Two of four replica Neolithic houses at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre
Image credit Alistair Deane for English Heritage
 
Maev Kennedy, writing in The Guardian yesterday, reports that –
 
English Heritage has based the four oval houses and a small store room on the foundations of real houses built 4,500 years ago at the nearby settlement of Durrington Walls, where archaeologists believe the people who built the most famous prehistoric monument in the world gathered for seasonal rituals and feasting. The height of the walls and the size of the roof could be estimated from the size of the foundations, but the roof structure remains guesswork – different techniques of thatch have been used on each house.
 
Well done English Heritage for this latest addition to the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Though we appreciate that ‘artistic interpretations’ are more than a little tricky we couldn’t help wondering ‘Where’s the decoration?’ (see our feature below on the Barbury Castle replica Iron Age roundhouse). The Stonehenge Neolithic houses may (originally) have been left completely undecorated but, given the blank white canvas of the interior and exterior walls it’s perhaps not too fanciful to imagine that some decoration was used on them. Perhaps just one of the replica houses could be decorated using pigments available at the time, while also drawing on imagery that may have meant something to the inhabitants of those houses?
 
Guardian article here.