The Barrows and Bronze of Petersfield Heath

LIVE Dig - get involved

Barrows and barrow cemeteries are one of the most typical prehistoric monuments to survive in the UK. Whether keeping watch from downland ridges, clustering around great megalithic centres, or maintaining a lonely grass covered vigil in fields or by roadsides they are a part of the countryside we have grown to accept. But they are not just monuments, they represent people and are the collective outcome of communities now long vanished, a testament to their existence and the honouring of their dead. On Petersfield Heath stands one of the most remarkable cemeteries in southern Britain. A series of 21 round barrows dating between 1900-16500 BC are all that is left of a Bronze Age community. Unusually for this area the cemetery is organised in a manner similar to those further to the west in Wessex, at Avebury and Stonehenge. Even more unusually, the cemetery appears to be completely unexplored, having apparently escaped the attentions of Victorian parsons and local country gentlemen who could, and did ‘open’ hundreds of barrows in a day. Above all this is a chance to understand the people of the heath themselves, and how these communal monuments, perhaps the focal point for several communities, came to represent them, and their lives. This day is an exciting exploration of the ongoing People of the Heath project, a study of the barrows and their people. We will have an opportunity to hear about see the site, examine and handle some finds, and take part in a session of excavation alongside the project team.

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

Please note that start and finish times below are exact but other timings may vary slightly.

MORNING: 10:00 am start

10.00 - Meet at St Peters Hall Petersfield.
10.15 - Introduction talk by Stuart Needham on the project and handling session.

12.30 - Walk to lunch

AFTERNOON:

14.00 - Tour of the Barrow Cemetery with George Anelay and a unique chance of looking at finds and participating in the dig alongside the project team.

16.30 - Disperse

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Lunch - A buffet-style lunch will be provided
  3. Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue

See something old in a new way

Andante Study Days offer rare, often unique, insights into the world of working archaeology. All are led by expert guides, and are designed to give guests access to some of the best of British Archaeology... 

What to expect 

  • An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
  • A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
  • Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
  • Small Groups 12-25 guests
  • The company of like-minded people!

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