The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site consists of two blocks of Wessex chalkland some 40 km apart. It is 30 years since the inscription of Stonehenge and Avebury onto UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1986. The World Heritage Site is internationally important for its outstanding complexes of prehistoric monuments. Stonehenge is the most architecturally-sophisticated stone circle in the world; Avebury the largest. Together they are one of the most iconic and important prehistoric landscapes in the world.
The granting of World Heritage Status required the production of a Management Plan, Aim 7 of which was to encourage and promote research. The primary method for achieving this aim is the Research Framework for the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site.
Wessex Archaeology has been coordinating the revision of the Avebury Resource Assessment and Research Activity in the Stonehenge Landscape and writing an Agenda and Strategy to produce the first combined Research Framework for the World Heritage Site as a whole. These important documents were launched at the conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Site’s inscription held on Saturday 19 November and will guide future researchers and those involved in the management of these iconic sites.
The Framework offers a guide that encompasses the widest possible set of views and priorities, and was written after much discussion with the research community through meetings, workshops and on-line consultation. It is in every sense a collaborative document, produced by and for the constituency of researchers working in the World Heritage Site.