The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Street House


Details of Barrow on Pastscape

An Early Neolithic cairn and mortuary structure overlain by an Early Bronze Age round barrow. Excavated in 1979-81, a shallow plough-damaged earthwork circa 6 metres in diameter proved to represent a multiphase Neolithic funerary/mortuary monument. An east-facing timber facade fronted a narrow mortuary structure set between low banks of clay and stone. Behind the mortuary structure was a sub-rectangular enclosure defined by a stone kerb and containing two paved areas. The latter is interpreted as a mortuary enclosure, used for the initial laying out of the dead prior to deposition within the mortuary structure itself. The latter contained the fragmentary burnt remains of several individuals. The facade comprised near-contiguous timber posts. The largest at the centre, directly in front of the mortuary structure (another post setting occurred at its rear). Most of the Neolithic pottery recovered came from the upper fills of this facade trench. In front of the facade were traces of two rows of post holes, possibly representing an avenue approach or other structure. Radiocarbon dates suggest that the monument was constructed in the early to mid 4th millennium BC. Subsequently, the whole monument was converted into a single low trapezoidal cairn by the extension of the mortuary enclosure kerb as far as the facade, and the addition of cairn material over the whole monument behind the facade. The timber elements were burnt, and subsequently unburnt timbers were removed. In the Early Bronze Age, funerary or related practices immediately preceded the construction of a kerbed round barrow over the eastern half of the long cairn. Despite plough-damage, four collared urns and an accessory vessel represented secondary cremations inserted into the mound. Two of the collared urns were associated with Grooved Ware sherds. A deposit of circa 20 jet buttons was inserted into the tail end of the long cairn. The flint assemblage included some possibly Mesolithic items.

NZ 7635 1960 Street House. Excavation of this site from 1979-81 uncovered the following:
1. A Neolithic mortuary enclosure with a D-shaped facade with, to the West, a kerbed enclosure containing a paved area. This enclosure was probably used for exposing the bodies before placement in the mortuary enclosure. A C14 date of 2700bc was obtained from the timbers used.
2. After this monument had been used for possibly c.30-50 years it was fired and a cairn was built over the kerbed enclosure and mortuary enclosure.
3. Around 1400 years later a round barrow was thrown up over the cairn covering charcoal which gave a C14 date of 3360bp. This charcoal may represent the remains of a funeral pyre. Cup marked stones were used in the kerb of the round cairn and various flint implements were also recovered. Full excavation report. (1)
Discussion of possible cultural continuity. Also the C14 dates are revised, adding c.300 years to both features. (2)
Additional references. (3)(4)(5)(6)

(1) Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society Vyner, B. The Excavation of a Neolithic Cairn at Street House, Loftus, Cleveland. 50, 1984 Page(s)151-195
(2) Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society Vyner, B. The Street House Wossit: The Excavation of a Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Palisaded Ritual Monument at Street House, Loftus, Cleveland. 54, 1988 Page(s)173-202
(3) The Yorkshire archaeological journal (D Barcham) 54, 1982 Page(s)1-5
(4) edited by B E Vyner 1983 Recent excavations in Cleveland 1983 Page(s)1-17
(5) Current archaeology 94, 1984 Page(s)342-3
(6) Ian Kinnes 1992 Non-megalithic long barrows and allied structures in the British Neolithic British Museum occasional papers Kinnes, I, 1992, Non-Megalithic Long Barrows and Allied Structures in the British Neolithic, British Museum Occ Paper 52, 44 no.52 Page(s)44
Chance Posted by Chance
10th July 2012ce

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