A Possible New Solstitial Sightline in the Stonehenge Landscape

Authors

  • Clive Ruggles University of Leicester
  • Amanda Chadburn Historic England
  • Matt Leivers Wessex Archaeology
  • Andrew Smith University of Adelaide

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsa.19439

Keywords:

alignment, causewayed enclosure, Lark Hill, Neolithic, Stonehenge, solstice

Abstract

The landscape around Stonehenge contains a number of major Early Neolithic monuments dating to the fourth millennium BC, including the Stonehenge Cursus, the Lesser Cursus, Robin Hood’s Ball causewayed enclosure and several long barrows. A previously unsuspected Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure whose northeast rim was uncovered in 2016 on the slopes of Lark Hill, just to the north of the World Heritage Site boundary, represented a major new discovery. About a millennium after the construction of the Lark Hill Enclosure, a line of at least six timber posts was erected crossing from the interior to the exterior of the old enclosure, just to one side of a wide entrance. The line is slightly curved but the last three posts in the line face directly out towards the position of June solstice sunrise. While several short and longer rows of posts are now known to have been built in this vicinity both during the Later Neolithic and at later times, there are several reasons for believing this solstitial alignment to have been intentional and meaningful. It may even have represented the “monumentalisation” of an earlier broadly solstitial alignment of natural features, as has been suggested at Stonehenge itself.

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References

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Published

2021-09-21

How to Cite

Ruggles, C. ., Chadburn, A. ., Leivers, M. ., & Smith, A. . (2021). A Possible New Solstitial Sightline in the Stonehenge Landscape. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 7(1), 144–156. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsa.19439

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Section

Research Notes