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    Naturevolume 134page806 (1934) | Download Citation



    AN impressive view of the great stone monument of Avebury as the outstanding relic of prehistoric Britain was given by Mr. H. St. George Gray at the Society of Antiquaries on November 15, when he described the results of the excavations carried out by a committee of the British Association between 1908 and 1922. This was the first occa sion on which these excavations, which were con fined mainly to the southern side of the fosse, have been described comprehensively as a whole. The area of the site, according to the estimate accepted by Mr. Gray, is 28J acres, and the imposing vallum and fosse are in circumference four times the size of the fosse at Stonehenge. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Gray's estimate, 95 per cent of the sarsen upright monoliths have disappeared. The present excavation at Avebury was originally one of a series of excavations of the rude stone monuments of Britain undertaken by the British Association committee with the view of ascertaining their age. According to the evidence obtained at Avebury, there can be little doubt that this site belongs to the period of transition between the neolithic and bronze ages. No trace of metal was found in the lower levels of the fosse, and the tools of stone, antler and bone, picks, shovels, rakes and hammers, are such as may be regarded as characteristic of a stone age industry. The pottery supports this, being of the ‘Peterborough’ type. The occurrence of this type of pottery in the lower levels at Avebury bears out the evidence of dating obtained by Mr. Alexander Keiller nearby in his work of exploring and restoring Kennet Avenue (see NATURE, Oct. 13, p. 566).

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