9th Experimental Archaeology Conference poster – Grigsby

The Demands Of The Neolithic Houses At Durrington Walls: Time, Resources And Landscape

Paul Grigsby

The Ancient Technology Centre

Durrington Walls has been identified as the location for the homes of the builders of Stonehenge. In 2004-7 The Riverside Project unearthed the footprints of buildings which have given us an insight into the lives of the people who inhabited this part of modern day Wiltshire. Based on the density of the buildings that were excavated it has been theorised that there could have been as many as 1000 buildings on the 17 hectare site during the approximated
15 – 45 years of occupation. This would have required an enormous amount of material sourced from the local area.

English Heritage commissioned the building of 5 reconstructed Neolithic houses based on the excavations at Durrington Walls to as part of an external gallery at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Prototypes of these buildings were constructed at Old Sarum in Wiltshire in the spring of 2013. As part of this project, all aspects of the harvesting and construction process were recorded and analysed with particular emphasis being given to the time and amount of
materials that would have been required for such an undertaking.

The results have shown that to create up to 1000 buildings at Durrington Walls would have required considerable planning along with a significant investment in time and resources years in advance of any occupation of the site.



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