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Ba'l Hill

Artificial Mound


Ba'l Hill has been dated to the Neolithic, so it is unusual in that it is a very early round barrow. Like the extremely close Willy Howe it lies right next to the Gypsey Race stream. Unlike Willy Howe it did contain burials. (Burl suggests that Ba'l Hill (or Wold Newton, as he refers to it) is another Silbury-style mound with no primary burial, but the EH record disagrees, as seen below).

According to the Scheduled Monument EH record, the mound was investigated by J R Mortimer in 1894. He found the cremated remains of a child at its centre and the skeletons of 3 adults, a child and a young adult on the original ground surface. Another skeleton of a woman was accompanied by a newly-made flint arrowhead.

There was also a pig skull and bones, and fragments from Neolithic food vessels. Also discovered were bones from dogs, wolves, grouse, Irish elk, goats, oxen, and deer, as well as frogs, toads, and water voles. Quite an intriguing menagerie, you'll agree. Were they all things people had eaten or could some be animals whose remains had been there already naturally? (and isn't an Irish Elk one of those extinct beasts with the ludicrous antlers?). Or maybe some are neither, but bones/meat deliberately placed inside for some 'ritual' reason. Hmm.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th November 2003ce
Edited 8th October 2004ce

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