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ROBIN HOODS BALL CAUSEWAYED ENCLOSURE

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An Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure known as Robin Hood's Ball. It is an earthwork comprising two circuits of bank and ditch, enclosing an area of circa 3.5 hectares. The site has seen two small-scale excavations, one in 1956 and the other in 1983. The earthworks were surveyed by RCHME staff as part of the Salisbury Plain Training Area Project, and the site has also been reconsidered as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. The earthworks are best preserved on the west, the eastern side having suffered badly from ploughing. The circuits are 30-40 metres apart, both circuits comprise causewayed ditches with almost continuous internal banks. The inner is roughly circular and its south-east side is slightly flattened. The outer circuit, which encloses is exceptionally angular in plan, perhaps reflecting disjunctures in construction, and the west side has indications of a possible outwork or horn. On the southwest, the outer bank is obscured by the earthworks of disused rifle butts. The 1956 excavation comprised a single cutting through each circuit, and recovered Neolithic pottery and flints, plus Romano-British and Medieval sherds. The old surface below the outer rampart was associated with pottery, flints, animal bones, charcoal and a post hole, suggesting considerable activity prior to the outer circuit being constructed. In 1983, a flint scatter 30 metres outside the outer ditch was sampled by excavation, which recovered over 200 worked flints. A cluster of shallow pits containing Early Neolithic pottery and animal bone, the latter yielding mid-to-late 4th millennium BC radiocarbon dates, was also found. Further fieldwalking in the area was undertaken in 1995. The earthwork remains of this site were also mapped from aerial photographs. Recent research into the dating of causewayed enclosures tentatively suggests that the inner ditch at Robin Hood's Ball was constructed probably in 3635-3570 cal BC.

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