The Uley Shrines

BookThe Uley Shrines

The Uley Shrines

Excavation of a ritual complex on West Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire 1977-9

Archaeological Reports, 17


June 15th, 2014

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These excavations at Uley, provide evidence for a sequence of activities from Neolithic times to the seventh or eighth century AD. Standing stones or massive posts, the focus of an oval enclosure, in a sacred clearing, were replaced at the end of the Iron Age, by enclosed timber shrines and pits containing votive objects. In the early second century AD these were replaced by a Romano-Celtic temple, enlarged in the mid-fourth century. Around the temple were living quarters, guest accommodation and shops. A cult of the god Mercury is implied by a cult statue, figurines, altars, a series of inscribed lead tablets, and animal remains. In the early fifth century, a timber hall or church was built over the temple site. Its replacement was in stone and also of Christian character. Demolition deposits produced fragments of window glass of seventh or eighth-century date. More ephemeral structures were then built before the site was finally given over to agriculture. There is discussion of other sacred sites in long-term use, the cult and plan of the Roman temple, other temples in use at the end of the Roman period, and the impact of early Christianity.

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