Neolithic Pits

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During the period when large monuments dominated the landscape, the Neolithic inhabitants deposited domestic flints and other objects in pits and the hollows left by felled and diseased trees. This practice evolved in the later Neolithic period, when offerings of pottery and flint were deposited in specially dug pits. Once the monument construction had ceased our evidence for the presence of Neolithic people at this time is a scatter of pits and pit clusters dug in woodland clearings across the landscape. Many pits were dug alongside the decaying monuments because these ancient locations continued to be important places. The placing of objects in pits may have accompanied rituals that sealed agreements over family rights to a particular clearing or plot of land. We know that some of these offerings were made in the autumn because the seeds and berries of autumn fruits have been found within them. This pit digging activity began in the fourth millennium BC and lasted for a thousand years or more. We can date this activity by specific types of decorated pottery found in them, Peterborough Ware and Grooved Ware.

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