Thornborough Project

Project Leader(s): Jan Harding
Sponsors: English Heritage Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund, British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Board, Society of Antiquities, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Lightwater Holdings plc, Prehistoric Society

Large-scale fieldwork at this largely ignored but impressive Neolithic and Bronze Age monument complex, located in Yorkshire’s North Riding, focused on the landscape’s development prior to the construction of its three massive henges, the appearance and sequence of the henges themselves as well as their relationship to the surrounding landscape, and this area’s use during the following Bronze Age. Earthwork survey, geophysical prospection, surface collection and excavations were all employed. The project will be published as a Council of British Archaeology report. In the report the fieldwork results are considered alongside a detailed discussion of key interpretive themes in Neolithic and Bronze Age studies. These include settlement patterns, exchange, landscape perception, religion, and ‘sacred landscapes’. Thornborough is a highly unusual monument complex and landscape, offering novel insights to understanding the archaeology of the fifth millennium BC to the second millennium BC.


Dr Jan Harding
Senior Lecturer in Later Prehistory