The Mesolithic features

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Two areas of features on the hill were shown to pre-date everything else man-made on the site. It is likely that these date to the Mesolithic, the period before the Neolithic when hunting and gathering was the way of life. Near the area of the Sacred Circle several round patterns of stakeholes were found buried under all the later features. These probably represent very small shelters (2m or so in diameter), temporary in nature because no hearths were present. The most obvious of these shows in X97 (left). Much more substantial is the Banana Barrow (below). A mound about 5-6m long surrounded by pits, with the later Neolithic causewayed enclosure bank firmly sealing it on top. Good dating from this collection of features puts it about 1000 years earlier than the earliest Neolithic settlement. It is prominently situated, right on the skyline.

The Feature Plan (lowest level plan) for X97 showing the collection of stakeholes thought to make up one of the Mesolithic shelters.

The Banana Barrow in cutting CV. It is the raised area of limestone in the centre of the photo, with surrounding pits visible.