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Recent Investigations at Two Long Barrows and Reflections on their Context in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and EnvironsOpen Data

D. Roberts*ORCID logo1, A. Valdez-TullettORCID logo 2, P. MarshallORCID logo 3, J. Last2 A. OswaldORCID logo 4, A. Barclay5, B. Bishop6, E. Dunbar7, A. ForwardORCID logo 8, M. LawORCID logo 9, 10, N. Linford2, P. LinfordORCID logo 2, I. López-DórigaORCID logo 5, A. Manning5, A. PayneORCID logo 2, R. PellingORCID logo 2, A. Powell5, P. ReimerORCID logo11, M. RussellORCID logo 2, F. Small12, S. SoutarORCID logo 12, J. Vallender2, E. Winter13 and F. WorleyORCID logo 2

1. Historic England, 37 Tanner Row, York YO1 6WP. *Corresponding author. Email: david.roberts@historicengland.org.uk
2. Historic England, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth PO4 9LD
3. Historic England, The Atrium Building, Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2YA
4. Department of Archaeology, University of York YO1 7EP
5. Wessex Archaeology, Portway House, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury SP4 6EB
6. Independent Researcher
7. Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, University of Glasgow, East Kilbride G75 0QF
8. Cardiff University, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU
9. L-P Archaeology, Unit i5, Woodside, Dunmow Road, Bishop's Stortford CM23 5RF
10. Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Bath BA2 9BN
11. 14CHRONO Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT9 6AX
12. Historic England, Engine House, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EH
13. Headland Archaeology, 13 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HE

Cite this as: Roberts, D. et al. 2018 Recent Investigations at Two Long Barrows and Reflections on their Context in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and Environs, Internet Archaeology 47. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.47.7

Summary

The Winterbourne Stoke landscape. A reconstruction by Eleanor Winter © Historic England

Recent geophysical surveys and excavations at Druid's Lodge Estate, in fields west of the Diamond Wood in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SWHS), have confirmed the existence of the Winterbourne Stoke 71 long barrow and discovered a new long barrow (Winterbourne Stoke 86) a short distance to the south. Survey and excavation show internal features at both barrows and, alongside aerial photography, suggest that both monuments were destroyed during later prehistory. These barrows are part of a cluster around the head of the Wilsford dry valley. We review long barrows in the SWHS and environs to contextualise these discoveries, demonstrating a diversity of internal features, barrow sizes and morphologies. Chronological modelling is used to place the SWHS barrows in their inter-regional timescape and to understand the timings of the first appearance of monument types of the 4th millennium cal BC. Local topography appears to be the key factor in determining the alignment of long barrows, but the eastern ends of barrows appear to be significant. Long barrows are also considered in relation to causewayed enclosures, and movement around the landscape. Long barrows are an important structuring monument in the later Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, but their importance is mediated by their location relative to Stonehenge, and access to the monument from the south. There is a clear pattern of differential preservation of long barrows away from the vicinity of Stonehenge. Further field research is necessary to achieve a better understanding of long barrows in the SWHS, and it is hoped that this article stimulates interest in these highly significant monuments. This article also provides an interactive map of the SWHS, linking to simplified plans of long barrows in the study area, additional information and references for further reading for each barrow. Appendices are provided containing specialist methodologies and/or data from the geophysical surveys and the Historic England excavation, and primary excavation data from the Historic England excavation is downloadable via the Archaeology Data Service (Historic England 2018).

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