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

Birdlip Camp



A Neolithic promontory enclosure comprising a projecting spur of Birdlip Hill with two curving concentric earthworks cutting across the axis of the promontory. The site was surveyed by RCHME in 1996 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. Quarrying has lowered the tip of the promontory and eroded the north and south sides; the east area is intact. The promontory is cut off by two earthworks across the spur, about 90 metres apart, with vestigial banks which appear virtually continuous. The outer would originally have enclosed an area of more than a hectare. The inner earthwork consists of a bank; the outer, 55 metres to the south east, is a bank with slight external ditch. The area narrows in width from 95 metres at the south eastern end to 15 metres on the northwest. Excavations were undertaken by T Darvill (who referred to the site as Peak Camp) in 1980-1, comprising a trench across the outer earthwork and a small trench towards the western end of the promontory. The outer earthwork comprised a single rock-cut ditch with an internal bank of limestone rubble. The ditch featured at least one causeway, and had seen at least four phases of recutting. Finds included flints, animal bones, and pottery. The second trench revealed a ditch or gulley, which contained further Neolithic pottery, flints and a quantity of bone. The lithic material included leaf-shaped arrowheads and a flake from a polished axe. Research into the dating of Early Neolithic enclosures indicates a construction date for the outer circuit of probably of 3655-3540 cal BC. The enclosure at Peak Camp may have been used into the 33rd century cal BC, although this late date is dependent on a single measurement. The research also highlighted the relationship with the Crickley Hill enclosure nearby, suggesting they were probably built within a generation of each other and were in concurrent use, at least until the destruction of Crickley in the mid-35th century cal BC.
juamei Posted by juamei
31st January 2016ce

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