With the creation of the new visitor centre at Stonehenge, the A360 which ran parallel to the monument has now closed. The road was removed under the archaeological supervision of Wessex Archaeology and it will soon be replaced with turf to match the surrounding landscape.
This gave us the rare opportunity to work on a World Heritage Site, monitoring the removal of the road surface. The work revealed two ditches that formed part of the Avenue, running north-east from the Heelstone before turning eastwards towards King Barrow Ridge. This was one of the few opportunities archaeologists would have to investigate these interesting prehistoric features, so a small team of four Wessex Archaeology archaeologists were allowed to excavate two parallel slots across each Avenue ditch. We spent last week excavating and recording these ditch slots, along with planning and photographing the area before and after the excavation.
By Friday both ditches had been fully excavated, revealing a large amount of struck flint. The ditches have been extensively recorded including the collection of monolith and snail column soil samples, these will be examind by our environmental archaeologist back in the office. The results of this small excavation are currently being written up.
by Olly Good