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Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage Site Location United Kingdom Criteria i, ii, iii Reference 373 Coordinates Coordinates: Inscription 1986 (10th Session)
Constructed over several hundred years in the Third Millennium BC, during the Neolithic, or New Stone Age, the monument comprises a large henge (a bank and a ditch) with a large outer stone circle and two separate smaller stone circles situated inside the centre of the monument. Its original purpose is unknown, although archaeologists believe that it was most likely used for some form of ritual or ceremony. The Avebury monument is a part of a larger prehistoric landscape containing several older monuments nearby, including West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill.
By the Iron Age, the site had been effectively abandoned, with some evidence of human activity on the site during the Roman occupation. During the Early Middle Ages, a village first began to be built around the monument, eventually extending into it. In the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods, local people destroyed many of the standing stones around the henge, both for religious and practical reasons. The antiquarians John Aubrey and William Stukeley, however, took an interest in Avebury during the 17th century, and recorded much of the site before its destruction. Archaeological investigation followed in the 20th century, led primarily by Alexander Keiller, who oversaw a project which reconstructed much of the monument.
Avebury is owned and managed by the National Trust. It has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, as well as a World Heritage Site, in the latter capacity being seen as a part of the wider prehistoric landscape of Wiltshire known as Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites.
- 1 Location and environment
- 2 Background
- 3 Construction
- 4 Purpose
- 5 Later history
- 6 Contemporary use
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Location and environment
Radiocarbon dating and analysis of pollen in buried soils have shown that the environment of lowland Britain changed around 4250–4000 BCE. The change to a grassland environment from damp, heavy soils and expanses of dense forest was mostly brought about by farmers, probably through the use of slash and burn techniques. Environmental factors may also have made a contribution. Pollen is poorly preserved in the chalky soils found around Avebury, so the best evidence for the state of local environment at any time in the past comes from the study of the deposition of snail shells. Different species of snail live in specific habitats, so the presence of a certain species indicates what the area was like at a particular point in time. The available evidence suggests that in the early Neolithic, Avebury and the surrounding hills were covered in dense oak woodland, and as the Neolithic progressed, the woodland around Avebury and the nearby monuments receded and was replaced by grassland.
BackgroundThe history of the site before the construction of the henge is uncertain, because little datable evidence has emerged from modern archaeological excavations. Evidence of activity in the region before the 4th millennium BCE is limited, suggesting that there was little human occupation.
MesolithicWhat is now termed the Mesolithic period in Britain lasted from circa 11600 to 7800 BP, at a time when the island was heavily forested and when there was still a land mass, called Doggerland, which connected Britain to continental Europe. During this era, those humans living in Britain were hunter-gatherers, often moving around the landscape in small familial or tribal groups in search of food and other resources. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence that there were some of these hunter-gatherers active in the vicinity of Avebury during the Late Mesolithic, with stray finds of flint tools, dated between 7000 and 4000 BCE, having been found in the area. The most notable of these discoveries is a densely scattered collection of worked flints found 300 m (980 ft) to the west of Avebury, which has led archaeologists to believe that that particular spot was a flint working site occupied over a period of several weeks by a group of nomadic hunter-gatherers who had set up camp there.
The archaeologists Mark Gillings and Joshua Pollard suggested the possibility that Avebury first gained some sort of ceremonial significance during the Late Mesolithic period. As evidence, they highlighted the existence of a posthole near to the monument's southern entrance that would have once supported a large wooden post. Although this posthole was never dated when it was excavated in the early 20th century, and so cannot definitely be ascribed to the Mesolithic, Gillings and Pollard noted that its positioning had no relation to the rest of the henge, and that it may therefore have been erected centuries or even millennia before the henge was actually built. They compared this with similar wooden posts that had been erected in southern Britain during the Mesolithic at Stonehenge and Hambledon Hill, both of which were sites that like Avebury saw the construction of large monuments in the Neolithic.
Early Neolithicmaterial culture that included pottery. These developments allowed hunter-gatherers to settle down and produce their own food. As agriculture spread, people cleared land. At the same time, they also erected the first monuments to be seen in the local landscape, an activity interpreted as evidence of a change in the way people viewed their place in the world.
Based on anthropological studies of recent and contemporary societies, Gillings and Pollard suggest that forests, clearings, and stones were important in Neolithic culture, not only as resources but as symbols; the site of Avebury occupied a convergence of these three elements. Neolithic activity at Avebury is evidenced by flint, animal bones, and pottery such as Peterborough ware dating from the early 4th and 3rd millennia BCE. Five distinct areas of Neolithic activity have been identified within 500 m (1,600 ft) of Avebury; they include a scatter of flints along the line of the West Kennet Avenue – an avenue that connects Avebury with the Neolithic site of The Sanctuary. Pollard suggests that areas of activity in the Neolithic became important markers in the landscape.
Late NeolithicDuring the Late Neolithic, British society underwent another series of major changes. Between 3500 and 3300 BCE, these prehistoric Britons ceased their continual expansion and cultivation of wilderness and instead focused on settling and farming the most agriculturally productive areas of the island: Orkney, eastern Scotland, Anglesey, the upper Thames, Wessex, Essex, Yorkshire and the river valleys of the Wash.
Late Neolithic Britons also appeared to have changed their religious beliefs, ceasing to construct the large chambered tombs that are widely thought by archaeologists to have been connected with ancestor veneration. Instead, they began the construction of large wooden or stone circles, with many hundreds being built across Britain and Ireland over a period of a thousand years.
The construction of large monuments such as those at Avebury indicates that a stable agrarian economy had developed in Britain by around 4000–3500 BCE. The people who built them had to be secure enough to spend time on such non-essential activities. Avebury was one of a group of monumental sites that were established in this region during the Neolithic. Its monuments comprise the henge and associated long barrows, stone circles, avenues, and a causewayed enclosure. These monument types are not exclusive to the Avebury area. For example, Stonehenge features the same kinds of monuments, and in Dorset there is a henge on the edge of Dorchester and a causewayed enclosure at nearby Maiden Castle. According to Caroline Malone, who worked for English Heritage as an inspector of monuments and was the curator of Avebury's Alexander Keiller Museum, it is possible that the monuments associated with Neolithic sites such as Avebury and Stonehenge constituted ritual or ceremonial centres.
Archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson noted that the addition of the stones to the henge occurred at a similar date to the construction of Silbury Hill and the major building projects at Stonehenge and Durrington Walls. For this reason, he speculated that there may have been a "religious revival" at the time, which led to huge amounts of resources being expended on the construction of ceremonial monuments.
Archaeologist Aaron Watson highlighted the possibility that by digging up earth and using it to construct the large banks, those Neolithic labourers constructing the Avebury monument symbolically saw themselves as turning the land "inside out", thereby creating a space that was "on a frontier between worlds above and beneath the ground."
Radiocarbon dating suggests that the henge was made by the middle of the third millennium BC. The henge's construction was an immense task; the ditch was cut through hard chalk with antler picks and stone mauls, and it is estimated that over 90000 m3 of material weighing 165,000 tons was excavated. The ditch is currently 20–24 metres wide, but originally was narrower at 12–15 metres with sides sharply dropping to a bottom around 10 metres deep. Burl speculates that it was likely built for defensive purposes.
The top of the bank is irregular, something archaeologist Caroline Malone suggested was because of the irregular nature of the work undertaken by excavators working on the adjacent sectors of the ditch. Later archaeologists such as Aaron Watson, Mark Gillings and Joshua Pollard have, however, suggested that this was an original Neolithic feature of the henge's architecture.
Outer Stone Circle
The two large stones at the Southern Entrance had an unusually smooth surface, likely due to having stone axes polished on them.
Inner Stone CirclesNearer the middle of the monument are two additional, separate stone circles. The northern inner ring is 98 metres (322 ft) in diameter, but only two of its four standing stones remain upright. A cove of three stones stood in the middle, its entrance facing northeast. Taking experiments undertaken at the megalithic Ring of Brodgar in Orkney as a basis, the archaeologists Joshua Pollard, Mark Gillings and Aaron Watson believed that any sounds produced inside Avebury's Inner Circles would have created an echo as sound waves ricocheted off the standing stones.
The southern inner ring was 108 metres (354 ft) in diameter before its destruction in the 18th century. The remaining sections of its arc now lie beneath the village buildings. A single large monolith, 5.5 metres (18 ft) high, stood in the centre along with an alignment of smaller stones.
The archaeologist Aaron Watson, taking a phenomenological viewpoint to the monument, believed that the way in which the Avenue had been constructed in juxtaposition to Avebury, the Sanctuary, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow had been intentional, commenting that "the Avenue carefully orchestrated passage through the landscape which influenced how people could move and what they could see, emphasizing connections between places and maximizing the spectacle of moving between these monuments."
In his study of those examples found at Orkney, Colin Richards suggested that the stone and wooden circles built in Neolithic Britain might have represented the centre of the world, or axis mundi, for those who constructed them, something Aaron Watson adopted as a possibility in his discussion of Avebury.
A great deal of interest surrounds the morphology of the stones, which are usually described as being in one of two categories; tall and slender, or short and squat. This has led to numerous theories relating to the importance of gender in Neolithic Britain with the taller stones considered "male" and the shorter ones "female". The stones were not dressed in any way and may have been chosen for their pleasing natural forms.
The human bones found by Gray point to some form of funerary purpose and have parallels in the disarticulated human bones often found at earlier causewayed enclosure sites. Ancestor worship on a huge scale could have been one of the purposes of the monument and would not necessarily have been mutually exclusive with any male/female ritual role.
The henge, although clearly forming an imposing boundary to the circle, could have had a purpose that was not defensive as the ditch is on the inside (this is the defining characteristic of a Henge.) Being a henge and stone circle site, astronomical alignments are a common theory to explain the positioning of the stones at Avebury. The relationships between the causewayed enclosure, Avebury stone circles, and West Kennet Long Barrow to the south, has caused some to describe the area as a "ritual complex" – a site with many monuments of interlocking religious function.
Controversial theoriesVarious non-archaeologists as well as pseudoarchaeologists have interpreted Avebury and its neighbouring prehistoric monuments differently from academics. These interpretations have been defined by professional archaeologist Aubrey Burl as being "more phony than factual", and in many cases "entirely untenable". Such inaccurate ideas originated with William Stukeley in the late 17th century, who believed that Avebury had been built by the druids, priests of the Iron Age peoples of north-western Europe, although archaeologists since then have identified the monument as having been constructed two thousand years before the Iron Age, during the Neolithic.
The prominent modern Druid Ross Nichols, the founder of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, believed that there was an astrological axis connecting Avebury to the later megalithic site at Stonehenge, and that this axis was flanked on one side by West Kennet Long Barrow, which he believed symbolised the Mother Goddess, and Silbury Hill, which he believed to be a symbol of masculinity.
Alexander Thom suggested that Avebury was constructed with a site-to-site alignment with Deneb.
Iron Age and Roman periodsDuring the British Iron Age, it appears that the Avebury monument had ceased to be used for its original purpose, and was instead largely ignored, with little archaeological evidence that many people visited the site at this time. Archaeologist Aubrey Burl believed that the Iron Age Britons living in the region would not have known when, why or by whom the monument had been constructed, perhaps having some vague understanding that it had been built by an earlier society or considering it to be the dwelling of a supernatural entity.
In 43 CE, the Roman Empire invaded southern Britain, making alliances with certain local monarchs and subsuming the Britons under their own political control. Southern and central Britain would remain a part of the Empire until the early 5th century, in a period now known as Roman Britain or the Roman Iron Age. It was during this Roman period that tourists came from the nearby towns of Cunetio, Durocornovium and the villas and farms around Devizes and visited Avebury and its surrounding prehistoric monuments via a newly constructed road. Evidence of visitors at the monument during this period has been found in the form of Roman-era pottery sherds uncovered from the ditch.
Early Mediaeval periodIn the Early Mediaeval period, which began in the 5th century following the collapse of Roman rule, Anglo-Saxon tribes from continental Europe migrated to southern Britain, where they may have come into conflict with the Britons already settled there. Aubrey Burl suggested the possibility that a small group of British warriors may have used Avebury as a fortified site to defend themselves from Anglo-Saxon attack. He gained this idea from etymological evidence, suggesting that the site may have been called weala-dic, meaning "moat of the Britons", in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons.
The early Anglo-Saxon settlers followed their own pagan religion which venerated a selection of deities, the most notable of whom were apparently Woden and Thunor. It is known from etymological sources that they associated many prehistoric sites in the Wiltshire area with their gods, for instance within a ten-mile of radius of Avebury there are four sites that were apparently named after Woden: Wansdyke ("Wodin's ditch"), Wodin's Barrow, Waden Hill ("Wodin's Hill)" and perhaps Wanborough (also "Woden's Hill"). It is not known if they placed any special religious associations with the Avebury monument, but it remains possible.
During the Early Mediaeval period, there were signs of settlement at Avebury, with a grubenhaus, a type of timber hut with a sunken floor, being constructed just outside the monument's west bank in the 6th century. Only a few farmers appeared to have inhabited the area at the time, and they left the Avebury monument largely untouched. In the 7th and 8th centuries, the Anglo-Saxon peoples began gradually converting to Christianity, and during the 10th century a church was built just west of the monument.
In 939, the earliest known written record of the monument was made in the form of a charter of King Athelstan which defined the boundaries of Overton, a parish adjacent to Avebury. In the following century, invading Viking armies from Denmark came into conflict with Anglo-Saxon groups in the area around Avebury, and it may be that they destroyed Avebury village, for the local prehistoric monument of Silbury Hill was fortified and used as a defensive position, apparently by a local Anglo-Saxon population attempting to protect themselves from Viking aggression.
Late Mediaeval period
During the toppling of the stones, one of them (which was 3 metres tall and weighed 13 tons), collapsed on top of one of the men pulling it down, fracturing his pelvis and breaking his neck, crushing him to death. His corpse was trapped in the hole that had been dug for the falling stone, and so the locals were unable to remove the body and offer him a Christian burial in a churchyard, as would have been customary at the time. When archaeologists excavated his body in 1938, they found that he had been carrying a leather pouch, in which was found three silver coins dated to around 1320–25, as well as a pair of iron scissors and a lancet. From these latter two items, the archaeologists surmised that he had probably been a travelling barber-surgeon who journeyed between market towns offering his services, and that he just happened to be at Avebury when the stone-felling was in progress.
It appears that the death of the barber-surgeon prevented the locals from pulling down further stones, perhaps fearing that it had in some way been retribution for toppling them in the first place, enacted by a vengeful spirit or even the Devil himself. The event appears to have left a significant influence on the minds of the local villagers, for records show that in the 18th and 19th centuries there were still legends being told in the community about a man being crushed by a falling stone.
Soon after the toppling of many of the stones, the Black Death hit the village in 1349, almost halving the population. Those who survived focused on their agricultural duties to grow food and stay alive. As a result, they would not have had the time or manpower to once more attempt to demolish any part of the non-Christian monument, even if they wanted to.
Early Modern periodEarly Modern period that Avebury was first recognised as an antiquity that warranted investigation. Around 1541, John Leland, the librarian and chaplain to King Henry VIII travelled through Wiltshire and made note of the existence of Avebury and its neighbouring prehistoric monuments. Despite this, Avebury remained relatively unknown to anyone but locals and when the antiquarian William Camden published his Latin language guide to British antiquities, Britannia, in 1586, he made no mention of it. He rectified this for his English language version in 1610, but even in this he only included a fleeting reference to the monument at "Abury", believing it to have been "an old camp". In 1634, it was once more referenced, this time in Sir John Harington's notes to the Orlando Furioso opera; however, further antiquarian investigation was prevented by the outbreak of the English Civil War (1642–51), which was waged between the Parliamentarians and Royalists, with one of the battles in the conflict taking place five miles away from Avebury at Roundway Down.
With the war over, a new edition of the Britannia was published in 1695, which described the monument at "Aubury" in more detail. This entry had been written by the antiquarian and writer John Aubrey, who privately made many notes about Avebury and other prehistoric monuments which remained unpublished. Aubrey had first encountered the site whilst out hunting in 1649 and, in his own words, had been "wonderfully surprised at the sight of those vast stones of which I had never heard before." Hearing of Avebury and taking an interest in it, King Charles II commanded Aubrey to come to him and describe the site, which he did in July 1663. The two subsequently travelled to visit it together on the monarch's trip to Bath, Somerset a fortnight later, and the site further captivated the king's interest, who commanded Aubrey to dig underneath the stones in search of any human burials. Aubrey, however, never undertook the king's order. In September 1663, Aubrey began making a more systematic study of the site, producing a plan that has proved invaluable for later archaeologists, for it contained reference to many standing stones that would soon after be destroyed by locals.
In the latter part of the 17th and then the 18th centuries, destruction at Avebury reached its peak, possibly influenced by the rise of Puritanism in the village, a fundamentalist form of Protestant Christianity that vehemently denounced things considered to be "pagan", which would have included pre-Christian monuments like Avebury. The majority of the standing stones that had been a part of the monument for thousands of years were smashed up to be used as building material for the local area. This was achieved in a method that involved lighting a fire to heat the sarsen, then pouring cold water on it to create weaknesses in the rock, and finally smashing at these weak points with a sledgehammer.
Stukeley was disgusted by the destruction of the sarsen stones in the monument, and named those local farmers and builders who were responsible. He remarked that "this stupendous fabric, which for some thousands of years, had brav'd the continual assaults of weather, and by the nature of it, when left to itself, like the pyramids of Egypt, would have lasted as long as the globe, hath fallen a sacrifice to the wretched ignorance and avarice of a little village unluckily plac'd within it."
Stukeley published his findings and theories in a book, Abury, a Temple of the British Druids (1743), in which he intentionally falsified some of the measurements he had made of the site to better fit his theories about its design and purpose. Meanwhile, the Reverend Thomas Twining had also published a book about the monument, Avebury in Wiltshire, the Remains of a Roman Work, which had been published in 1723. Whereas Stukeley claimed that Avebury and related prehistoric monuments were the creations of the druids, Twining thought that they had been constructed by the later Romans, justifying his conclusion on the fact that Roman writers like Julius Caesar and Tacitus had not referred to stone circles when discussing the Iron Age Britons, whereas Late Mediaeval historians like Geoffrey of Monmouth and Henry of Huntingdon had described these megaliths in their works, and that such monuments must have therefore been constructed between the two sets of accounts.
Late Modern periodBy the beginning of the Victorian period in 1837, the majority of Neolithic standing stones at Avebury had gone, having been either buried by pious locals in the 14th century or smashed up for building materials in the 17th and 18th. Meanwhile, the population of Avebury village was rapidly increasing, leading to further housing being built inside the henge. In an attempt to prevent further construction on the site, the wealthy politician and archaeologist Sir John Lubbock, who later came to be known as Lord Avebury, purchased much of the available land in the monument, and encouraged other buyers to build their houses outside rather than within the henge, in an attempt to preserve it.
Following the opening of his own excavations, archaeologist Alexander Keiller decided that the best way to preserve Avebury was to purchase it in its entirety. Keiller was heir to the James Keiller and Son business and was able to use his wealth to acquire the site. He also obtained as much of the Kennet Avenue as possible and the nearby Avebury Manor, where he was to live until his death in 1955.
Excavation at Avebury has been limited. In 1894 Sir Henry Meux put a trench through the bank, which gave the first indication that the earthwork was built in two phases. The site was surveyed and excavated intermittently between 1908 and 1922 by a team of workmen under the direction of Harold St George Gray. The discovery of over 40 antler picks on or near the bottom of the ditch enabled Gray to demonstrate that the Avebury builders had dug down 11 metres (36 ft) into the natural chalk using red deer antlers as their primary digging tool, producing a henge ditch with a 9-metre (30 ft) high bank around its perimeter. Gray recorded the base of the ditch as being 4 metres (13 ft) wide and flat, but later archaeologists have questioned his use of untrained labour to excavate the ditch and suggested that its form may have been different. Gray found few artefacts in the ditch-fill but he did recover scattered human bones, amongst which jawbones were particularly well represented. At a depth of about 2 metres (7 ft), Gray found the complete skeleton of a 1.5-metre (5 ft) tall woman.
When a new village school was built in 1969 there was a further opportunity to examine the site, and in 1982 an excavation to produce carbon dating material and environmental data was undertaken.
In April 2003, during preparations to straighten some of the stones, one was found to be buried at least 2.1 metres (7 ft) below ground. It was estimated to weigh more than 100 tons, making it one of the largest ever found in the UK. Later that year, a geophysics survey of the southeast and northeast quadrants of the circle by the National Trust revealed at least 15 of the megaliths lying buried. The National Trust were able to identify their sizes, the direction in which they are lying, and where they fitted in the circle.
Alexander Keiller Museum
Founded by Keiller in 1938, the collections feature artifacts mostly of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age date, with other items from the Anglo-Saxon and later periods. The museum also features the skeleton of a child nicknamed "Charlie", found in a ditch at Windmill Hill, Avebury. The Council of British Druid Orders requested that the skeleton be re-buried in 2006, but in April 2010 the decision was made to keep the skeleton on public view.
The collections are owned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and are on loan to English Heritage.
Contemporary Paganism and the New Age movementAvebury has been adopted as a sacred site by many adherents of contemporary Pagan religions such as Druidry, Wicca and Heathenry. These worshippers view the monument as a "living temple" which they associate with the ancestors, as well as with genii loci, or spirits of place. Typically, such Pagan rites at the site are performed publicly, and attract crowds of curious visitors to witness the event, particularly on major days of Pagan celebration such as the summer solstice.
Druidic rites held at Avebury are commonly known as gorseddau and involve participants invoking Awen (a Druidic concept meaning inspiration), with an eisteddfod section during which poems, songs and stories are publicly performed. The Druid Prayer composed by Iolo Morganwg in the 18th century and the later Druid Vow are typically recited. One particular group, known as the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri, focus almost entirely upon holding their rites at the prehistoric site, referring to it as Caer Abiri. In their original ceremony, composed by Philip Shallcrass of the British Druid Order in 1993, those assembled divide into two groups, one referred to as the God party and the other as the Goddess party. Those with the Goddess party go to the "Devil's Chair" at the southern entrance to the Avebury henge, where a woman representing the spirit guardian of the site and the Goddess who speaks through her sits in the chair-like cove in the southern face of the sarsen stone. Meanwhile, those following the God party process around the outer bank of the henge to the southern entrance, where they are challenged as to their intent and give offerings (often of flowers, fruit, bread or mead) to the Goddess's representative.
Due to the fact that various Pagan, and in particular Druid groups, perform their ceremonies at the site, a rota has been established, whereby the Loyal Arthurian Warband (LAW), the Secular Order of Druids (SOD) and the Glastonbury Order of Druids (GOD) use it on Saturdays, whilst the Druid Network and the British Druid Order (BDO) instead plan their events for Sundays.
Alongside its usage as a sacred site amongst Pagans, the prehistoric monument has become a popular attraction for those holding New Age beliefs, with some visitors using dowsing rods around the site in the belief that they might be able to detect psychic emanations.
By the late 1970s the site was being visited by around a quarter of a million visitors annually.
Popular cultureA fictionalised version of Avebury, known as "Wansbury Ring", features in Mary Rayner's 1975 novel The Witch-Finder.
Children of the Stones, a 1977 children's television drama serial, was filmed at Avebury and takes place in a fictionalized version of Avebury called "Milbury".
April Fools' DayOn 1 April 2014, as part of an April Fool's Day prank, the National Trust claimed through social media and a press release that their rangers were moving one of the stones in order to realign the circle with British Summer Time. The story was picked up by local media  and The Guardian's "Best of the Web".
VillageAbout 480 people live in 235 homes in the village of Avebury and its associated settlement of Avebury Trusloe, and in the nearby hamlets of Beckhampton and West Kennett.
- List of megalithic sites
- Crop circle – nearly half of all circles found in the UK in 2003 were located within a 15 km radius of the site.
- Cherhill White Horse – nearby hill figure.
- Burl 2002. p. 154.
- Jeremy Northcote Spatial distribution of England's crop circles Edith Cowan University, Australia
- Academic books
- Adkins Roy; Adkins, Lesley & Leitch, Victoria (2008). The Handbook of British Archaeology (Revised Edition). London: Constable. ISBN 978-1-84529-606-3.
- Barrett, John C. (1994). Fragments from Antiquity: An Archaeology of Social Life in Britain, 2900–1200 BC. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, USA: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-18954-1.
- Blain, Jenny & Wallis, Robert (2007). Sacred Sites Contested Rites/Rights: Pagan Engagements with Archaeological Monuments. Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-84519-130-6.
- Burl, Aubrey (1979). Prehistoric Avebury. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02368-5.
- Burl, Aubrey (2002). Prehistoric Avebury (2nd edition). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
- Bramwell, Peter (2009). Pagan Themes in Modern Children's Fiction: Green Man, Shamanism, Earth Mysteries. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-21839-0.
- Gillings, Mark; Pollard, Joshua (2004). Avebury. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co. ISBN 0-7156-3240-X.
- Hutton, Ronald (1991). The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-17288-8.
- Ucko, Peter, Hunter, M., Clark, A.J. and David, A. (1991). Avebury Reconsidered: from the 1660s to the 1990s. Unwin Hyman.
- Pollard, Joshua; Reynolds, Andrew (2002). Avebury: Biography of a Landscape. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-1957-2.
- Malone, Caroline (1989). Avebury. London: B.T. Batsford and English Heritage. ISBN 0-7134-5960-3.
- Parker Pearson, Michael (2005). Bronze Age Britain (Revised Edition). London: B.T. Batsford and English Heritage. ISBN 978-0-7134-8849-4.
- Excavation reports
- Gillings, Mark; Pollard, Joshua; Peterson, Rick and Wheatley, David (2008). Landscape of the Megaliths: excavation and fieldwork on the Avebury monuments 1997–2003. Oxford: Oxford Bows. ISBN 978-1-84217-313-8.
- Smith, I. (1965). Windmill Hill and Avebury: Excavations by Alexander Keiller 1925–1939. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Academic articles
- Holgate, Robin (1987). "Neolithic settlement patterns at Avebury, Wiltshire". Antiquity. 61: 259–263.
- Pitts, Michael W. & Whittle, A. (1992). "Development and date of Avebury". Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 58: 203–212. doi:10.1017/s0079497x00004151.
- Pollard, Joshua; Gillings, Mark (1998). "Romancing the stones: towards a virtual and elemental Avebury". Archaeological Dialogues. 5: 143–164. doi:10.1017/s1380203800001276.
- Richards, Colin, C. (1996). "Monuments as Landscape: creating the centre of the world in late Neolithic Orkney". World Archaeology. 28 (2): 190–208. JSTOR 125070. doi:10.1080/00438243.1996.9980340.
- Watson, Aaron, A. (2001). "Composing Avebury". World Archaeology. 33 (2): 296–314. JSTOR 827904. doi:10.1080/00438240120079307.
- Pagan, New Age and alternative archaeological sources
- Blacket, W.S. (1883). Researches into the Lost Histories of America. London: Trübner & Co.
- Brown, Peter Lancaster (2000). Megaliths, Myths and Men (illustrated ed.). Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-41145-3.
- Dames, Michael (1996). The Avebury Cycle (second edition). London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-27886-4.
- Fergusson, James (1872). Rude Stone Monuments in All Countries. London: John Murray.
- Weaver, R. (1840). The Pagan Altar and Jehovah's Temple. Thomas Ward and Co.
- Nichols, Ross (1990). The Book of Druidry. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-900-X.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avebury.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Avebury.|
- Avebury at Wiltshire Community History
- Avebury information at the National Trust
- Day Out: Avebury and Marlborough – A 30-minute BBC TV programme made in 1983 of a day spent exploring Avebury and Marlborough
- Alexander Keiller Museum – English Heritage
- Avebury – A Present from the Past Informative site about Avebury
The ditches and banks of Avebury henge have yielded radiocarbon dates around 2900–2600 cal BC (Pitts and Whittle 1992), 3040–2780 cal BC (Cleal 2001, 63) and 2840–2460 cal BC (Pollard and Cleal 2004, 121)