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Site name West Overton 6b
Site number 466
Burial codes 4005 4007 4009 4021 4023 4025 4028 4030 4035 4036 4043 4047 4051 4053 4065 4071 4072 4073 4075 4082 4083 4084 4093 4098 4101 4104 4107 4108 4109 4110 4111 4121 4122 4124 4125 4129 4130 4143 4151 4152 4153 4154 4156 4161 4162 4165 4169 4171 4181
2500bc-14/1300bc A bowl barrow with no evidence for a ditch was set on a site with much evidence of occupation in the Neolithic period: sherds of Windmill Hill, Ebbsfleet, Fengate, Rinyo-Clacton, bell Beaker, animal bone, perforated roe deer antler, and worked flints were incorporated in the mound material and on the old land surface.

The first structure was a low but wide annular bank of flint and sarsen covering 2 child inhumations and enclosing a central Beaker grave containing associated objects. Subsequent inhumation and cremation burials were made in the central area. The central area was then covered with a thin layer of grey clay and a rough setting of sarsen boulders. A primary turf stack covered this, and then a scraped up mound.

The primary grave was central, an oblong pit 2.7m x 1.5m x 0.9m deep lined on two sides with sarsen boulders, containing a skeleton of a male c40, crouched, on the left side, head to N, resting against a fallen sarsen boulder, hands folded against the shoulders. Organic remains over the trunk and limbs and beyond the feet suggest a hide covering. A long necked Beaker was on its side by the skull, and by the Beaker mouth was a small pile of objects: an antler spatula, a slate object, bronze awl, flint knife, and a flint flake. Nearby was a second slate object and a flint strike-a-light. A decayed ball of marcasite lay below the thoracic vertebrae.

Cremation 1 was inserted soon after the filling of the grave had begun, was in a bag, and comprised a compact deposit of clean bones of an adult male and a child c6 (Child I). A flat sarsen covered the deposit which was a few inches above and in front of the primary burial.

Child II was an inhumation of a crouched 9 months infant in an oval scrape, head to N, on right side, 1m west of the central grave. 2 ox long bone fragments were set over the top. Child V was 6 months or less, crouched on the left side, head to NE, immediately north of the central grave in a 0.6m deep oval pit. A biconical shale bead was under its chin. Child III was 6-7 months, crouched on the right side, head to NE, and on top a fragment of ox bone. It had been interred in a pit 0.3m deep, 0.5m from the north west corner of the central grave. It had been disturbed by the insertion of cremation II and urn I (see following).

Cremation II was of 2 adults, one probably over 40, and appears to have been deposited hot from the pyre in a bag stiffened with withies in a cylindrical pit dug into the west corner of Child III's grave, through the knees. While clean chalk rubble had filled the inhumation graves, here chalk pieces interspersed with soft dark grey soil including a few struck flints and a (?)sheep's long bone filled the top of this cremation pit. There was some fine charcoal with the bones themselves. Collared urn (primary series) I held the calcined bones of an adolescent c15, and was set upright in a funnel shaped pit 0.75m deep which cut partly through the north corner of Child III's grave disturbing the skull. The bones were free of charcoal and appear to have been deposited in the urn in a bag. Collared urn (primary series) II held a deposit of clean cremated bones of a child c3, in a pit dug between urn I's pit and Child V's grave. The urn seems to have been lowered into the pit with a basketwork sling while the bones were still hot enough to char the withies and discolour the adjacent chalk.

Under the stone bank in the south east sector, there was an inhumation of Child I c4 who had suffered from facial osteitis. It was crouched on its right side, head to SE, and placed in a polygonal cist set in a shallow pit, with no capstone but covered by a thin layer of chalky material. Child IV was under the bank in the north west sector and 9 months or less. It was crouched on its right side, and head to SE, but was laid in a shallow scrape. Bank material rested directly on the skeleton and a stake hole appears immediately to the south east of the end of the grave.

Summary of sequence: Phase A central burial and cremation I, and Child I and IV burials; Phase B Child burials II, III, V as they seem to relate to the interior perimeter (III the earliest? Phase C urns I and II and cremation II (Child III's site had been forgotten by those interring in this phase). These sequences were followed by turf, clay and mound capping.
Remains/Period Y4
County Wiltshire
Region S
National grid square SU
X coordinate 119
Y coordinate 683
Bibliographic source Smith and Simpson 1966


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004