What is a Neolithic ditched enclosure? With the term ‘ditched enclosure’ we are referring here to a wide range of archaeological sites. Variability is notable across space and time as regards aspects like form, architectural components, features and perhaps meaning or purpose. However, there are some common characteristics and fortunately for us can be described in very simple terms. Generally speaking, all the sites mentioned here are roughly circular or oval enclosures delimited by one or more ditches. Depending on the particular site, its chronology, the region in which it was built or the specific historical context in which it emerged, what we now call ‘ditched enclosure’ may have included in the past banks, palisades, standing stones, or other elements, in addition to the ditches themselves.
In this section, we will examine these aspects in the following order: