Life Amongst the Rubbish: Middening and Conspicuous Consumption at Durrington Walls

Ben Chan

Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, S1 4ET. Email: benjamin.t.y.chan@googlemail.com

Cite this as: B. Chan 2009 'Life Amongst the Rubbish: Middening and Conspicuous Consumption at Durrington Walls', Internet Archaeology 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.26.2

Summary

Recent excavations at Durrington Walls have revealed a series of archaeological remains unparalleled in southern Britain. The most artefact-rich part of the site lies just outside the eastern entrance to the henge where a series of five houses was discovered flanking the Durrington Avenue. These houses were surrounded by a large midden that comprised a massive quantity of animal bone, pottery and worked flint. The number of articulated animal bones within the midden is suggestive of large-scale and 'wasteful' feasting episodes. This article presents the preliminary analysis of the worked stone from the midden. Durrington Walls represents a site of massive consumption: consumption of labour, wood, meat, pottery and worked stone. The material from the midden will be understood in these terms, as an act of massive, final and conspicuous consumption.

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