Attitudes to Disposal of the Dead - Gazetteer Query Form

Background to the Gazetteer | Table of Contents


Site name Pyecombe
Site number 1078
Burial codes 4001 4005 4021 4023 4025 4028 4030 4031 4036 4042 4044 4047 4051 4052 4053 4065 4071 4084 4091 4098 4101 4107 4122 4123 4129 4141 4152 4153 4159 4181 4200
2500bc-14/1300bc A ploughed-out bowl barrow with an irregularly cut ditch and a narrow causeway at the NW. In the primary silting a crushed East Anglian Beaker and nearby a large amount of charcoal was found but few other finds. The secondary ditch fill contained large quantities of flint debitage and tools, together with fire fractured flint, pottery (including Late Beaker fine and domestic sherds) and daub. There was Early Bronze Age pottery in the lower levels, but Romano-British towards the top. Two areas in this layer might have been the remains of fires or hearths. On the south and south west side in the ditch were some 30 stake holes, some cutting into others.

There was a central burial pit of oval shape, 3.55m x 2.2m x 1.1m deep, oriented NW/SE, and containing a crouched inhumation of an adult male c35-40, on its left side, head to NW, facing north. A number of the bones had been displaced including the skull, some 30cm from the top of the spine. The burial was accompanied by an East Anglian Beaker behind and against the spine, a used stone wristguard close to the right lower arm, and the bone pommel end of a dagger next to the left arm. Some copper fragments among the ribs were probably the remains of the blade tip. The floor of the grave had been carefully prepared, but there was no evidence for any form of container or wrapping for the body. The pit was backfilled (possibly after some time had passed) first with light brown soil with chalk and occasional flint pieces around the body, and then when the body was covered, chalk and flint rubble filled the rest of the pit. The Beaker appears to have been scorched in places, and had a number of small flecks of charcoal on or around it. Possibly it was deposited soon after firing.

Outside the ditch at the east a line of possible post and stake holes ran north/south. Some of these contained flints as packing material or as deliberately set down deposits. There were cattle teeth in some of the holes.

The environmental evidence suggested a considerable interval between the disposal of the body and the erection of a mound over the grave. The grave contained vole and shrew bones and mollusca which would have taken time to collect, and which could not have accumulated under a mound.

RC: from human bone GU-2574 5570 +/- 140 [problems due to lack of collagen in the sample]
Remains/Period Y4
County Sussex
Region SE
National grid square TQ
X coordinate 282
Y coordinate 118
Bibliographic source Butler 1991


© Internet Archaeology/Author(s)
Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004