The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Whitehawk Camp

Causewayed Enclosure


I doubt there's much left to see of this Neolithic causewayed camp, seeing as how it's surrounded by houses and the racecourse. It was excavated in the 30s and the detail that interested me was that two fossilised sea urchins had been buried with some people. Folklore has it that fossil sea urchins are 'fairy loaves' or 'fairy stones'. I guess they are pretty strange - obviously not ordinary rocks, but they look like something living or manmade. Also without their spines they bear little resemblence to anything alive that you're familiar with, particularly if you're not living by the sea (like at the Five Knolls in Bedfordshire). I've also read that people have kept them in their houses so that their loaflike similarity would ensure the occupants would never go without bread (or food, no doubt). They were also kept in dairies to stop the milk going sour.

Of course, none of this need have any relevance to the reason these prehistoric people took them to their graves. They presumably serve no hands-on practical purpose? so we have to assume that they did hold a symbolic value of some kind (even if it could have been merely that they were weird and interesting?).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
12th April 2002ce
Edited 25th May 2011ce

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