Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium

Peter Bye-Jesen (2016)

Keywords: Use-wear analysis, causewayed enclosures, Neolithic, flint, depositions


Taking a closer look

Causewayed enclosures are some of the most significant monuments in the Early Neolithic, with a distribution over most of Europe. A recent programme of radiocarbon dating has refined our understanding of the chronology of this important class of monuments in Britain (Whittle et. al. 2011), many sites having relatively restricted periods of use. However, the precise character of the activities at these sites is still unclear: are they gathering places, mortuary sites, stock enclosures or defensive structures?

In this paper we will be taking a closer look on the phenomenon of monumentality at the micro scale.

My research focuses on use-wear analysis of the flint assemblages from the primary phases of a number of well excavated causewayed enclosures in southern Britain, as a way of identifying activities at these sites. The analyzed sites include: Etton, Staines, Windmill Hill, Hambledon Hill and Sarup (Denmark).

The reason for focusing on primary phases assemblages of the causewayed enclosures is due to these providing the best evidence for initial use of these sites. This project has produced results that will be partially revealed at the PGRAS conference 2016. This presentation will additionally explain the method utilized, the results, and prospects of further analysis.

This project is funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP).
Advisor’s: Dr. Andrew M. Jones and Dr. Joshua Pollard (University of Southampton).
External advisor: Prof. Dr. Alasdair Whittle (Cardiff University)