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|Site name||Abingdon Causewayed Enclosure Oval Barrow|
|Burial codes||5005 5009 5021 5024 5025 5028 5030 5031 5033 5036 5042 5047 5051 5053 5065 5071 5075 5084 5093 5098 5103 5104 5106 5111 5122 5124 5125 5127 5129 5141 5151 5152 5153 5181 5200|
|3500bc - 2500bc||An oval barrow oriented NNE, of 5 developmental phases, and facing the eastern end of the inner ditch of a causewayed enclosure on the opposite side of the valley. Phase 1 contained a double inhumation burial, and there were unusual associations of human cranial deposits with antler deposits concentrated in one small area of the the site, the western corner, in the successive phases 3-5, and in addition especially notable for their stratification in the same vertical plane against one ditch terminal.
Phase 1 was an enclosure c15m x 9m internally defined by a continuous narrow flat bottomed trench, seemingly with no entrance causeway. 6 posts had been inserted in the ditch after primary silting, 2 of which were later removed. In the centre of the enclosure was a grave pit originally c1.9m x 1.3m but cut through by an Anglo-Saxon grubenhaus. It contained 2 crouched burials, heads at opposite ends, and legs laid across one another, fully articulated. The adult male was c30-35 and 1.72m tall, interred head to NNE, and accompanied by an unusually small shale or jet slider found resting on the hip. Part of a leaf shaped arrow head found in the disturbed filling probably belonged to this burial. The 2nd skeleton was of an adult female c30-35, head to SSW, accompanied by a bifacially polished flint knife found in the end of the grave close to the head. The positioning of the grave relative to the inner enclosure and the 2 massive fronting posts makes it likely that it is associated with Phases 1 and 2, and that Phase 3 closed the burial monument.
RC: from the male skeleton long bones BM-2707 2170 +/- 60, and from the female skeleton long bone BM-2708 1910 +/- 50.
In Phase 2 a more substantial U-shaped ditch subsumed the earlier one, enclosing an area c17m x 11m with at least 5 causeways, with the entrance to the SW where there were two large post holes, one circular, one D-shaped. This ditch also held a number of posts during a secondary phase, one inserted immediately, but 4 inserted after primary silting had occurred. In each of the post holes was a flint scraper.
In Phase 3 a ditch closed off the open SW end of the Phase 2 structure, kinking to avoid a post hole from phase 2, and with a causeway E and W. 3 posts were set in this new ditch after primary silting had occurred. There were human cranial fragments in the ditch fill bracketing antler deposits towards the western corner.
RC: from antler in the terminal BM-2391 2550 +/- 50
In Phase 4 an outer ditch, deeper and more irregular than before, was excavated 1.3m outside the inner ditch, in a U-shape paralleling the Phase 2 ditch and enclosing an area 23m x 17m. It was broken by 13 causeways. Its lower filling was fresh gravel from both sides, and isolated posts were again inserted after the formation of these primary deposits. There were human cranial fragments in the ditch fill bracketing antler deposits towards the western corner.
RC: from antler found close to the U ditch terminal in the middle filling BM-2393 2470 +/- 70, BM-2390 2370 +/- 130
In Phase 5 another ditch was dug to close off the open SW end of the Phase 4 structure, and was formed by 3 segments, with 3 posts inserted in its filling. There were human cranial fragments in the secondary ditch fill bracketing antler deposits towards the western corner.
RC: from antler in the lowest layer in the ditch BM-2391 2380 +/- 80
The distribution of human and antler bone is complemented by the distribution of cultural material which was in greatest quantity towards the south east corner of the site, virtually all coming from the secondary levels in the two ditches at the more open end of the structure. They included worked flint, two scrapers, and unassociated small amounts of pottery of the Early Neolithic from the oval grave and the outer ditch. In the uppermost ditch fillings were a base sherd of Beaker, 2 Early Bronze Age sherds, and 1 of Deverel-Rimbury character.
|National grid square||SU|
|Bibliographic source||Bradley, Chambers and Halpin 1984, Bradley 1992|
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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004