May 4, 2014

Amesbury has Epipaleolithic roots

Old map of Avesbury and the nearby hillfort
Recent field work at the town of Amesbury, specifically in Blink Meadow, has resulted in it being proclaimed in the media as "the oldest town in Britain". What it really means is that the site was occupied and had ritual significance before the Neolithic, since c. 8820 BP.

A possible reason for the magnetism of this location is that a nearby spring has the "magical" effect of turning some types of flint to a bright pink or fuchsia color. This is caused by certain algae but it must have appeared miraculous to ancient peoples. 

The district now proclaimed oldest continuously inhabited town in Britain has a large complex of ritual sites dating to the Chalcolithic period ("Neolithic" in British archaeo-slang).

It also includes a large Iron Age hillfort of unusual shape, inadequately named as "Vespasian's Camp". This fort which continued in use in the Roman period is suspected by many to be the real Camelot.

Pink colored flint pieces from Amesbury

Sources and more details: The Archaeology News Network, Express.

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