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Maxey Cursus



Details of cursus on Pastscape

A neolithic cursus, parts of which have been destroyed through gravel extraction. Excavations (in 1957-8, 1962-3, 1979-81 and 1982-4) have principally occurred around its central area, and towards its southern end. The cursus is at least 2 kilometres in length, and orientated roughly northwest-southeast, though with a marked change in direction around the mid point, just northwest of the henge. Its visible course begins near the River Welland at its northwest end, athough no terminals are visible, these possibly being concealed by alluvium. At this end, the cursus appears to be marked by 4 roughly parallel ditches, the northern pair only visible for a short distance. The two principal ditches are discontinuous, at least as cropmarks, with the southern ditch continuing as far as the Maxey Cut watercourse in the south. The northern ditch seems to end long before this point, having begun to turn south. Examination of air photographs by RCHME in 1997 however noted a 30 metre length of ditch some 140 metres south of the causewayed enclosure TF 10 NW 51, which lies directly on the line of the northern cursus ditch and which turns through 90 degrees, possibly indicating a terminal. Around the mid-point, in the excavated area, the cursus ditches were around 58 metres apart, and 2 metres wide. Both were very shallow with no clear evidence either for a bank or for episodes of recutting. A discontinuous layer of comminuted charcoal was noted near the base of both. It is not in situ burning but could be associated with land clearance. Finds were minimal, and no real dating evidence recovered. However, both ditches appear to have been fully silted up by the time the henge and associated features (TF 10 NW 59) were constructed. These later Neolithic monuments, although constructed over the cursus, appear not to respect the course of the cursus, and follow a different (east-west) alignment. Some Beaker pottery was found in the southern ditch, near the causewayed enclosure.
Chance Posted by Chance
28th December 2014ce

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