Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.
The Neolithic in Britain: this period sees the introduction of farming into Britain c 4000BC. Current theories as to how domestication was introduced into Britain will be examined. The lack of settlements is a feature of the early Neolithic and the reasons for this will be discussed. Other topics to be covered include the contemporary environment, social organisation and material culture of the first farmers.
Altering the Land: the Neolithic landscape was physically altered by constructing field monuments. The first were barrows (tombs) and we will consider their form and function. Barrows are followed by causewayed enclosures and henges, the first British monuments to enclose space. We examine the meaning of this change and how barrows and enclosures are linked. A theme to explore will be the increasing complexity of Neolithic social organisation
Stonehenge – The Monument: today includes an in-depth study of the phases of construction of Stonehenge and how the site may have been used through time from its beginnings in 3000BC to the last phase in 1600BC. Theories as to the function of Stonehenge will be examined and the results of the recent excavations at Stonehenge and at the nearby Durrington Walls will be discussed.
Excursion: a morning visit to Stonehenge with a walk around the monument and a look at the new Visitors' Centre. Lunch can be had in the market town of Devizes and then a visit there to the Wiltshire Museum with its excellent prehistoric collections which relate to the Stonehenge area.
Bronze Age - All Change: Stonehenge overlaps the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age. Changes to burial practice are significant: large communal barrows are sealed and individuals are buried beneath round barrows in cemeteries. Important Bronze Age cemeteries are concentrated in the immediate vicinity of Stonehenge; we will study why these changes came about, their meaning and how they are reflected in the landscape.
Destination: Stonehenge, & the Wiltshire Museum
Excursion Rating: Demanding
More than two hours' walk on even ground or up to two hours' walk on rough and/or steep ground or up lots of stairs and steps.