|Duggleby Howe contained many burials. Ronald Hutton (in 'Pagan Religions..') suggests that many of them were sacrifices, there to glorify the burials of just a few important old men. Patriarchy here we come then.
I thought you might like details of his description: it kind of gives a different view of the place. Still mysterious, but not quite as peaceful as Silbury, perhaps. It's no wonder Fitzcoraldo didn't get any nice vibes! ;)
In the centre of the mound of packed chalk there was a wooden mortuary hut, and in it a man buried with some flints, a pot, and some red pigment. The mound was built up round this, and as they filled in the shaft above the hut, they included the skull of a youth (with a suspicious looking hole in it). At the top was the skeleton of a child of about three, and to the side the grave of a man of about fifty, buried with arrowheads, knives, ox bones, beavers' teeth, a bone pin and boar tusks. In the infill of his grave were the bodies of another young child and another youth.
A man of about 70 was placed beside the original shaft, with his head laid as if looking down into its packing. In one hand he had a piece of semitransparent flint, holding it up to his face.
At some time later a man of about 60 was also interred, with again the bodies of a youth and a child above him. He was buried with an axe, an arrowhead and a macehead.
Four piles of mixed bones were found around the graves - bones of oxen, roe deer, foxes, pigs, sheep/goats and humans. Soon after a layer of chalk was piled over everything - over 50 cremations have been found in this layer. A layer of blue clay and more chalk rubble completed the monument. Duggleby Howe probably contains an impressive 5000 tons of material.
The website of the museum where the 'finds' are: http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museums/hulleast/index.php
Posted by Rhiannon
16th March 2005ce
Edited 16th March 2005ce