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Site name Amesbury 71, Earls Farm Down
Site number 470
Burial codes 4005 4009 4022 4024 4025 4028 4030 4034 4043 4047 4051 4053 4065 4071 4072 4073 4074 4081 4085 4093 4098 4103 4104 4105 4106 4108 4110 4111 4121 4129 4130 4141 4151 4152 4153 4160 4161 4171 4181 4200 3005 3009 3022 3024 3025 3028 3030 3034 3041 3048 3051 3065 3075 3084 3092 3098 3103 3109 3110 3111 3128 3141 3152 3153 3161 3171 3181 3200
2500bc-14/1300bc A large bowl barrow with two earlier phases. Phase I was a ring ditch enclosing an area 6.6m in diameter and containing a semi-circular stake hole setting and a presumed adult male inhumation c25-35 disturbed by Phase II activity.

Phase II overlay Phase I in the form of a primary bell barrow with ditch and berm enclosing a central inhumation burial in a grave pit 2.7m x 1.5m x 1.8m deep oriented NS, the barrow mound incorporating stake settings, a turf stack and a kerb of flints, and chalk. The contracted inhumation was of an adult male lying on its left side, head to N, accompanied by a flint pebble. Large chalk blocks were arranged around the skeleton which was directly on the floor. A timber structure (coffin or mortuary house) had surrounded and covered the body, and gave the NPL-77 date. Two stake holes, one square, one round, were at the north and south ends of the grave. The dirty rubble filling contained human skeletal material from the Phase I inhumation. On the trampled lip of the grave were set on the west side a lower jaw and pelvis of a human, ascribed to the primary inhumation.

The inner stake circle roughly followed the outer edge of the ring ditch with a probable gap at the west south west, which would correspond with the outer double stake circle's gap, and constitute an entrance. The outer double stake circle underlay the flint wall, having been withdrawn before the latter was built. A mound of turf was built over the Phase II inhumation, and the double stake circle enclosed it, the low wall or kerb of flint nodules overlaying the withdrawn outer circle of the double stake setting. This wall was built after some accumulation of soil and chalk rubble on the old land surface. Over the wall and mound a thick layer of chalk was heaped.

In Phase III the precise sequence of events is complicated and debatable. The turf mound of II was truncated and burials inserted into it. (1) the inhumation of a young female adult in a pit, on its right side, oriented EW, head to W, accompanied by a perforated fossil bead, lying on the old ground surface just north west of the Phase II grave. (2) a contracted child inhumation c3-3.5, aligned NW/SE, in a pit, head to SE, on the left side, accompanied by a wooden object of oak charcoal, possibly a toy. The pit was cut down to natural chalk through the Phase II stack. (3) a flexed skeleton of a small child lying on its right side on the edge of the chalk layer around the Phase II grave, head to W, and accompanied by a small food vessel and the lower part of a red deer antler, post-dating (1) through which it cut by its pit. (4) a contracted child inhumation c1-1.5, to the north north east of the Phase II grave and over its chalk layer, head to E, accompanied by a large flint and a thin curving layer of carbonised material in front of its head and arms. (5) an enlarged food vessel inverted in the upper part of the primary turf stack in the north north east sector, containing the cremated remains of an adolescent and child. (6) a cremation laid in a perishable container in the upper part of the turf stack to the north, of a young male adult.

At the north side a large burnt layer (NPL-75) 2.4m x 3m lay on top of the primary turf stack, and contained some calcined human bone, and could (on other evidence) have been a cremation pyre. A thick layer of brown soil and chalk covered the hearth and the whole surface of the truncated Phase II mound to make a level platform; on the top of this was an unburnt fragment of human parietal bone, and in the top 10cm layer were scattered in an arc 60 sherds of an enlarged ridged food vessel. 3 fossil beads and a scatter of cremated human skeletal material were also found in the layer. An upper stake circle with a complex arrangement of posts on the south and west was set on the truncated chalk revetment of Phase II and probably pre-dated the platform.

An upper turf stack of carefully cut and laid turves spread beyond the upper stake circle in the south and east, but was contained in the north and west outer arc. A ditch dug immediately outside of the bell barrow supplied the Phase III mound, merging with the earlier ditch at the north. A chalk layer envelope covered the Phase III mound.

Post Phase III burials: in the chalk capping on the south south west was a cremation in a collared urn with a miniature (?)bucket urn just east of it. Also there was a biconical urn with horseshoe handles containing a cremation and a decorated Class L A/B bronze razor, 1.8m north east of the barrow centre; and an unaccompanied inhumation of an adult 35 or less near the top of the mound (post Roman, possibly).

In the Phase III ditch in the south east in the upper silting with dark earth around it was the contracted burial of a child c6-7.5 on its left side, head to E. Into the upper ditch fill had been inserted a contracted inhumation of a male c20-30 with trephined skull, oriented EW along the ditch, head to E, on its right side, hand under the chin, and the skull covered with a mound of large flints with charcoal flecks surrounding. The contracted skeleton of an adolescent c12-14 was set in a grave dug through the upper ditch filling, oriented NW, head to S, 0.9m from the head of the last, on its left side, and covered with large flints, with struck flakes under the head.

RC: NPL-77 2010 +/- 110, NPL-75 1640 +/- 90
14/1300bc-8/700bc Overlap site with 2500-14/1300. In the Phase II ditch in the south east, the whole sector contained a quantity of burnt and unburnt bones (the latter mostly animal) in the upper silting. The following cremations were found: an adult male in a bucket urn, an adult female and an infant in a globular urn, the fragmentary cremation of an (?)adult in a (?)bucket urn overlying the last, a cremation pit containing ash and bone and lined with flints, a cremation pit surrounded by flint nodules containing bones of a (?)young adult, a cremation 'pit' containing fragments of a child. Other pottery finds in the south east and north east sectors suggested that at least 4 urned cremations were in this ditch.

A great quantity of knapped flint was recovered from all three of Phases I-III, and from later periods.
Remains/Period Y4 Y3
County Wiltshire
Region S
National grid square SU
X coordinate 184
Y coordinate 419
Bibliographic source Christie 1967


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004