Background to the Gazetteer | Table of Contents
|Site name||Avebury Henge|
|Burial codes||4005 4009 4021 4024 4025 4028 4030 4031 4032 4033 4034 4042 4047 4051 4053 4065 4073 4075 4084 4092 4098 4103 4104 4108 4111 4125 4127 4128 4129 4151 4153 4171 4181 4200|
|2500bc-14/1300bc||A sub-circular henge enclosure of unitary construction, defined by a bank (under which was found grooved ware) and inner ditch cut in irregular sections and flat-bottomed. A circle of 98 standing stones was inside the ditch, as were two internal circles of standing stones each with a central structure. There were entrances at the ENE, SSE, WSW and NNW. Although of unitary construction, the henge may have been built over several centuries, and it appears probable that there was an even earlier separate earthwork now covered by the visible bank. There were possible burials at the foot of stones 41 and 102, others in the linking West Kennet Avenue (Site 401), and one in Ditch Cutting IX (Gray 1935). Three very small human skull fragments and 2 plain Beaker sherds were found in stone hole 41.
A contracted skeleton of a female adult was found 1.8m below the top of the silting of Ditch Cutting IX, head to S. The skeleton was surrounded by 23 sarsen stones arranged in a rough oval 2.1m x 1.4m. Three human mandibles were found near and slightly deeper than the skeleton, 2 male and 1 female. Associated with the skeleton were a shaped chalk ball, a large flint core, several flint flakes, sheep metacarpus, and 19 fragments of pottery. Two other potsherds and a flint were found 0.2m below the skeleton. Another human mandible was in the north west part of the Cutting.
Below the skeleton was a large burnt deposit c0.9m in diameter and 0.3m deep with an earthen seam half way through. The deposit contained flint flakes, charcoal, burnt and unburnt animal bone, red deer antler and bone, part of a flint hammerstone, and a human incisor.
Other human skeletal material found at varying depths in cuttings in the ditch include: in I part of a adolescent's lower mandible, a left clavicle, part of a parietal bone, part of a right temporal bone, part of a left fibula of a young female, and part of a clavicle; in II part of a femur and radius, part of a femur and humerus; in VIII part of a left humerus and a left tibia.
The pottery recovered included Windmill Hill, Beaker, Peterborough Ware, and Rinyo-Clacton Ware.
RC: charcoal from old land surface under main henge bank HAR-10500 2240 +/-90, charcoal from old land surface under the henge bank HAR-10063 2430 +/- 80, animal bone from the old land surface NW quadrant HAR-10325 2690 +/- 70, red deer antler from henge bank material HAR-10326 2210 +/- 90, antler from primary fill of henge ditch Cutting I HAR-10502 2350 +/- 90, charcoal from Cutting IX beneath burial in ditch HAR-10064 1740 +/- 80, charcoal from bottom of stone hole 41 HAR-2180 +/- 90, pig bone from bottom of stone hole 44 HAR-10327 1920 +/- 90, charcoal from ash layer in stone hole 44 HAR-9696 130 +/- 110 [anomaly], charcoal from stake holes edging stone hole 8 HAR-10061 480 +/- 70 [anomaly]
|National grid square||SU|
|Bibliographic source||Gray 1934b, Clarke 1936, Smith 1965b, Evans, Pitts and Williams 1985, Harding and Lee 1987, Pitts and Whittle 1992|
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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004