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Pre-Historic Harlaxton

Historical timeline

c700-800,000BC The earliest humanoid presence in Britain at Happisburgh.

c485,000BC Boxgrove Man (Homo heidelbergensis) – the oldest humanoid fossil found in Britain so far.

c350,000BC Swanscombe woman.

c25,000BC Arrival of Homo Sapiens – our early ancestors.

c12-10,000BC Permanent human settlement begins.

c8,000-6,000BC Last Ice Age ends in Europe.

c6,000BC Last land bridge separating Britain from the rest of Europe was swept away.

c4,000-2,500BC Neolithic period – the first farmers, possibly arrivals from the east.
Early enclosures and burial chambers.
Later Neolithic period sees the construction of henges and stone circles.

c3,000BC Construction of Stonehenge begun.

c2,500-750BC Bronze Age – round barrows (burial chambers), villages and the first hill forts are built.

c1,200BC Construction of roundhouses.

c750BC The Iron Age.
The arrival of the Celts, probably in waves.  Hill forts are a typical feature of settlement.

c500BC Construction of brochs in Scotland.

c300BC Somerset lake villages.

c100BC Coins are in use.

55BC Immediately before the Roman invasion, Britain is peopled by a number of different tribes.  

Recent archaeological evidence indicates that there is a long history of settlement around the village.

The remains of Neolithic axes, arrow heads and sherds of Bronze Age pottery and blades having been found along with traces of a prehistoric ritual landscape to the east of the village on the north side of the road into Grantham.

Of particular interest is the possibility that a ritual site of some form lies within the parish and this area became the focus of the first joint project with Harlaxton College, a dig to explore the Neolithic occupation of the area. The video below gives some background on the possibility of a cursus just outside the village.

To explore further the underlying history of this area an archaeological dig was organised as a joint project with Harlaxton College in 2022.

"Digging Harlaxton" subsequently went on to receive a "highly commended " in the Council For British Archeology Marsh Awards in 2023 and was featured on the BBC series "Digging Britain".

The month-long field school was set up with a commitment to being a truly inclusive programme. Developed by Harlaxton College and the History Society it involved participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and focused on developing and enhancing the methodological and practical field skills of participants through excavation of Harlaxton Manor while being actively tailored to accommodate any range of physical requirements and support mental health needs.

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