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Friday, 30 October 2015

Dr Nick Snashall talking about Archaeology and Avebury Environs

Yesterday 56 of us were privileged to hear Dr Nick Snashall  talking about recent excavations at West Kennet Avenue over the last 3 years in an exercise called Between the Monuments: Investigating landscapes of residence in the Avebury region c 4000 cal BC- c 1500 cal BC
Nick started by talking about Rough Leaze to the east of the Avebury henge was investigated because it has never been ploughed. What were they looking for? The major questions concerned the people who had visited or lived in this area in 400BC, just before Avebury was constructed; were they living there permanently, or returning? What were they doing?
What has been found? Stakeholes were found below auroch horns possibly indicating these people may have farmed in the area, there's evidence of round bottomed pottery and periglacial stripes which extend beyond the edge of ice sheets.
Tools like stone bone scraper and darts were found in threes and fours; apparently people worked on something and then just dropped their tools where they'd been using them. I know the feeling! Arrows left on graves formed part of mortuary activity. Amazingly the stones may have been dragged along using cords made from nettle and honeysuckle stems.
Other people who have excavated the site include Keiller in 1934-35. William Stukeley drew the area in 1720, and noticed many important features.

You can find out much more about the digs via this blog:
and by following Dr Nick Snashall on Twitter 
Other photos- setting up the refreshments
 and the slide show:

 And the audience.
Brilliant evening, hard to stop people asking questions.

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