PODCAST #26 | The Coneybury Anomaly at Stonehenge

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In 1980, archaeologist Julian Richards was invited to direct the 'Stonehenge Environs Project' which had been conceived to better understand the landscape surrounding the monument and to work out ways in which it could be better managed and preserved for the future. Part of the work involved the partial excavation of a small henge on Coneybury Hill, to the south-east of Stonehenge. This proved fruitful in many ways and the Coneybury Henge now stands as a significant monument in its own right.

However, lying just outside the henge, the magnetometer survey revealed an 'anomaly' which turned out to be a large pit, 2 metres across and 1.2 metres deep containing a huge collection of Neolithic pottery, animal bones and flint tools, deposited around 3900BC, over a thousand years before the henge was built.

The sheer volume of the deposits is intriguing, but the unique mix of lithics and animal bones in the pit perhaps tell the story of one particular event that happened in this landscape one day, six thousand years ago.

The paper from which we have taken our information “A Meeting in the Forest: Hunters and Farmers at the Coneybury ‘Anomaly’, Wiltshire can be accessed at Cambridge University Press.

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