Stonehenge Riverside Project: 2005 excavation

Group photo

This year´s team was the largest so far with over 70 staff and students from Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cardiff as well as local volunteers and staff of English Heritage and Wessex Archaeology. There were four excavations at Larkhill, Bulford and Durrington Walls´ east entrance and Southern Circle.

Finds from the third millennium BC included an avenue leading from the river to the henge´s east entrance, deep middens of feasting debris and three house floors. This midsummer sunset-aligned avenue consists of a central roadway flanked by a gully and external bank. At more than 20m wide, it is Europe´s earliest road surface. The outer two rows of the Southern Circle were not present on its northwest side, indicating that this part of the timber circle was never completed. Across the River Avon at Bulford, we found the hole for a fallen standing stone with a well-furnished Early Bronze Age burial near its base.

roasting a pig

Geophysics teams carried out surveys inside Durrington Walls, as well as at Larkhill and Bulford. The landscape survey team visited most of the 750 round barrows in the region and measured the profiles of nearly 200 barrows. On the River Avon´s floodplain, the geomorphological team found numerous palaeochannels including some likely to date to the third millennium BC.

Time Team roasted a pig Neolithic-style,experimented with antler picks for digging chalk, and built a stunning full-size replica of the Southern Circle. Finally, our team of outreach and education officers and re-enactors laid on two hugely successful Open Days attended by over 1500 local residents.

Southern Circle