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GORSEY BIGBURY

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A Neolithic henge surviving as earthworks and located on a limestone spur of the Mendips. The site has seen excavation on three occasions - trial trenching in 1928 was followed by 5 seasons of excavation between 1931 and 1935. The entrance area was re-examined in 1965. The site is defined by an irregular sub-circular ditch cut into the limestone and surrounded by an earth and rubble bank. Overall diameter of the enclosure is circa 46 metres. A single entrance causewayed entrance is located on the northern side. Excavation showed the presence of two post holes on either side of the entrance, just outside the ditch but between the terminals of the bank. The interior seems to have been devoid of features. The ditch contained the bulk of the finds, including a disturbed cist burial in the northwest sector, close to the causeway, and containing the disturbed remains of at least two individuals. Further human remains were found nearby, and two skull fragments were found on the other, eastern side of the causeway. Substantial deposits of charcoal, flints, pottery and animal bones were recovered from the ditch. At least 4000 flints were recovered, and the potsherds - almost all Beaker, have been estimated to represent 100 to 120 vessels. Some later material (bucket urn sherds, probably Early Bronze Age) was also present. Other periods represented by odd finds include Mesolithic microliths and a Roman glass bead. In the 1970s, 6 radiocarbon dates were obtained on material recovered from earlier excavations. All are concentrated in the early 2nd millennium bc (uncalibrated).

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