sisted of two main types: the Grooved Ware typical of the indigenous inhabitants in the late Neolithic period, and the Beaker pottery with its foreign influences, and it must all date to the centuries around 2,000 B.C. Several subgroups could be recognised, so it should be possible at last to provide a typological sequence of the pottery of this period, and to offer solutions to some of the problems of the relationship of the 'native' late Neolithic and the 'foreign' Beaker Folk. Dr. Ian Longworth of the British Museum will be studying the pottery.
The butt end of the large outer ditch. The entrance causeway to the henge is on the far side and continues under the cornfield.
consisted of pits up to 10 feet deep, which must have held posts up to 20 feet high. At the sides of the pits were ramps, down which posts were lowered when they were being erected. The posts of the sixth and outer circle were cut through the ramps of the fifth circle, and the phase is therefore divided up into Phase 11a (five inner circles) and Phase IIb (outer circle). However, this may mean no more than that the rings were erected from the inside outwards.
The entrance in this phase was also facing towards the outer causeway, though there was no facade; instead, just outside the entrance, was a platform of hard packed chalk, simply littered with pottery, sherds of which were trodden into every nook and cranny.
Adjacent to this henge, behind it but to the north, was a hut. This was oval in shape with post holes round the edge. A large area of the centre of the hut was occupied by the remains of a hearth and there were plentiful remains of domestic rubbish. The pottery appeared to contain a slightly higher proportion of beaker than the actual henge, though there was no stratigraphical relationship between the two.
The fourth phase consisted of a late Iron Age palisade ditch running across the site. By this time all traces of the henge had disappeared and the ditch was purely fortuitous. It would be interesting to know why in the Iron Age they built this palisade with its continuous deep foundation ditch.
The other henge lay to the north, further away from the entrance. This was simple and only had two phases, but unfortunately it was much more eroded ; perhaps up to two feet had been ploughed away. As a result, the first phase was a little tenuous, being a (?) double circle with an (?) avenue. The second phase was definitely a double circle of posts. However, the entrance arrangements were much more elaborate; like the first phase of the south henge there was a horn shaped façade, but this was some 50 feet in front of the henge, and an avenue of postholes led from the gap in the palisade down to the henge.
Among the most exciting aspects of the excavation was the amount of pottery discovered. At most Neolithic sites the total pottery only comes to a handful, but here there were great masses of it, about a hundredweight in all. This con
The immediate result of the excavation of Durrington Walls will be to re-form attitudes on Avebury, the other monument of a similar size. At Avebury the outer bank and ditch of the 'Cathedral' henge has a stone circle round its inner edge and encloses two smaller 'chapel' henges in the form of stone circles in the interior, the stone circle being presumably a (?) later form of the wooden circle. At Durrington only a very small fraction has been exposed, despite the scale of the operation; yet two henges were discovered inside, whilst Woodhenge is just outside and clearly part of the complex. If the rest of Durrington has a similar proportion of henges, we must expect dozens of these circles to have existed.
Perhaps, therefore, we should leave aside for a time the study of Stonehenge and its astronomical problems (which do not appear to exist on other henge monuments,, except for a vaguely eastern orientation) and concentrate instead on these 'Cathedral' henges with their 'chapel' henges inside. Are there many more huge henges as yet unrecognised? What can we glean about the henge religions? An interim report on Durrington Walls should be appearing shortly in "Antiquity". Meanwhile the results at Durrington and Llandegai should certainly stimulate fresh thinking about this most fascinating period of British pre-history.