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

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


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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Appendix A: Fieldwork (Tom Lyons / Tom Phillips / David Jacques)


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– Tom Lyons, Tom Phillips and David Jacques

Appendix A1: Blick Mead trench reports and field surveys

This appendix reports on the findings of excavations in Trenches 1–14, 18, 19 and 20 at Blick Mead and 15, 16, 17 and 21 north-east of Vespasian’s Camp at the field site, in other words those trenches which did not reach the prehistoric horizons reported on above. They are included here in order to provide a full account of all of our fieldwork at Blick Mead.

Trench 1/20

Located in the north-east of the spring (see Phillips, Lyons and Jacques, Chapter 3, Figure 1.3, this volume), Trench 1/20 measured 2 m × 3 m. It was excavated to investigate a compacted chalk surface known to exist close to modern ground level and was later re-opened to investigate what was below the surface. The earliest recorded deposit was layer [34]=[56], a mid-grey silty clay. It measured at least 0.6 m thick but was not fully excavated. Two small sherds of Early Iron Age pottery were recovered from layer [34], along with several fragments of burnt flint.

It was sealed by the chalk surface [33], which was 0.15 m below ground level and comprised a deliberately laid surface, consisting of small lumps of weathered chalk with the occasional fragment of abraded brick (Plate 5). Some of the fragments of brick were large and can be...

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