette étude réside dans le fait que pour la première fois on a pu obtenir d'abondants détails sur la forme et la structure du Cursus de Stonehenge, avec l'identification d'entrées sur les deux côtés longs. Une grande quantité d'informations supplémentaires sur la forme interne des tumuli ronds dans le Cursus Round Barrow Cemetery (cimetière des tumuli ronds du Cursus), sur le cours de l'Avenue ainsi que sur le cours du soi-disant Gate Ditch (fossé de la porte) a pu être récoltée. De plus, de nombreuses traces et anciens chemins traversant le paysage ont été enrégistrées. Toute une série de structures non identifiées préalablement ont pu être reconnues: une fosse en forme d'arc ou caverne en-dessous d'un tumulus du côté ouest du King Barrow Ridge, une structure carrée entourée de fosses du côté est de Stonehenge Bottom, et un fossé linéaire sur le même axe solstical et parrallèle à la partie méridionale de la Stonehenge Avenue. Un vaste éparpillement de petites anomalies métalliques marquant l'emplacement du camping associé au Stonehenge Free Festival fin des années 1970 et début des années 1980 soulève un intéressant éventail de questions sur la conservation et la gestion. Translation by Isabelle Gerges.

Zusammenfassung

Im Juni und Oktober 2011 wurde nördlich von Stonehenge eine hochauflösende geophysikalische Prospektion auf einer Gesamtfläche von 2 km2 durchgeführt. Diese Prospektion lieferte zum ersten Mal detaillierte Aufschlüsse über Form und Struktur des Stonehenge Kursus, und es gelang, mehrere Zugänge in beiden Langseiten der Anlage zu identifizieren. Darüberhinaus konnten sehr viele Detailinformationen zur inneren Gliederung und zum Aufbau von Rundhügeln im Barrow Hügelgräberfeld, zum Verlauf der Avenue und zum Verlauf des sogenannten Torgrabens sowie zahlreicher neu entdeckter Wagenspuren gewonnen werden, die kreuz und quer über das gesamte prospektierte Gelände verlaufen. Eine ganze Reihe weiterer bis dato unbekannter Objekte konnte identifiziert werden: eine bogenförmige Grubenstruktur unter einem Grabhügel im Westen des ‘King Barrow Ridge’, eine rechteckige, von Gruben kreisförmig umgebene Struktur östlich des Stonehenge Tiefs, sowie ein linear auf der Sonnenwenden-Achse und parallel zum südlichen Abschnitt der Stonehenge Avenue verlaufender Graben. Ein dichter Schleier von kleinen metallischen Anomalien kennzeichnet die Fläche eines Zeltplatzlagers, das während der Stonehenge Festivals in den späten 70er und frühen 80er Jahren genutzt wurde, und wirft neue Fragen zu Konservierungs- und Managementstrategien auf.

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