A new Prehistoric ditched enclosure called Loma del Real Tesoro II (literally ‘Royal Treasure Hill’) has been excavated in Southern Spain, near Carmona (Seville). Works have been carried out there by archaeologists from the ResourceCultures Collaborative Research Centre of Tübingen University (Germany), led by Professor Martin Bartelheim, in collaboration with Leonardo García Sanjuán, from the University of Seville (Spain).
In September 2015, construction works for a new road near Frederikssund, Denmark, led to excavations at a newly discovered Neolithic palisaded enclosure. Torøgelgårdsvej is not a proper ditched enclosure. Instead, it is a Neolithic palisaded enclosure. Archaeological works at both enclosures in the Roskilde Fiord have been carried out by Emil Winther Struve, from the Roskilde Museum (Denmark).
Adara López López and Víctor Jiménez Jáimez have created a Facebook page and a Twitter account aimed at enthusiasts of European Prehistory in General and Neolithic enclosures in particular. If you are interested in these topics, you will find there a place to learn more about specific sites as Stonehenge, Avebury, Goseck or Perdigões, the lastest news, information about events and conferences, images, links, etc. They also would like to hear from you, so feel free to send them comments, photos and information in general about these archaeological sites.
With this post we are beginning a new section of the website, where more dynamic content is expected. In this blog you’ll find news, discussions, a look at different aspects related to Neolithic European enclosures and even guest contributions. If you have content that you think would be of interest to the audience of this blog, you’re more than welcome to contact us!
The Perdigões archaeological complex (Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal) is a prehistoric site near the Guadiana River, comprising at least 12 ditched enclosures, several hundred pits, an area with megalithic tombs and a set of standing stones (cromeleque). It is located in one of the richest archaeological landscapes of Iberia, with notable examples of Prehistoric monumental architecture such as menhirs and portal tombs (antas). A team from the University of Málaga (Spain) has been carrying out fieldwork in collaboration with the Portuguese entity ERA Arqueologia at the site since 2008. This includes geophysical (2008-2009) and micro-topographical (2011) surveys of the whole site, as well as both open-area excavations (2012-2013) and trenches (2009-2010, 20132015) in the area surrounding Entrance 1.
Knap Hill is an Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure in Wiltshire (United Kingdom). Because its banks are so well preserved, it has always been visible at plain sight. That explains why there are written records of its existence as far back as the 17th century, and why it was one of the first Neolithic ditched enclosures in Europe to be excavated by archaeologists – the Cunningtons in 1908-9. It was showed then that the causeways or interruptions in the layout of the banks and the ditches were not a by-product of erosion or other post-abandonment processes, but an intentional design decision.
Discovered via aerial survey in 1991 and investigated by the University of Halle, the Neolithic Circular Ditched Enclosure at Goseck (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) has become the flagship site for the Central European Kreisgrabenanlagen phenomenon. It was built around 4800 BCE. It consists of an almost fully circular ditch and two concentric rings of palisades, with entrances that are aligned to astronomical features related to the movement of the sun at the winter solstice. There is a nearby information centre in Goseck Castle and the site, which was reconstructed in situ in 2005, is open to visitors. More information at the website of the information centre.
Avebury is one of the most important and famous henges in Britain, only second to Stonehenge. It consists of an enormous ditch, with an external bank and several internal areas delimited by big standing stones, among other elements. Built during the late Neolithic, it sits within a very rich archaeological landscape, near Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure and not far from other enclosures such as Knap Hill, Rybury or Marden henge. It is open to the public as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge, Avebury and associated sites.
The Knowlton Circles are a group of at least three Neolithic henges in Knowlton (Dorset, United Kingdom), in the proximity of which there are also several Bronze Age round barrows. The best preserved and most famous henge of the three is enclosing a 12th century Norman church. For many, Knowlton Church represents like no other the transition from pagan to Christian ritual traditions. The sites were the subject of research by Bournemouth University in the mid 1990s. Knowlton Church is open to the public.