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Long Barrow


Details of Long Barrow on Pastscape

A Neolithic long barrow, Avebury 47, on the southern slope of Windmill Hill. It was excavated in 1959 when Neolithic and Beaker pottery, antler, bone and flint artefacts and sarsen rubbers were found. Antler samples were radiocarbon dated to 3240 +/- 150 bc. The mound survives as an earthwork circa 58 metres long and up to 34 metres wide, with the side ditches visible as cropmarks. To the north of the long barrow, a poorly defined cropmark of an elongated mound, suggestive of a long barrow, has been recorded, but must be treated with caution due to the poor quality of the cropmark.

(SU 08607052) Long Barrow (NR) (Site of) (1)
Avebury 47, a long barrow (2) (see plan) orientated SE/NW, heavily damaged, with the side-ditches slightly splayed at the NW. Excavated by Ashbee and Smith (3) in 1959. Large quantities of antler, bone, flint artifacts, sarsen rubbers, pottery and pieces of imported rock were recovered from six sections dug across the barrow's wide shallow ditches. Beaker and other late Neolithic sherds came from the upper silt level of the ditches. Antler samples (4) gave a radiocarbon dating of 3240 +/-150 bc. Crawford's air photograph (5) suggests another long barrow a few yards away (2), visible as an ovoid shaped cropmark (6) orientated NW/SE. (2-6)
SU 08607049. A mutilated mound, 58.0m long, up to 34.0m wide and 0.6m high, almost certainly the remains of the excavated long barrow. It is orientated NW/SE and lies on a southerly hillslope; there are no traces of the side ditches.
Surveyed at 1:2500. There are no surface indications of a second long barrow (2).
Neither barrow is visible on OS AP 73/071 203. (7)
The final excavation report was published in 1979 (8). The barrow is situated on the southern slope of Windmill Hill c.750m south of the Neolithic enclosure (SU 07 SE 22). An irregular line of intersecting pits were found between the southern ditch and the mound remnant. Blocks of chalk and small chalk rubble appear to have been used in mound construction. The only human bone found was a single femur head in the plough soil over one of the ditches. Finds from the ditches included sherds of Peterborough wares and Beakers, plus flint implements and knapping debris, the pottery occurring in secondary contexts. Earlier Neolithic sherds occurred in plough soil. Roman and medieval potsherds were also found. (8)
Additional references. (9-11)
Neither Goddard nor Smith appear to mention anything resembling a second long barrow (although neither described Avebury 47 as a long barrow), and Grinsell offers no supporting evidence for the statement that a second barrow existed. (12-13)
The side ditches of the long barrow, Avebury 47, were visible as cropmarks (14-15). To the north of the long barrow is a poorly defined cropmark indicative of a mound. This is in the same postion as the mark in the Crawford photograph (5a). However, the quality of the cropmarks is such that the interpretation as a long barrow is difficult to confirm.

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1925
( 2) edited by R B Pugh and Elizabeth Crittall 1957 A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1 The Victoria history of the counties of England Grinsell, LV. Archaeological Gazetteer Page(s)138
( 3) Antiquity Publications Limited Antiquity Ashbee, P and I Smith. 34, 1960 Page(s)297-9
( 4) Antiquity Publications Limited Antiquity Ashbee, P and I Smith. 40, 1966 Page(s)299
( 5a) Oblique aerial photograph reference number NMR SU 0870/1/6511 18-JUN-1934
( 5) Annotated Record Map Rec 6" (O G S Crawford 14.12.21)
( 6) Annotated Record Map Rec 6" (B A Colmer 21.1.53)
( 7) Field Investigators Comments F1 MJF 10-OCT-73
( 8) Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society Ashbee, P, IF Smith, JG Evans 45, 1979 Page(s)207-227
( 9) by Paul Ashbee 1970 The earthen long barrow in Britain : an introduction to the study of the funerary practice and culture of the Neolithic people of the third millennium Page(s)42-3
(10) The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine Barker, CT 79, 1985 Page(s)22
(11) Ian Kinnes 1992 Non-megalithic long barrows and allied structures in the British Neolithic British Museum occasional papers no.52 Page(s)32
(12) by the Rev A C Smith 1884 Guide to the British and Roman antiquities of the north Wiltshire downs in a hundred square miles round Abury; being a key to the large map of the above
(13) The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine Goddard, EH. A List of Prehistoric, Roman and Pagan Saxon Antiquities in the County of Wiltshire.. 38, 1913-14 Page(s)180
(14) Vertical aerial photograph reference number WCC 3981 042-043 02-AUG-1981
(15) Vertical aerial photograph reference number CUCAP (RC8-DE 78) 05-SEP-1979
Chance Posted by Chance
4th August 2012ce
Edited 4th August 2012ce

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