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Woodhenge, Durrington, Wiltshire, England


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Maud Cunnington (1869—1951) archaeologist

 

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Classic late Neolithic class I henge monument constructed about 2500 bc, situated immediately outside Durrington Walls to the south. The monument comprises an earthwork enclosure 88 m across formed by a bank and an internal ditch up to 12 m wide. There is a single entrance to the northeast. The site was fully excavated in 1926–8 under the direction of Maud Cunnington, after being discovered through aerial photography a short while before. Excavations in the interior revealed traces of a circular wooden building, represented by six concentric circles of postholes. The building is very similar to those found inside Durrington Walls, and one possibility is that Woodhenge was a shrine or temple adjacent to a settlement inside the larger henge enclosure. The long axis of the rings of postholes at Woodhenge points to the entrance of the henge enclosure and also aligns with the midsummer rising sun. Also in the interior was a child's grave and a possible stonehole. The finds from the site included quantities of grooved ware pottery. Following excavation, the site was restored for presentation by the then Ministry of Public Building and Works. As such it now represents a monument to early 20th‐century heritage presentation as much as it does an archaeologically meaningful site.

Rep.:

M. E. Cunnington, 1929, Woodhenge. Devizes: privately printed

Subjects: Archaeology.


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