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Willy Howe

Artificial Mound


Another type of Bronze Age burial was burial in an oak coffin, consisting of a hollowed out tree trunk. The most recent example was found in the barrow at Willie Howe, 2 miles from Sledmere (NGR SE 955 658). the coffin burial was in fact the third burial on the site. The primary grave was in a deep rock cut pit, just off centre, which had been robbed prior to 1863. This was surrounded by a ditch 70ft in diameter.
In phase 2 another grave was dug outside the ditch, containing an adolescent lying on a bier of chalk blocks and accompanied by a bronze awl and a long necked beaker. The oak coffin belonged to the final phase, and was set in a deep rock cut grave and was surounded by a ditch 110ft in diameter. Only a few charcoal fragments of the coffin itself survived, but it had been surrounded by compressed chalky rainwash which left its shape quite clear. It had been covered by a wooden lid, part of which had caved in. The coffin contained an adult male lying on the right side, with two rough flint blades as grave goods. a radiocarbon date of 1600 +/- 70 bc was obtained from one of his bones".
From "Five Yorkshire Barrows"
Peter Armstrong
Current Archaeology
Vol. VIII No. 11
Published October 1984
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
30th April 2002ce

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