Celebrating Your New Henge


Mike Parker Pearson and team have excavated part of a huge Neolithic settlement at Durrington Walls above the Salisbury plain, not far from Stonehenge. Finds are abundant and suggest that the place was a seasonal ceremonial feasting site. Says MPP, “We’re talking Britain’s first free festival. It’s part of attracting a labour force – throwing a big party”. And you know what that labour force did? Yep, among other tasks they pulled massive blocks of rock on sledges from Wales to Wiltshire and built something that still stands after several millennia.

I wish the Neolithic record in the Lake Mälaren provinces were as weirdly ostentatious and irrational as the British, Scanian and Danish ones. We do get a mortuary hut or two (me and Clas Hadevik dug the one at Bollbacken in 1993, right after my friend Jonathan Lindström had excavated the one at Gläntan), but that’s small potatoes compared to British henges and cursi, or South Scandinavian causewayed enclosures. I guess the most reasonable way to make a living in my area back then was as an epineolithic Pitted Ware seal hunter or a peripheral Corded Ware wannabe shepherd.

Read more at BBC and Times Online. Thanks to Greenman Tim and Christina Reid for the info.

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