Seahenge: A Quest for Life and Death in Bronze Age Britain
One of the most haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of recent times was the uncovering in 1998 at low tide of the so-called Seahenge on the north coast of Norfolk. This circle of wooden planks set vertically in the sand, with a large inverted tree-trunk in the middle, likened to a ghostly "hand reaching up from the underworld", has now been dated to around 2020 BC. It focused national attention on archaeology to an extent not seen for many years, and the issues raised by its removal and preservation made it a "cause celebre". Francis Pryor has been at the centre of British archaeological fieldwork for nearly 30 years, piecing together the way of life of Bronze Age people, their settlement of the landscape, their religion and rituals. "Seahenge" demonstrates how much Western civilization owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe in the last four millennia BC.
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Setting the Scene
The Hunt is On
A TransAtlantic Commuter
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air photos alluvium ancient archaeological archaeologists Avebury bark barrows beach Beckhampton Avenue bones Britain British Bronze Age fields built burial causewayed enclosure central tree centre centuries ceremonies Charly clay constructed cropmarks cursus digger discovery ditch droveways dyke dykeside Early Bronze Age edge English Heritage entranceway Etton Europe evidence excavation farming Fen Causeway Fengate Fenland Flag Fen flint gravel ground happened henge hole Holme Holme beach Holme-next-the-Sea huge important Iron Age knew land later living looked Maisie Mark Maxey metres modern mortuary structure mound Museum Neolithic peat perhaps Peterborough piece posts pottery prehistoric probably quarry radiocarbon dates reconstruction religious removed ring-ditch ritual landscape road Roman roundhouse Seahenge side soil stone Stonehenge suggest surface symbolic things timber circle took topsoil trench village waterlogged Welland Windmill Hill wood