Through the dark vale:interpreting the Stonehenge Palisade through inter-disciplinary convergence
Issue: Vol 6 No. 1 (2020)
Journal: Journal of Skyscape Archaeology
The Stonehenge Palisade was a nearly two kilometre long fence of timber posts running from close to the Great Cursus in the north, butting onto the ‘elbow’ turn of the Avenue approach to Stonehenge and then gradually diverging from the Avenue to the south west (Figure 1). Four archaeology models, all of which see the Palisade as concurrent and a cumulative part of the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (EBA) Stonehenge complex (Exon 2000: 2) have been proposed to interpret the Palisade: exclusion (Pollard & Pitts 2008), materiality (Parker Pearson 2012), obscuration (Cleal 1995) and ancestral reversal (Exon et al. 2000). This paper will test these models against the presently known archaeological evidence and retain those components from each model which survive these tests. The resulting parsed components will be reserved for possible integration into a single model once any mutual coherence may be established by recourse to the archaeoastronomy of the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Stonehenge monument complex. This multi-disciplinary approach then allows discrimination between the possible inter-disciplinary anthropological interpretations of the Palisade.
Author: Lionel Sims, David Fisher
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