Sunday, September 10, 2006

Archaeology at Woodhenge

Sunday afternoon, it's a cloudless sky and 26C, so we visit the rather beautiful Heale gardens and then drive on to Woodhenge.

Just a little to the north of the better-known Stonehenge, Woodhenge is around 4,300 years old. Concrete posts mark the old timbers in concentric ellipses as shown in the picture below (Clare to right).

We were interested to see that in the next field there was a full excavation going on. A researcher from Bournemouth University explained to us that soil from the encircling hill had built up a layer approximately 1.5 metres deep. The neolithic soil level was about an inch above the basal chalk layer, and they were excavating a neolithic round-house with poles around its perimeter (picture). About 4,500 years old.

Somewhat to our surprise, we saw Phil Harding, from the TV programme "Time Team" with a group of archaeologists to one side of the dig (he's the big guy in shorts with the hat in the centre of the picture).

We manage to make it off the site without asking for an autograph ...