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Site name Tolley's Pit, Cassington
Site number 1024
Burial codes 4005 4009 4021 4023 4026 4028 4030 4033 4042 4047 4051 4052 4053 4065 4071 4072 4073 4075 4082 4084 4092 4098 4103 4104 4105 4107 4108 4110 4111 4122 4123 4125 4128 4129 4143 4153 4171 4181
2500bc-14/1300bc A Beaker cemetery with the graves not apparently covered by a mound, but filled in with their own upcast (compare Eynsham, Site 1023). Not all burials were accompanied by Beakers, and in several instances the walls and floor of the graves were lined with a concretion of lime so thick as to embed the skeleton. There were 12 graves recorded in a straggling SE/NW alignment, from the south in this order: Nos 7, 6/4, 2, 5, 12/8/3, 9, 11, and 10, with No 1 c30m to the NE by itself. The graves were mostly oriented EW, but No 1 was NS. The majority of those buried showed longevity, the males were well built, and the skulls included extreme examples of the dolichocephalic and brachycephalic.

1 Partly excavated, containing a skeleton on its right side, head to NE, facing NW, with a crude Beaker near one hand.
2 A grave 0.9m deep x 1.1m x 0.75m containing the contracted skeleton of an adult male, on the right side facing NW, hands up to the face, legs doubled together (possibly squatting). The body was covered by a layer of clay and without grave goods.
3 A grave 1.2m x 0.9m x 1.2m deep containing an adult male on the left side, arms straight out, hands against the knees, without grave goods. A lime accretion lined the grave.
4 A grave size as No 3 with a skeleton as No 3, and concreted gravel over the skeleton. In front of the chest was a burnt layer, and no grave goods.
5 A grave 2m x 0.75m x 1.1m deep, with the body of a young male originally in a squatting position and facing SE, but found on its back, legs doubled up, with a well made Beaker whose mouth was towards the feet of the skeleton.
6 The grave details are not recorded but it contained an adult male and a Beaker, the body embedded in lime concretion.
7 This was a flat 'bench' 1m long cut very shallow into the gravel and according to the excavator succeeded by 2 pits. On the bench lay portions of 6 skeletons, 4 of which were children's. Among these was a piece of Peterborough ware. Immediately south of the bench was a pit 1m deep x c1.4m in diameter which contained on the pit floor the bent femur and tibia of a crouched burial, and above that through the filling portions of a skeleton in absolute disorder. The second pit was c0.9m in diameter x 0.9m deep and contained fragments of human bone in its upper layers. All the bones in the three contexts came from the same 6 bodies.
8 A grave much destroyed 1m deep containing an adult male encrusted in lime concretion, oriented SW, the body on its right side, facing SE.
9 A grave 2.1m x 1.1m x 1.2m deep containing the primary interment of an adult male, oriented NE, on its left side, facing south, crouched, hands to face, accompanied by two broken pig bones by the feet. The secondary interment was oriented SW facing NW, arms crossed across the abdomen, legs closely flexed, probably buried squatting, without grave goods.
10 A grave 1.2m x 0.9m x 1.1m deep, containing an adult female on its right side, facing NE, oriented SE, hands to the face, and by them a tiny bronze awl. It was accompanied by a handled Beaker of rather rough decoration.
11 A grave 1.2m wide x 1.1m deep, half preserved, containing a brachycephalic child c7, oriented SE, on its right side, facing NE, hands by the face, and in front of the face a Beaker.
12 A grave 0.9m deep whose floor was covered with charcoal. A fire had been lit on the floor and had lined the floor and the sides of the grave for 5-8cm before the body was deposited. The body was of an aged male, flexed, head to S, on its right side, facing E. There was fragment of a Beaker base in the grave fill.
Remains/Period Y4
County Oxfordshire
Region SE
National grid square SP
X coordinate 450
Y coordinate 100
Bibliographic source Leeds 1934a


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004