Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Crickley Hill.

We had just arrived.
I clearly did not have a clue.

Nevertheless, it is true to say
The causewayed enclosure at Crickley Hill represents 'Neolithic Conflict'

Sites easily become iconic of just one aspect of their multilayer history
And I've just added to it

But the causwayed enclosure is not where I am...
I think it is on the other hill, seen in this picture.

Mostly though
What I remember is the sound of the motorway in the background
The cold
And how happy I was when we stopped to make a fire and brew coffee.

The general idea is that eventually farming become successful.

Rather as the move into the 'Machine Age' in Britain in the mid-eighteenth century caused people to leave the land and starve in cities, or suffer rickets and malnutrition from bad conditions and overwork, the new idea of farming meant misery for many.

Eventually though, enough reorganization and incremental changes add up to a new and stable way of life. It always takes time.

So, when people came here to Crickley Hill, more than 5000 years ago
Farming meant a surplus...
Leather, types of animals, grain....drink.

Farming supports bigger families
Indeed it makes sense to have bigger families because the children can help with the work.

Then there are marriages to be arranged
New links forged between families

The older way of life, of moving from place to place across the land had solidified with farming, into living within one's territory. An annual pilgrimage to a causewayed enclosure may have represented, in the minds of the people there,  a return to a Golden Age of the past.

A past that was never quite like the present
But then...it never is!

The bones of animals butchered for food at another causewayed enclosure, Hambledon Hill in Dorset, seemed to suggest that party-time was late summer, early autumn.

Which makes sense.