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THE LESSER CURSUS

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Neolithic cursus comprising a rectangular enclosure, orientated west-south-west to east-north east, and 400 metres in length and 60 metres wide. The eastern end is open. Air photographs show that it was visible as an earthwork in 1934 but had been levelled by 1954. It appears to have been defined by a ditch with internal bank. A bank and ditch cross the cursus circa 200 metres from the western end. Excavations in 1983 appeared to confirm two phases of construction. The first phase seems to be a smaller cursus, its eastern end defined by the cross ditch and bank, circa 200 metres by 60 metres. The second phase sees the extension eastwards, with enlargement of ditches and banks (including the cross ditch). The eastern end of this extended cursus appears to have been left open deliberately. Artefacts from primary contexts were few, although a formal deposit of antlers, including picks, was found in the phase 2 southern ditch just to the east of the cross ditch. Radiocarbon dates of 3630-2920 BC and 3640-3040 BC were obtianed for the phase 1 and phase 2 ditches respectively. Backfilling of the phase 2 ditches appears to have been deliberate and fairly soon after the original excavation. Finds from upper fills including Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, Beaker, Deverel-Rimbury and Late Bronze Age potsherds, animal bones, and flints including scrapers, flakes and cores. The distribution of finds suggests a focus of Bronze Age activity was situated immediately beyond the eastern end of the cursus.

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