Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Springfield Cursus: circa 2000bce. Watercolour by Frank Gardiner, © Essex County Council

1 comment:

Littlestone said...

"Cursus monuments are one of the big problems of the Neolithic period. They consist of long parallel ditches running across the landscape, with no obvious use. There are a number of them known in the country, and there are two at Stonehenge for example. The Springfield (Chelmer) cursus (late 3rd-early 2nd millennia BC) is of medium length about 700m, but it has very definite right-angled ends, so that it forms a long thin rectangle. The ditches are not exactly parallel - there is a kink in the middle of the south side, so that whereas at the west end the ditches are 49m apart, at the east end they are only 37m apart... At the east end, however, there was a circle of post-holes... centrally placed in the middle of the cursus...

"It looks as if the cursus was originally a monument with no entrance. There may have been some bridge or approach which has left no trace, or was it a strip of sacred land from which all human contact, at least originally, was forbidden?"*
* Chelmsford Museums Service, 1991.