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Excavations at a Neolithic Enclosure on The Peak, near Birdlip, Gloucestershire.

Darvill, T., 2011. Excavations at a Neolithic Enclosure on The Peak, near Birdlip, Gloucestershire. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 77, 139 - 204 .

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PPS 2011 (Peak Camp).pdf - Published Version



Surveys and excavations in 1980–81 confirmed Peak Camp as a Neolithic enclosure on a flat promontory of the Cotswold escarpment overlooking the Severn Valley just 1km south of Crickley Hill. Although heavily eroded by quarrying the site can be reconstructed as having two concentric arcs of boundary earthworks forming an oval plan which was probably open to the north where a steep natural slope defined the edge of the site. A section through the outer boundary showed four main phases of ditch construction, at least one causewayed. An extensive series of radiocarbon dates shows construction began in the late 37th century cal BC and probably continued through successive remodellings into the 33rd century cal BC or beyond. An internal ditch or elongated pit situated in the area between the inner and outer boundary earthworks had a similar history. Where sampled, the ditch and internal feature was rich in material culture, including a substantial assemblage of plain bowl pottery; flint implements and working waste; animal remains dominated by cattle but including also the remains of a cat; human foot bones; slight traces of cereal production; a fragment of a Group VI axe; part of a sandstone disc; and a highly unusual shale arc pendant of continental type. It is suggested that the ditch fills represent selectively redeposited midden material from within the site that started to accumulate in the late fifth or early fourth millennium cal BC. The construction and use of Peak Camp is contemporary with activity on Crickley Hill, and the two sites probably formed components of a single complex. Its use was also contemporary with the deposition of burials at local long barrows in the Cotswold-Severn tradition which are linked by common ceramic traditions and the selective deposition of human body parts.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:20588
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:04 Feb 2013 09:09
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:46


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