|13 November 2013
Arminghall Henge in space and time
The Arminghall Henge is one of East Anglia's most significant prehistoric field monuments. It lies near the confluence of two rivers, less than 4 kilometres south of the centre of Norwich, England, and is the focus of a large group of monuments, mainly dated to the Bronze Age.
Two almost circular ditches define the henge. The inner is larger and has a gap towards the south-west. The outer may have had a similar gap. There was the suggestion of a bank about 2 metres high between the two. Within the inner ditch was a setting of large wooden posts arranged in a horseshoe, also opening to the southwest.
Because the henge is so low, one can see hills from it. The most prominent is Chapel Hill, which lies southwest of the monument on the end of a spur between the two rivers. Virtual Reality reconstruction shows that in 5,000 BP the disc of the setting midwinter sun would have seemed to pass down the northern side of Chapel Hill and be 'eaten' by the angle between it and the far horizon. At the foot of the northern side of Chapel Hill lies another feature with a double circular ditch. This may be another henge, positioned so that a midsummer sunrise event was visible to the northeast, over the hill on the south side of the valley.
The situation of other similar monuments might be explored in the same way. "Seahenge" may be part of a group of monuments from which the most prominent headland in north-west Norfolk may have been visible in the direction of the setting midwinter sun.
Edited from University of East Anglia (November 2013)
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