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Site name Avebury 22, West Kennet, Wil 4
Site number 72
Burial codes 5005 5009 5022 5024 5025 5027 5030 5032 5036 5043 5047 5051 5052 5053 5065 5075 5081 5085 5093 5098 5101 5104 5109 5110 5122 5127 5143 5152 5155 5181 5182 5183
3500bc - 2500bc Long barrow oriented E. Thurnam's excavations cleared the passage and the west chamber. He found 6 burials, of which 2 were fragmented, and four articulated, one of the latter buried in a crouched or possibly sitting position and accompanied by a flint blade. Five were males of c17-50, and one was of an infant. Piggott found no special features on the ground or the facade. There was Windmill Hill pottery; and inhumations in all four intact chambers. Deposits of cremated bone overlay the burials in the north east chamber. There was evidence of re-arrangement of bones in the north west and south west chambers, bones and skulls being laid against rear walls. The burials were laid on the old ground surface, but the cremation burial in the north east chamber was on paving of sarsen slabs. There was evidence for the removal of skulls and long bones. Some bones showed signs of burning, but there were no signs of burning in chambers or passage.

Final filling of chambers and passage comprised the bulk of coarse clean chalk rubble, but there were layers of dirty rubble containing ash, charcoal, scatters of animal bones, worked flints, unweathered pottery freshly broken and in large and small sherds, bone tools, beads of stone, bone and shell, and miscellaneous other objects. The pottery represented 250 vessels in which Peterborough ware dominates (Ebbsfleet, Mortlake and Fengate), followed by Rinyo-Clacton and Beaker. One bell Beaker was found almost intact, inverted under the protection of a corbel in the north east corner of the north west chamber (top of Layer 3).

The final filling seems to have been one act, as potsherds of one vessel were scattered throughout the fill. The barrow contained the bones of c40 individuals: 30 adults, the rest children, infants and one foetus. Thurnam considered that several skulls had been damaged in fatal blows. One skeleton found by Piggott was of an old male killed by an arrow in the throat.

RC: skull II parietal NW chamber OxA-449 2875 +/- 80, skeleton II left femur NE chamber OxA-450 2750 +/- 80, skeleton IV left femur SW chamber OxA-451 2830 +/- 90, skeleton I NW chamber OxA-563 2830 +/-90
2500bc-14/1300bc Overlap site with 3500-2500. One Bell Beaker was found almost intact, inverted under the protection of a corbel in the north east corner of the north west chamber (top of Layer 3).
Remains/Period Y5 Y4
County Wiltshire
Region S
National grid square SU
X coordinate 105
Y coordinate 677
Bibliographic source Thurnam 1860a, 1867, Piggott 1958b, 1962b, Gowlett, Hall and Hedges 1986


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004