2. Research the construction and layout of the site
3. Produce a 3 slide power point presentation in which you present your findings and comment on the ways in which Avebury could be seen to have a religious function
WEST KENNET LONG BARROW
The West Kennet Long Barrow is a Neolithic tomb situated about one-and-a-half miles south of Avebury.
It was built in about 3600 BC, some 400 years before the building of Stonehenge
It contains the remains of 46 individuals whose bodies had been exposed before burial
Archaeologists believe that the people who built the tomb practised ancestor worship .
Student Task: Discussion
What is excarnation?
How do we know when it has been practiced?
What is the evidence for ancestor worship at West Kennet?
Silbury Hill is the largest man-made structure from the prehistoric period.
It was built 4,000 years ago
Its purpose remains a mystery even today
SILBURY HILL: STUDENT TASK
Silbury is a grass-covered chalk mound in the shape of a flat-topped cone
Click to view the film clip
Use the internet to research Silbury Hill and write a commentary for the film clip. You will be presenting this to the class
Stonehenge one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world.
Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones
Henges have ditches inside their banks; they cannot have been defensive structures
Julian Richards regards Stonehenge as a Neolithic temple.
The standing stones were probably erected around 2200 BC and the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.
How was Stonehenge Built?
The first phase of the monument was the digging of a circular bank and ditch enclosure
In the second phase a timber structure was built. We know this from the posthole that have been discovered
In the third phase timber was abandoned in favour of stone and two concentric crescents of holes were dug in the centre of the site.. The holes held up to 80 standing stones 43 of which were for the bluestones. The Altar Stone, the Heel Stone and the Station Stones were added.
Building Stonehenge (Contd)
Next the great sarsen stones were erected into a circle and lintels were fitted on top.
Within this circle five trilithons of dressed sarsen stone were arranged in a horseshoe shape
In the final stages the bluestones were re-erected so that in the end they created a horseshoe-shaped setting
BUILDING STONEHENGE: STUDENT TASK
Use the internet to research further the building of Stonehenge and put together a presentation that explores the building phases in detail:
Use the following websites:
www.english-heritage.org.uk/ stonehenge /
STONEHENGE IN THE CEREMONIAL LANDSCAPE
STONEHENGE IN THE CEREMONIAL LANDSCAPE (contd)
Archaeologists have used the term ceremonial or ritual landscape where large numbers of monuments cluster together.
Stonehenge is linked to a number of other important monuments in the area which all appear to have a ritual function
Explore the interactive map on the English Heritage website.
RELIGIOUS AND RITUAL ACTIVITIES AT STONEHENGE
The layout of Stonehenge reveals that the entrance is aligned on the mid-summer sunrise
The mid-winter sun sets between the two great uprights of the trilithon
Archaeologists believe that ceremonies on the longest and the shortest days played an important role in Neolithic and early Bronze Age religion when the gods were called upon during key points in the agricultural calendar
WHAT HAVE THE DRUIDS GOT TO DO WITH STONE HENGE?
Click to view the film clip
People associate Stonehenge with the religion practised by the druids
Druids are associated with religion in the Iron Age
It is a common misconception that the druids worshipped at Stonehenge
Druids have nothing to do with Stonehenge!
Religion at Stonehenge: Student Task
Draw the table opposite in your notes
Use the evidence you have gathered from this study package to help you complete the table
Present your ideas to the class
Size: Community Gatherings Role of a Priesthood or Shamen Role of Processions Orientation of the Feature