Prehistoric Sites

From Stonehenge to the Moorlands of Western Britain

Prehistoric sites are often difficult to understand; this video looks at a wide variety - from Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, to less well-known monuments high on the moorlands of western Britain - and helps to explain them. It also sets out to tell part of the story of the ancient peoples who built them. We can see the evidence - tools, stone buildings, earthworks, burial chambers, stone circles and long lines of upright stones - but how are we to interpret it? Many clues are pointed out to help work out what the monuments might have been used for. Reconstruction paintings of prehistoric times bring to life the remains of ancient communities: the makers of these structures were farmers, and we assume that the henges had ritual and religious significance in their lives.

The construction of the later hillforts of the Iron Age, including Maiden Castle, is also looked at. An excavation of a long barrow is used to show how much of the evidence that we do have has been recovered by archaeological investigation. We also see a school party using a detailed map as they set out to explore a monument. The video ends by making clear just how many such ancient remains there are. It is a useful general guide to any study of prehistory.

Part of the series Looking at...

Credits

English Heritage:

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Catalog number #13

20 minutes Color

Age Range: 11 to 14

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