Neolithic talk treat promise in Branscombe

PUBLISHED: 18:22 23 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:42 17 June 2010

AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned professor will be giving a talk in Branscombe this month about the amazing discoveries his team has found near Stoneghenge. Mike Parker Pearson, professor of Archaeology in Sheffield and director of the on-going Stonehenge and

AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned professor will be giving a talk in Branscombe this month about the amazing discoveries his team has found near Stoneghenge.

Mike Parker Pearson, professor of Archaeology in Sheffield and director of the on-going Stonehenge and Durrington Walls excavation, will be enlightening people on the discovery a few years ago of the large Neolithic village at Durrington Walls.

The team uncovered remains of ancient houses at the woodhenge monument, which is located just down the river Avon from Stonehenge, the legendary Salisbury Plain monument.

According to the researchers people occupied the sites seasonally, using them for ritual feasting and funeral ceremonies.

In ancient times, the settlement would have housed hundreds of people, making it the largest Neolithic village ever found in Britain.

The dwelling dates back to 2,600-2,500 BC, the same period as Stonehenge was built.

The team established that Durrington Walls and Stonehenge are closely related as one is the site of the living and the other is the site of the dead.

Professor Parker Pearson, who has published over 10 books and 100 academic papers, believes it drew Neolithic people from all over the region, who came for massive feasts in the midwinter, where vast quantities of food were consumed. The bones were then tossed on the floors of the houses.

The excavation is historically significant and has been the source of much excitement in the national media.

The BBC has covered the dig from the start of the project 10 years ago and Channel 4's Time Team did a special programme on the excavation in 2005.

The talk has been organised by the Branscombe Project and is the first of this year's winter talks.

Joan Doern, of the Branscome Project, said: "It will be a fantastic talk and it is great for someone like Mike to come and speak to us.

"He doesn't usually give public talks so this makes it even more exciting."

The talk takes place on Thursday, November 27 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall at Branscombe. Entrance is free.

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