Blog PostLidar Investigation

Windmill Hill – Avebury Phase 1

Langdon Investigates Short Videocast – Transcript (Windmill Hill)

Hello my name is Robert John Langdon and you’re watching my video channel this video cast is one of my 10 minute shorts which looks at sites around Britain using LIDAR in a strange sense this is my version of landscape archaeology for the 21st century i hope you enjoy

This week we look at Avebury Stone Circle a little bit like Stonehenge the way to examine this site is to look at the surrounding areas and the landscape what i have done is split this into three sections and this is phase one which will concentrate at windmill hill now windmill hill is a very interesting sight because it’s somewhat northwest of the main site of Avebury but if we can if we see it’s actually on the highest aspect of the landscape now if we put in the Neolithic water levels at the time we see it’s become an island which is makes it even more interesting we if we now zoom in to the site we’re gonna give it a bit of a tilt to make it much more interesting to look at and then we’re going to give it a bit of a look around so we’re going to look around why explain windmill hill and what the archaeologists make of it.

After the great melt of the last ice age this area would have been almost flooded at the start the Mesolithic period about 10 000 bce the only part of Avebury above this initial water level would have been windmill hill this site shows evidence of occupation this is what archaeologists call a caused way enclosure as they incorrectly imagine that the moats that built to accommodate ships and boats were in fact dry ditches to contain cattle -would you believe

Windmill Hill Avebury
Windmill Hill Avebury

So let’s have a closer look at Windmill Hill – now the first thing you should observe its location if you’re going to build a site surely you would build it in the middle of the island and archaeologists don’t believe it was island this is if it was a hillside then you would have built it on top of the hill rather than on one h which doesn’t make any sense as we spin around you see this more clearly

Now the fascinating aspect of this is that one of these ditches dips into what would have been the River Kennet in the Mesolithic period when we’ve looked at other sites such as the volcano we actually found that there are very very clear dykes that go from the inner ring to the outer ring but what you do see very clearly is where they’ve actually positioned this caused weighing closure as they could this gives you a better idea of the original depth of the dishes this is all being ploughed down left so we only got a ghost of the image as it was but clearly this is a lot different to what the archaeologists imagine is something for cattle

Causewayed Enclosure - Windmill Hill
Causewayed Enclosure – Windmill Hill

The construction is kind of site used for cattle to be honest is complete nonsense if you think about it as the time the effort the organisation and the workforce required to dig this these dishes for some cows is I find totally bizarre you know at the end of the day wood was free build a fence it’s far far quick this is 30 times more work than building a fence and at the end of the day why would you want you know three rings if it’s to corrode some cows that’s great put it that way and you know fits it off in the middle it’s much why would you do a concentric circle site for some cows – and sadly this is archaeology today it’s nonsense it doesn’t make

Whitehawk Causewayed Enclosure - Windmill Hill
Whitehawk Causewayed Enclosure – Windmill Hill

Any sense any rational person would look at this and go obviously there must have been method in their matters look if you’ve spent you know thousands of man hours building something and you’re going to put some cows in it you know if a ditch was an effective way of keeping cows in you would have farmers with their jcbs which is somewhat quicker than digging it by hand knocking out ditches all right their farms rather than building fences which is you know it’s just a nonsense but that’s archaeology today you know what do i know i’m an idiot according to them

Construction of Causewayed Enclosures - Windmill Hill
Construction of Causewayed Enclosures – Windmill Hill

So this was phase one back to reality rather than the archaeological bubble this was phase one it’s um it’s a causeway include and you know the the most fascinating aspect i don’t call them complaint closures because it’s a nonsense yeah i call concentric circle sites and i do that because they’re we the one of the earliest writers in history talk about them would you believe you know someone from 300 bce talk about concentric circle science and that guy was Plato.

Plato described a a a city with concentric circles it’s amazing that you’ve got someone in history who actually writes about concentric circle sites now it’s you know this is over two and a half thousand years ago much closer to the time where obviously these these sites existed so one would imagine that the the they had a better idea of why they were constructed today

Plato - Windmill Hill
Plato – Windmill Hill

But the most amazing aspect of you know Plato’s work and contra concentric circle sites is that he dates them as nine thousand years before the present he’s present so then ninety thousand bce we’re talking about now no one in the past ever imagined that these sites could exist but they have existed and they’re here now they’re in Britain they’re in the northern hemisphere they’re probably under Doggerland where they these people actually who originated these sites came from and and an amazing aspect of Plato’s work is that he talks about a civilisation who drowned under you know the first of climate change I suppose the ladies put it by rising sea levels and that was 9 000 years ago that’s when it started at least and this these signs are dated back to them

Now the archaeologists would tell you oh no no no no they’re only 3 000 bce not no they’re only 5 000 years old not not 10 000 years old and that’s because at the end of the day they date and if we put this on holding it they go and date these sites by what they find in this ditch now to be honest that’s probably what i would call bad science and they’re bad science because at the end of the day you can’t date you cannot take that site but what’s in that ditch

Causewayed Enclosure Distribution - Windmill Hill
Causewayed Enclosure Distribution – Windmill Hill

So back to our little display we have windmill it’s it’s made to touch the River Kennet because you would sell your boat to this river in you go on on the inner circle you can park it there i would imagine that something like here you can then take your boat to the inner circle perhaps you know yeah that’s i see it more like I don’t know a um a car park everybody goes to Sunday markets don’t they think think of it more your boat is your your modern day car you take it along the river which is the highway and you want to sell your goods at the back of yours in your Sunday market so you park your car in a car park as close close to the centre as possible you know if you got there late you have to come to the end if you got there early you get in the centre wherever you’ve got the bigger footfall so you go there you park your car you open your boot and you sell your goods do you think people in the past didn’t do something similar they didn’t have a car clearly but they had a boat you take your boat full of your goods you come into this site you take your bring your boat in from the river if you’re late you have to park around the end if you’re early you can go to the the inner one of the inner circles if you’re really really early and you’ve got lots of things to to sell but perhaps you’re selling food.

You know we know that we know that food was brought from as far as Scotland into uh big meat we know that it’s a fact you know it’s something archaeologists don’t like to admit but they’re mystified how the hell do you get a cow from Scotland to pick mead if you don’t have a boat it’s you know the the idea they bring this by car is absolute nonsense you wouldn’t even know what big media is from Scotland you know if we got the if they got GPS or the greatest signposts in the world – I don’t think so

Mesolithic Site Animal DNA distribution - Windmill Hill
Mesolithic Site Animal DNA distribution – Windmill Hill

But you can follow a river and rivers usually lead down to to places like this and we’ll have a look with phase two how they got to places like this in the most obvious way so you bring your boat in if you’re if you’re early you get into the centre if you’re selling food particularly you get into the centre you go you park your boat on the banks and people will come in perhaps perhaps uh the the people with their wares take this inner circle and they say out the circle and people are visiting use the out circle you know at the end of the day if you bring it back you can always park it on the edge and walk up yeah and you can beat it on these beaches and just walk across you know to you know if we’ve got a footpath that may be tens of thousands of years old you know we could park beaches there walk up do some trading go back to your boat go back home phase one of uh windmill hill piece of cake if you’ve got half

Well that’s all we’ve got time for this week tune in next week for another edition of Langdon investigates where we look at another ancient site until then subscribe below to make sure you’re informed when new videos come on the video channel until then thank you for watching.

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