Lieutenant-Colonel William Hawley (1851–1941) was a British archaeologist who most famously undertook pioneering excavations at Stonehenge. 1851 ( MDCCCLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos Stonehenge is a Prehistoric Monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury
The work was carried out between 1919 and 1926 largely by Hawley working alone although at other times assisted by Robert Newall, a draughtsman from the Office of Works. Year 1919 ( MCMXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1926 ( MCMXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The weather and the confusing stratigraphy of this site made work difficult but Hawley was able to make numerous breakthroughs regarding the history of activity on the site. Stratigraphy, a branch of Geology, studies rock layers and layering ( stratification)
The work was initially focused on the supervised righting of some of the fallen stones late in 1919. Hawley dug out the foundations before the stones were replaced. Hawley was employed by the Office of Works, the antecedent of the Ministry of Works who had been passed responsibility for Stonehenge when it had been donated to the nation in 1918. The Ministry of Works was a department of the UK Government formed in 1943 during World War II, to organise the requisitioning of property for wartime use They were primarily concerned with the danger of falling stones but funds were made available for Hawley to continue his investigations long after the righting work finished.
Hawley's work identified the Aubrey Holes for the first time as well as the Y and Z holes and a variety of other postholes and stone holes within the centre of the monument. The Aubrey holes are a ring of 56 pits at Stonehenge named after the seventeenth century Antiquarian, John Aubrey. In Archaeology a posthole is a cut feature used to hold a surface timber or stone He found many of the cremated and uncremated human remains which first indicated a funerary role for Stonehenge. Excavation of the Avenue, the ditch (Heelstone Ditch) around the Heelstone, and the trench (Arc Trench) leading up to Heelstone was also undertaken. British Archaeologists refine the general archaeological use of avenue to denote a long parallel-sided strip of land measuring up to about 30m in width open at either end and Heelstone Ditch is a roughly circular earthwork having steep sloping sides which end at a narrow flat base being approximately 4 ft (1 The Heelstone is a single large block of Sarsen stone standing within the Avenue outside the entrance of the Stonehenge earthwork close to the main road Scroll Trench, also called Arc Trench, is a 25 ft (76m long by 9 ft (2
Hawley proved, from a thin stratum of stone chip debris he called the Stonehenge Layer, that the earthwork features, the Aubrey Holes and some of the other postholes and burials constituted earlier phases of activity that predated the erection of the megaliths. He also found an antler pick embedded in a lump of chalk indicating the construction method on site. Eventually he settled on three phases, the earthwork enclosure, a large stone circle now vanished that supposedly stood in the Aubrey Holes, and finally a larger megaliths phase involving the extant stones as Stonehenge 3. Hawley's model of a multiphase site did not agree with the contemporary interpretation and was ignored until Richard Atkinson revived the idea in the 1950s. Richard Atkinson may refer to Richard C Atkinson (b 1929 former president of the University of California Richard J Although now considerably refined, his multi-phase interpretation is now fully accepted.
Certain of Hawley's other ideas such as Stonehenge being a fortified settlement were further off the mark and he died before his work was recognised.