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

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

Series:

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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Chapter 4: The Lithic Material (Barry John Bishop)

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CHAPTER 4

The Lithic Material

– Barry John Bishop with contributions by David M. John, Randolph Donahue, Keith Bradbury and Peter Webb

I had always had an interest in history but never had the opportunity to take it further. My involvement with Blick Mead came at a very opportune period in my life. Having just had to give up my job on health grounds, I was looking for a new direction. I had never been on a dig site and had no idea what to expect, but was instantly made to feel at home by the team. I was keen to learn and found willing teachers in both the professionals and experienced volunteers alike. I remember early on, Barry Bishop explaining how a flint core I found had been produced. He brought back to life someone dead.

The encouragement and skills given to me by the professionals on the team led me to have the confidence to volunteer with Wessex Archaeology which led to me being taken on as a paid archaeologist, a dream come true. I have since retired as an archaeologist but continue to be involved with Blick Mead. To find evidence of a momentous event/period in our history through archaeology gives you a great buzz, but to find it on your own doorstep, in Amesbury, is truly awesome.

— MALCOLM GUILFOYLE-PINK, volunteer and Amesbury resident

This chapter focuses on reporting on the struck flint...

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