Landscape & Perception: Avebury

The Avebury Complex in Wiltshire is an extensive, fairly well preserved Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape comprised of earthen and megalithic monuments tightly knitted into the contours of the natural topography. It is classed as a World Heritage Landscape, along with Stonehenge situated about 20 miles to its south. Avebury henge itself contains a complex of stone settings, including the worldís largest stone circle within a bank and ditch enclosure, not to mention part of the medieval-founded village of Avebury, with a main road running through it. The site is therefore vastly different in nature to Preseli, our main pilot study target area, which is remote, natural and wild containing a scatter of small Neolithic monuments. Avebury, on the other hand, could be described as a Stone Age designer landscape, with the henge and the major monuments surrounding it carefully situated in the local landscape, a landscape that has gradually been encroached upon by the modern world. There is another major difference as well: the Carn Menyn area in Preseli has had little study by archaeologists or anyone else, least of all audio-visual practitioners, while the Avebury Complex has had extensive study by antiquarians and archaeologists since the 17th Century, with parts of the complex receiving intensive archaeological study at the present day.

The present Landscape and Perception pilot study has been too limited in its resources to attempt any major ground-breaking work at Avebury, unlike its more extensive work at Preseli, and until greater resources become available we have had to content ourselves with some basic visual and auditory observations.

An Introduction to Avebury

The Henge
The Core Avebury Complex
Greater Avebury Complex
Select Bibliography