The Early Field Systems of the Stonehenge Landscape

David Roberts*, Jonathan Last, Neil Linford, Jon Bedford, Barry Bishop, Judith Dobie, Elaine Dunbar, Alice Forward, Paul Linford, Peter Marshall, Simon Mays, Andy Payne, Ruth Pelling, Paula Reimer, Michael Russell, Sharon Soutar, Andrew Valdez-Tullett, John Vallender, Fay Worley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
371 Downloads (Pure)


Recent survey, excavation and analysis in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) during 2015 and 2016 has revealed new details of landscape structuration and the deposition of the dead during the Middle Bronze Age. The research reported here demonstrates the existence of early fields or enclosures in the eastern part of the WHS, that was previously thought to be an area of little agricultural or domestic activity in the Bronze Age. These features were succeeded by a major ditch system in which two individuals were buried, an unusual way of dealing with the dead in the Middle Bronze Age. At the same time, the body of a perinatal infant was deposited in a palisade ditch in the western part of the WHS. The paper explores how these actions help elucidate a period of significant change in the landscape around Stonehenge, during which natural features, ancestral monuments and the recent dead were enmeshed in complex ways of bounding and dividing the landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-140
Number of pages21
JournalLandscapes (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


  • excavation
  • field systems
  • funerary practice
  • geophysical survey
  • land division
  • Middle Bronze Age
  • Stonehenge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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