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Blick Mead: Exploring the 'first place' in the Stonehenge landscape

Archaeological excavations at Blick Mead, Amesbury, Wiltshire 2005–2016

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David Jacques, Tom Phillips and Tom Lyons

Edited By David Jacques

The Stonehenge landscape is one of the most famous prehistoric places in the world, but much about its origins remains a mystery and little attention has been paid to what preceded, and thus may have influenced, its later ritual character. Now, the discovery of a uniquely long-lived Mesolithic occupation site at Blick Mead, just 2km from Stonehenge, with a detailed radio carbon date sequence ranging from the 8th to the late 5th millennium BC, is set to transform this situation.  

This book charts the story of the Blick Mead excavations, from the project’s local community-based origins to a multi-university research project using the latest cutting-edge technology to address important new questions about the origins of the Stonehenge landscape. Led by the University of Buckingham, the project continues to retain the community of Amesbury at its heart. The investigations are ongoing but due to the immense interest in, and significance of the site, this publication seeks to present the details of and thoughts on the findings to date.

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Afterwords: Tony Legge and the Blick Mead Project (David Jacques)

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AFTERWORDS

Tony Legge and the Blick Mead Project

– David Jacques

The recently discovered Mesolithic site at Blick Mead, about 2 km from Stonehenge and close to the town of Amesbury, must have been one of the last small projects Tony Legge encouraged and worked on. He continued to give advice and time to it until early in the New Year 2013.

At the time of Tony’s first involvement with Blick Mead, in the spring of 2012, the project had been running on between £500 and £1,000 per year for six years, which just about paid for one long weekend dig per annum. Our excavations, partly out of necessity, have allowed people of talent, whatever their age or background, to self-organise, and as it happened Tony’s grandson Tom had been part of a team that excavated a large cache of large animal bones in April 2012. We were not aware of Tom’s relationship with Tony, but on the Saturday night Tom said who Tony was and that he was sure that he would be interested in the bones. I was only back at home for a day when Tony wrote and offered a meeting.

Within a few a minutes of being with him I was struck by what seemed to be Tony’s unstoppable vitality – he was keenly enthusiastic about what we had found, and very practical about how we should manage things on site from there on....

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