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Site name Swell V, Pole's Wood (E), Glo 24
Site number 26
Burial codes 5005 5009 5021 5023 5025 5028 5030 5031 5042 5047 5051 5053 5065 5071 5172 5075 5084 5085 5093 5094 5096 5098 5103 5104 5105 5107 5108 5110 5122 5125 5127 5128 5129 5143 5152 5153 5159 5181
3500bc - 2500bc Long barrow with mound of stone bounded by a drystone wall, oriented NNE and with a horned false entrance. The middle of the mound contained a transverse trench chamber below ground level c8.4m x 2m x 0.6m deep. At least 19 skeletons were identified, and animal bones (roe deer, red deer, ox, wild boar, goat, and pig), flint, bone implements (scrapers for treating hides), a bone pin, and a Neolithic A pottery bowl were also found in the trench chamber. The remains were of at least 4 adult males, 5 adult females, 5 adolescents, 5 children and, on a central flat slab, a near complete adolescent crouched on the right side with head to N, for which other bones had been cleared to make space. Ten of the skulls were dolichocephalic, the others being too fragmentary for measurement. The trench was filled with rubble. There were plain Neolithic bowl sherds outside of each entrance.

The interments in the south east part of the trench appeared to the excavators to have been grouped into (1) an old female, a male and an infant with ox, pig and red deer bones, (2) a confused mixture of remains of an old woman and a young man, and an ox patella, (3) an undisturbed female skeleton c20-25, on the right side, head to E, with a stone arrangement protecting the body, (4) four incomplete skeletons which had been taken up and replaced in no order, accompanied by bones of roe deer and an ox patella, and (5) the skulls of two old women, one over a confused mass representing two adults and two children, and the other buried deeper. The bones of pig, roe deer and goat, and parts of a rude pottery vessel were found with these.

In the west north west half of the trench the deposits (of 3 children and 5 adults) appeared to be more completely separated from each other by layers of stones. Some animal bones were associated, and some human bones fitted with bones found in the gallery leading to it from the exterior.

When all human bones had been examined, the count of calvariae, maxillae, humeri, tibia and femora, combined with the disturbance and intermingling of remains, suggested that the deposits represented successive burials rather than ossuary practice.
Remains/Period Y5
County Gloucestershire
Region SW
National grid square SP
X coordinate 172
Y coordinate 265
Bibliographic source Greenwell 1877, Grinsell 1964


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004