Cursuses and Related Monuments of the British Neolithic: PhD Thesis, University of Leicester (1985)

Roy Loveday, 2006

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Roy Loveday (2006) Cursuses and Related Monuments of the British Neolithic: PhD Thesis, University of Leicester (1985) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Photograph of Dorset Cursus

In this nationwide survey completed in 1984 (written up and submitted 1985) all cursuses were plotted at a scale of 1:10560 and the smaller, but morphologically related, elongated ditches (oblong, trapeziform and ovate) at a scale of 1:2500. These common scales enable direct comparison and emphasize the link between large and small sites (eg. Llandegai; Holywood B (North); Thornborough). The truly massive Rudston and Dorset cursus complexes required substantial fold outs. These have been copied sectionally and reproduced here at slightly below 1:10560; sizing can be established from the smaller scale full plans and the gazetteer entries.

Since 1985 several of the sites detailed here have been more extensively traced or re-assessed (eg 74: Stanwell, Surrey). Updated information on individual sites can be found in A. Barclay & J. Harding 1999 'Pathways & Ceremonies. The Cursus Monuments of Britain and Ireland' Oxbow; A. Barclay 2003 'Lines in the Landscape. Cursus Monuments in the Upper Thames Valley' Oxford Archaeology; and K. Brophy & RCAHMS 2007 'The Cursus Monuments of Scotland.' It is intended that updated surveys will be added to this site in due course.

The text that accompanied this survey in 1985 has been almost totally superceded; with only one radiocarbon date available at the time of writing it seemed possible that the precise Bi cursus series centred in the Midlands and East Anglia filled the gap in henge distribution and represented the work of Grooved Ware using groups. New excavations and a range of radiocarbon dates have changed the picture. A revised text reflecting this new data is available: 'Inscribed across the Landscape. The Cursus Enigma' Roy Loveday, Tempus 2006.

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