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

Long Stones

Long Barrow


The Beckhampton longbarrow (as I understand it from reading Aubrey Burl's 'Prehistoric Avebury') is Really Old - like West Kennett longbarrow it is older than the henge or the stones of the circle (about 3200BC).

It was built in the late Neolithic, when agriculture was actually declining and the forests were starting to return somewhat. Excavations have shown that the barrow was built on grassland, not ploughed land. Although the mound was solid with no chambers, there was a framework of wicker partitions to hold alternate layers of chalk and black earth. A regular quarry ditch lay to the south, with a more irregular one found on the north side. Aubrey suggests that these late Neolithic barrows didn't have to be tombs like the older one at West Kennett, because they acted as ceremonial centres, just symbolic of the 'clan'. No human bones were found at all when it was excavated (apart from a much later interment in its side). However, three ox skulls were found, and they were buried, in a straight line, along the axis of the monument.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th November 2003ce
Edited 19th November 2003ce

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