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Stonehenge: A Landscape Through Time


David Jacques and Graeme Davis

The concept for this book materialised as a result of some brilliant research by University of Buckingham MA Archaeology students in 2014-15. Each examined a feature of the Stonehenge landscape from a different space and time perspective and produced work which contained a key focus on a neglected aspect of the multiple history of the area. Their dissertations have been edited into chapters and the broad scope of the collection covers people using, building and reshaping this landscape from the end of the Ice Age to the end of the Romano-British period. In doing so new detail about the richness and variety of ways generations of ordinary people understood the place is revealed.

The discovery of the internationally important Mesolithic site at Blick Mead by the University of Buckingham team, with specialist support from Durham and Reading Universities, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project and the Natural History Museum, provides a rich data set for students interested in the Mesolithic in general and the establishment of the Stonehenge landscape in particular.

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1 Romano-British reactions to the Stonehenge prehistoric landscape: A re-evaluation of settlement patterns and uses of that landscape

1Romano-British reactions to the Stonehenge prehistoric landscape: A re-evaluation of settlement patterns and uses of that landscape




Studies for the Roman period of occupation within the Stonehenge landscape are minimal and under-analysed. The settlements found in the landscape have seen little scholarly attention despite increasing archaeological discoveries from that period in the location. There has been little understanding of how the Romano-British population responded to the prehistoric monuments that were found within the landscape around them and whether they assimilated their world with that of their prehistoric ancestors. With the use of a landscape archaeological survey, including phenomenological research, this research re-evaluates the Romano-British settlement patterns and the Romano-British people’s attitudes towards a landscape in which the prehistoric is highly visible. The settlements of Boscombe Down West and Butterfield Down, both in the parish of Amesbury near Stonehenge, were analysed within the wider landscape. The outcome of this research shows a revised cultural process within the two settlements and that the choice of settlement location depended upon natural resources, trade routes and links to ancestral areas of significance. This research has found evidence that not only did memories of special places survive into the Roman period but that the Romano-British people were assimilating their settlements towards these places.

This research will ascertain the ways that people living in the Stonehenge landscape, during the Romano-British period (43–410 AD), assimilated the highly visible prehistoric landscape around them. For the purpose of this study the ‘Stonehenge Landscape’ is defined by the areas of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge,...

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