St Nectan's Glen (02:21)
Neil Oliver visits a spiritual waterfall in Cornwall. This series will explore how Britain has been shaped by belief.
Neolithic Era (01:31)
Neil explains how British hunter gatherers interpreted the natural world. Around 4000 BC, they began to manipulate the landscape for agriculture.
Wayland's Smithy (03:52)
A Neolithic tomb in Oxfordshire features stones believed to represent the dead. Ancestors' bones were used as ritual relics at monuments.
Dorstone Hill Settlement (03:46)
Archaeologists uncovered a 6,000 year old timber hall in Herfordshire. The community burned it and later placed stones on top to venerate their founding ancestors.
Grimes Graves (04:10)
Neil explores a Norfolk Neolithic flint mine. Stone Age miners dug 12 meter pits for the material that was essential to daily life.
Neolithic Flint Mystery (07:20)
Neil descends into an ancient mine. Surface flint was available yet miners went underground; perhaps for spiritual reasons or coming of age ceremonies. He finds 5,000 year old antler tools.
Avebury Stone Circle (03:44)
Ancestor worship shifted to complex belief systems. Neil explains that Neolithic people used sarsen boulders to build monuments.
Neolithic Ceremonial Landscape (03:19)
Neil imagines how early people might have perceived stone architecture as he walks along a sarsen boulder pathway leading to Avebury Circle.
Avebury Henge (06:01)
Experts believe the ditch surrounding the stone circle was used to contain its sacred power. Placing boulders was an act of devotional labor and required leadership.
Ring of Brodgar (05:34)
A stone circle on Orkney shows how Neolithic people hauled boulders from different quarries as a sacred journey. Hear a folk tale giving the stones human characteristics.
Orkney Social Model (02:28)
A Neolithic village located near a quarry likely brought a boulder to Brodgar. Monumental projects united communities; people gathered in large houses.
Temple of Brodgar (04:33)
A Neolithic complex located between the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness united communities across Britain and may have been the origin site of a religion.
Orkney Organized Religion (01:19)
The Ness of Brodgar was abandoned around 2300 BC. Neil believes that one individual was responsible for developing the stone circle belief system.
Credits: Sacred Wonders of Britain: Part 1 (00:46)
Credits: Sacred Wonders of Britain: Part 1
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