Neolithic Horizons: Changing Communities in the Wessex Landscape

Author(s): David Field and David McOmish 

ISBN: 9781781552995
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Analysis of the great monument complexes of Neolithic Wessex and the changing landscape influenced by the communities who built them.
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  • Lavishly illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs
  • The remarkable archaeological history of Neolithic Wessex – its places, people and monuments
  • The great ceremonial complexes of Stonehenge and Avebury reassessed: how traditions of earth and stone-shifting influenced construction monuments as well as the impact of community intervention on the changing landscape


Neolithic Horizons investigates the communities who built some of our most remarkable and iconic archaeological sites: the great public monuments at Stonehenge, Avebury and others like them. Famous the world over, these monuments are complemented by less well-known and contemporary foci such as the earthen circles at Knowlton, Dorset and Marden. These are seen to be part of an earth-shifting tradition that extends right across the Wessex landscape and traced back to our earliest monuments of long barrows, causewayed enclosures and the enigmatic cursus enclosures.

After Stonehenge, the tradition continued with the construction of enormous numbers of circular burial mounds along the river valleys and hillsides. Indeed, few other regions in Europe, or further afield, can match the scale and intensity of development that we see at these ceremonial complexes.

These places of ritual must nevertheless be viewed as part of a wider landscape, one where features of the land are continually changing according to the influence of local inhabitants. While charting a remarkable archaeological legacy, this book reveals the developing landscape of grassland, settlements and fields. The product of the early farming communities who lived their lives in the shadow of the monuments…

BOOK ISBN 9781781552995
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 192 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 April 2016
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 41 black-and-white and 30 colour photographs








As archaeological investigators for the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England and subsequently English Heritage, David Field and David McOmish have spent well over 20 years working on the archaeological landscapes of southern England. During that time, all the major monuments of the Neolithic period were investigated, including Avebury, Stonehenge, Silbury Hil. Their particular brand of earthwork analysis and landscape investigation provides a unique large-scale interpretation of the period. They have prepared numerous reports and journal articles on the subject and written the definitive publication on The Field Archaeology of Salisbury Plain Training Area as well as a companion volume The Avebury Landscape.


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