Fairgrounds for the Dead: the Neolithic of North Hertfordshire
21 June @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A cushion stone and smoother used for gold working from Letchworth Garden City
North Hertfordshire contains a surprising concentration of Neolithic monuments, dating from 4000 to 2000 BC. Largely invisible today as a result of centuries of intensive ploughing, they tell us a lot about the area’s first farmers. Virtually all classes of monument are present in this landscape, enabling us to reconstruct its social geography and begin to understand the beliefs that shaped the lives of these people. In particular, there is a complex of excavated monuments on the eastern side of Letchworth Garden City that suggests that there was a regionally important centre of what we ought to think of as the first British civilisation. They include a cursus (a type of processional way), a henge, a settlement and evidence for the production of gold jewellery.