Background to the Gazetteer | Table of Contents
|Site name||Maiden Castle Fort, Winterbourne St Martin|
|Burial codes||2003 2007 2009 2022 2024 2025 2028 2030 2035 2042 2047 2051 2053 2065 2071 2073 2075 2084 2092 2098 2101 2104 2106 2108 2109 2111 2128 2143 2153 2181 1003 1004 1007 1009 1022 1024 1025 1028 1030 1035 1042 1047 1051 1053 1065 1071 1072 1073 1074 1084 1093 1098 1103 1104 1105 1106 1107 1108 1109 1111 1121 1122 1124 1125 1128 1129 1143 1153 1154 1181 1182 1200|
|8/700bc-100bc||A hill fort of occupation Phases I-IV, with large numbers of burials belonging to successive phases. As well as inhumations in storage pits there were burials in ditch fillings, ramparts and earth graves. (The Neolithic/Bronze Age occupations of the hill are covered by Sites 60 and 61).
Phase 1 (Iron Age A)
On Site H at the point of junction between the original rampart and the extension was a human burial in a pit of the usual barrel shape 0.9m in diameter x 1.2m deep. It was dug into the outer margin of the collapsed original rampart. On its floor with head to S was the huddled skeleton of an adult male c22-30, The loose chalk earth filling of the pit contained a number of large limestones, and the pit had been immediately sealed by the rampart extension, showing no signs of weathering. It may represent a foundation burial.
Trench XLIV contained a foetus or infant skeleton T7 lying on its back, oriented N, legs flexed and arms behind back. It was in a shallow chalk-cut pit sealed by a Phase I metalled surface.
There were the upper jaw and facial fragments of a child c14-17 with Iron Age sherds incorporated in the structure of an Iron Age B rampart on Site H. There was the fragmentary skeleton of an infant c3 months found in an Iron Age A rampart between the portals of the eastern entrance. The fragment of frontal bone of a child c2 was found in an Iron Age A deposit on Site L. The skeleton of an infant c3 months old was buried under 2 limestone blocks with Iron Age sherds beneath the tail of the Iron Age B enlargement of the inner hornwork at the eastern entrance. Skeletons of two more infants c3 months old were found in Iron Age A levels on Sites Q and R.
|100bc-AD43||Phase II (Early Iron Age B) Trench CXI contained an adult female T18 c45-55, head to SE, lying on the left side, arms and knees tightly flexed. It was buried while the middle rampart was under construction in IA Bi times, the body having been thrown in between two tips. Trench LIX contained the skeleton of an infant c3 months T19 lying crouched in the secondary silting of the 'Y' ditch, sealed with a limestone slab, head to W. [IA Bi].
Pit Q4 contained the skeleton of an adult female c20-30 oriented WSW, lying crouched at the bottom of the pit on her left side with arms by the sides. The lower pit filling contained a shale armlet, a chalk loomweight and 117 sling stones together with IA Bi sherds. This was the only burial prior to the late Roman period found within the defences, excepting the foundation burial on Site H.
Phase II/III Skeleton R1 was of an infant c3 months found crouched in the filling of Pit R1. Skeleton R2 was also of an infant c3 months found crouched in the filling of Pit R2, associated with sherds of Bii pottery. Skeleton R3 was probably foetal and was found in the filling of Pit R1.
Phase III (Late Iron Age B) Trench LXXXIV contained the skeleton of an adult female T13 c30-40 oriented SE, crouched on the right side on the edge of the filling of Pit T10, and associated with Iron Age Bii sherds. Pit B42 contained the fragmentary cranium and right femur of an adult female c40-50, in the filling. [IA Bii].
Trench LXXXIII contained the skeleton of an adult female T24 c20-30 oriented ENE, lying on the left side with legs tightly flexed, possibly contracted, arms bent to neck and shoulder, buried in a small oval pit c0.65m deep cut into the outer spread of the eastern entrance counterscarp bank, sealed by a layer containing Belgic burials T11-12. [IA Bii].
Trench LXXV contained the skeleton of an adult female T14 c40-50 oriented ENE, lying on the right side with legs flexed in the filling of Pit T10, and associated with Biii sherds. Trench XLVIII contained the skeleton T1 of an adult female c40-50 oriented W, lying crouched on the left side in the upper filling of the 'Y' ditch at the east entrance. There was a slight healed wound to the left frontal bone. [IA Bii].
Trench CII contained the skeleton of an adolescent (?)male T17 oriented E, incomplete and lacking cranium but possessing lower mandible. It was near but prior to T13, and uncertain whether found in T10, but was associated with Bii-iii sherds and a bone gouge.
Skeleton N1 was of an adult male c25-35 with a traumatic depression on the right parietal in a grave dug into the counterscarp bank of the main ditch near the northern end of the hornwork, head to N, facing west, arms slightly bent, legs flexed. [Late IA B]. Skeleton N2 was of an adult female c25-35 oriented NNE, lying crouched on the right side in an oval pit. It had lost all teeth bar 2 in the lower jaw. [Late IA B].
Trench LXXV contained the incomplete skull and mandible of an adult male T9 c20-25, in the lowest filling of pit T10, within the outermost rampart of the eastern entrance. The pit contained IA Biii sherds. Trench LXXXIV contained the skeleton of an adult female T13 c30-40, lying on the right side, head to SE, arms bent over the body, knees flexed to east. The body was in a dome shaped cist of large chalk lumps on the edge of the filling of pit T10 within the outermost rampart of the eastern entrance. [IA Biii].
Phase IV (Iron Age C and Early Roman) The remains covered here include only those that can be identified as of Early IA C up to cAD43 or so (ie Early Belgo-Roman), and those of the Belgic War cemetery. The first group had been buried in orderly lines within the outworks of the eastern entrance. The position was usually flexed, head to NE, E or SE. Two infant burials were on Site B, one c2, flexed on the right side, head to SE, covered by a slab on which stood a Belgic bowl; the other infant was c1, similarly placed and oriented and dated to AD25-50.
Trench LII contained an adult male T3 lying on the back, head to E, knees tightly flexed. This was one of a line of skeletons (T3-6) similarly oriented in graves sealed by the latest ancient level here. T4 was in Trench LVIII, an adult male c40-50, head to NE, on the right side, legs and arms flexed to west, accompanied by legs and ribs of lamb over the right pelvis. T5 was in Trench LXI, an adult male lying crouched on the right side, head missing, oriented NE, knees flexed to north, arms bent across the body. T6 was in Trench LXV, an adult female c30-40, crouched on the right side, head to NE, knees flexed to north. It was accompanied by a wheel turned Belgic pot (Class 2 bead-rim jar) inverted above the feet. [T3-6 'Belgo-Roman' ie cAD25-50].
T10 was in Trench LXXV, an adult male lying crouched on the right side, head to SSE, arms bent over chest and legs flexed to north east. There were two sling stones by the skull, one by the legs, and one by the left shoulder. The grave was sealed by the latest occupation level, and dated to cAD25-50. T11 was the skeleton of an adult male c25-35, lying on the back with legs flexed to the right, arms bents to the sides, oriented ENE, and sealed and dated as T10.
T12 was in Trench LXXXIII and was the skeleton of an adult female lying partly on the back with the legs flexed to the right, oriented ENE and accompanied by a wheel thrown pottery vessel with a countersunk handle. [Belgo-Roman]. In Trench C was the skeleton of an adult male T16, c20-30, oriented SE, lying on the back, the legs bent to the right, left hand to the pelvis and right arm to right knee. It was very near to the surface. [Probably Belgo-Roman].
T20 was in Trench CXXVI, an adult male c25-35, on right side, head to SSE, legs and arms tightly flexed to the south east and accompanied by a bead-rim pot with foot ring immediately to the E of the head, on its side, mouth to E. The grave was on the edge of Ditch E, and dated to the early part of the Belgo-Roman period soon after AD25. T21 was in trench CXXVII, an adult female c20-30, oriented E, lying on the face with the legs bent back from the knees, the grave sealed by the latest Belgo-Roman occupation levels. Close to and stratified with T21 was T22, the skeleton of an adult female c20-30, oriented NE, lying crouched on the right side.
T25 was in Trench CXXIX, the skeleton of an adult male c25-35, crouched on the left side in an oval pit (possibly a conventional pit burial although dated Belgo-Roman), and oriented NE. T26 was in Trench CXXIX, an adult female, on the left side head to NW, arms and legs flexed to W, with half a pig's head on left side of skull, and dated to the early Belgo-Roman level.
T27 was in Trench CXXXII, the incomplete skeleton of a female adult, head to SE, knees flexed, with a spiral bronze toe-ring amid the foot bones. The grave was on the northern lip of Ditch B, and dated to cAD25-50, early Belgo-Roman. T28 was in Trench CXXXII, the skeleton of an adult female c25-35, lying extended on the back in a square cut grave, oriented S. Iron coffin nails and hob-nails imply a later Romano-British burial, but the excavator said the grave was sealed within a pre-Conquest level. It was accompanied by the skeleton of a headless lamb under the pelvis, and the skeleton of a young dog was buried above the coffin.
T29 was the skeleton of an adolescent female crouched on the right side in an oval grave cut into the make-up of the counterscarp mound. It was accompanied by an iron arrow head in the grave filling, south of the skull. It was possibly a rampart burial. [Belgo-Roman].
War cemetery Excavations of the outworks of the eastern entrance revealed 34-38 inhumations in shallow graves, 17 of which showed extensive battle injuries possibly received in AD44 when the Romans sacked the fort. The burials are in the Durotrigian tradition and are summarised below. [Avery, however, dates the massacre to AD60, at around the Boudiccan uprising, based on the occupation and structural evidence (which suggests no military activity around AD43-44), supplemented by artefact and pottery evidence. The evidence in the last instance is conflicting, since Samian appeared in the levels above the graves, but not in any grave fill]
34 complete and 4 fragmentary burials were excavated, among which 23 males and 11 females were identifiable. Eleven male, one unknown and 5 female bodies showed bone injuries from sword, ballista or blunt instrument. 19 lay on their backs, 4 on the right side, 3 on the left and 4 on the face. All skeletons were oriented in the NE/SW arc, with most to the SE, and no special sex distinction. 11 graves (nine male) had pottery vessels (some of these thought to be better dated to AD50-80, and certainly post AD43), 7 had legs of lamb or other animal bones, 2 with shale armlets, 3 with spiral bronze toe-rings, iron finger-rings, an iron axe head, an iron knife blade, and an iron dress clasp. A Roman 'ear-scoop' was below the lower jaw of one skeleton.
RC: from the femur of burial P12 in the War Cemetery GrN-5086 70 +/- 35 ad
|National grid square||SY|
|Bibliographic source||Wheeler 1934, 1935, 1936, 1943, Goodman and Morant 1940, Whimster 1981, Avery 1993|
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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004