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Chapter 1 Journal Activity

Stonehenge in Context


While Stonehenge is by far the most prominent feature in the area, it’s hardly the oldest. It comes toward the end of a long line of Neolithic stone and earthen monuments found throughout the UK and illustrates a wide array of regional concepts which must have been thoroughly understood from time immemorial. But locally it’s merely one element in a four-dimensional arena which includes Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, Bluestonehenge, the Cursus and the River Avon. Nearby, the vastly old, so-called Car Park Totems channel the later plains Indians of North America, although these enormous posts may never be fully understood. Coneybury Henge, Robin Hood’s Ball and a number of significant long barrows are only a few among those on the long list of precedents.

A mile or so east of Stonehenge, at the north end of a thickly wooded area known as Vespasian’s Camp, is a site that was in continuous use from Mesolithic times well into the Bronze Age. At a warm spring called Blick Mead is found an old stopover for hunters and flint knappers which eventually morphed into a settled trading venue. It’s swiftly becoming clear this long-lived encampment played a significant role in the area’s development.

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