Printed from the APC web site: navigation and non-essential images removed.
Please view on-line for full content (URL at end of document).
Prehistoric Ritual Landscape
Why there? Why that? Why then? During the third and second millennia BC the famous monuments shown in the top four images at the right of this page were being erected in Southern Britain. Although they are less famous, elsewhere in Britain equally complex landscapes were being laid out and constructed. Throughout the different zones of Britain, different peoples responded with different types of monuments making each landscape unique in its own right.
The Devil’s Arrows at Boroughbridge
In particular, the Nosterfield area occupies the northern end of a prehistoric landscape complex sat in low lying land between the Swale and the Ure, which is begun with the construction of a cursus in the Middle Neolithic. The cursus prompts the construction of three henges at Nosterfield in the Late Neolithic which are believed to be contemporary. A similar arangement between cursus and henge occurs at Maxey in Cambridgeshire. The Nosterfield henges complete a larger alignment of 6 henges and an avenue of megaliths, the Devil’s Arrows. In their turn, the henges and avenue are a focus for barrow burials in the Early and Middle Bronze Age. In the landscape around the henges at Nosterfield are several known barrows.
Henge alignment reaching from Cana Barn to Nosterfield
Pit alignments have been identified in the landscape during aerial reconnaissance. Pit alignments are a form of land boundary much like a ditch or fence but they are not continuous. They are formed literally by lines of pits which, when first excavated may have had small piles of upcast or banks alongside them. They often reuse features in the landscape that may have been deliberately positioned at the edge of a territory. Recent excavations at Nosterfield found a badly preserved Bronze Age barrow with a pit alignment cutting into it. This situation is not uncommon and has been found elsewhere in Britain.
Left, plan of pit alignment clearly post-dating a Bronze Age barrow at Nosterfield. Right, Bronze Age barrow with later pit alignment cutting through it, Lincolnshire