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Site name Welsh St Donats 3
Site number 1497
Burial codes 4005 4009 4022 4024 4025 4028 4030 4031 4043 4047 4051 4065 4071 4073 4075 4084 4092 4102 4104 4106 4108 4110 4111 4122 4125 4128 4129 4143 4151 4152 4154 4156 4157 4171 4181 4200 3001 3005 3022 3024 3025 3028 3030 3035 3041 3046 3051 3065 3075 3084 3092 3098 3101 3107 3112 3122 3123 3125 3143 3152 3153 3156 3161 3162 3181 3200
2500bc-14/1300bc A round barrow of five possible phases. The earliest feature was a stone cist [A] cut into the natural gravel, 6m to the SE of the the mound centre. It was sealed by the old ground surface and had been disturbed before the barrow mound was built. It may have been a burial cist, but destroyed.

In Phase 2, two roughly parallel rows of tabular limestone blocks were set NS 2.5m east of the centre, 2.25m long and 0.65m apart. Within this setting was the very fragmentary crouched inhumation of a child c10-12 [B], head to N, and probably lying on the right side. Three bovine teeth were found near the legs of the skeleton, but no other grave goods. Stones overlay the burial. A finely comminuted cremation of a mature (probably) female adult [D] also accompanied by bovine teeth lay scattered above and around one of the stones at the south end of the stone setting in an area c40cm square.

1.5m east of the stone setting was another inhumation of a female c30-35 [C], crouched, head to S and on the right side. At the back of the neck was a crushed rusticated Beaker and a bronze awl. At the top of the neck, very close to the bones, was a flint flake, and an ox tooth also accompanied this burial. A number of limestone blocks were placed irregularly around the skeleton. Charcoal (remains of a possible coffin?) was found beyond the feet and on the west and east edges of the skeleton.

The stone setting and the deposits described were all covered by a very low compacted mound of small pebbles and dark earth, itself covered by the later inner turf and earth mounds. The pebble mound was cut by the later central burial pit.

A heap of solid oak charcoal lay on the ground surface south of the central cremation pit (see below for this pit) and probably was covered by the pebble cairn, but the wood had been burnt elsewhere. Another area of charcoal was found west of the central pit.

RC: from (coffin?) charcoal BM-1681 1300 +/-35, from the solid oak charcoal BM-1680 1240 +/- 35
14/1300bc-8/700bc (Phase 3). Beneath the inner turf mound an area 4m square was very disturbed. The features included a small pit filled with earth containing flecks of bone, charcoal and manganese, and a large pit c1.25m x 0.4m containing a cremation deposit [E] of a male c40 or more together with six sheep bones. This had probably been laid down in a bag. Directly above the bones was a fragmented small riveted bronze knife. A length of charcoal lay to the north east of and across the top of the bone mass, possibly a marker post or a pole attached to the bag containing the cremation. The whole deposit was sealed within the pit. The central pit post-dated the burials B-D and the pebble mound (which it cut), as did the inner turf mound.

RC: from the marker post or pole charcoal BM-1679 860 +/- 35

Phase 4. Outside the turf mound, the north east and south west halves appear to have been treated separately. The south west half was covered with a thick layer of stone free brown clayey material with small lighter patches, and the north east built up with coarser, darker material containing smaller and larger stones. The latter covered the disturbed cist. On the south west half the mound was then covered with a facing two or three blocks deep of large thin limestone blocks, only the lower part surviving.

Later an outer mound was built, the different treatments continuing. In the south west a layer of orange soil covering was deposited on the limestone block cover, and the mound semi-circle surrounded by a well-built kerb, some of the stone coming from 14km away. On the north east side the outer mound was built of a looser earthy matrix, with two particular concentrations of boulders. The edge of the semi-circle was marked by a line of upright stones set at irregular intervals.

Abutting the south edge of the kerb was a sub-cairn (Phase 5) with at the centre and set into a small pit dug in the natural gravel the base of an urn filled with the cremated bones of an adult female (F). The urn had been covered with a slab, but its form was not apparent. Pieces of cremated bone and pottery were found in an area up to 0.5m from the urn.

Outside the mound kerb in the south east, a barrel urn filled with cremated bone had been placed in a pit dug in the natural gravel. A stone slab had been placed on the south side of the pot. The bone was from an adult, probably male [G]. In features H I and J bucket urns without burial deposits were found in pits outside the kerb on the south east and south west sides.

[The above reflects the sequence of the excavators' report, but assigns the Phases 3-5 to the Later Bronze Age, following the radiocarbon dating and pottery evidence].
Remains/Period Y4 Y3
County South Glamorgan
Region SW
National grid square ST
X coordinate 41
Y coordinate 749
Bibliographic source Ehrenberg, Price and Vale 1982


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004