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Details of site on Pastscape

An Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure on the summit of Hambledon Hill, of which one third survives as earthwork and the remainder has been ploughed flat. It is interpreted as the central focus of a large complex of Neolithic monuments which occupy spurs of the hill in addition to its central summit (the hillfort spur to the north, the Shroton spur to the east, the Stepleton spur to the south, and the Hanford spur to the west). The main enclosure is one of the largest causewayed enclosures in England (circa 9 hectares), and is divided from the radiating spurs by pairs of cross-dykes which may equate to the middle and outer circuits of other complex enclosures. In 1974-86 a major programme of excavation directed by Roger Mercer examined most major earthworks on the Hill. The ditch contained placed deposits of human skulls and other bones, plus considerable quantities of animal bones. Stone axes from a variety of sources, and pottery from mainly local sources were also present. The abundant cultural material retrieved from the site has provided information about the community, including conflict, feasting, the treatment of the human corpses, exchange, stock management and agriculture. The disposal of individual artefacts and remains reflect the diverse use of the monument. Use of the enclosures and the construction of its individual parts was episodic, spread over 300-400 years, and was not representative of a lasting settlement. The relationship with Cranborne Chase to the east is highlighted by the cessation of activity on the hill in the late fourth millennium at the same time that the Dorset cursus and other monuments were built in the Chase. Renewed activity on the hill in the late 3rd and early 2nd millennia preceded occupation in the mid to late 2nd millennium, which was followed by the construction of a hillfort on the northern spur from the early 1st millennium. Later Iron Age, Romano-British, and Saxon activity has also been recorded on the hill.
Chance Posted by Chance
3rd April 2016ce

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