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

Burnt Hill Dolmen

Chambered Tomb


Some added information about the Burnt Hill Portal Dolmen (gleaned from the record on Magic):

Only about 20 portal dolmens are known in the country, so this is a rare (if unprepossessing) site. Most are in west Penwith, Cornwall, or in the north-west Oxfordshire Cotswolds (there are a few in between). They date from the Early and Middle Neolithic (about 3500-2600 BC) so are practically the oldest monuments you can find in the landscape.

When shiny and brand new the dolmen would have been a small closed rectangular chamber built from large stone slabs, with free-standing stones flanking the front slab. A (usually massive) capstone would have covered the chamber. It may have been reused centuries later for urned cremations in the Bronze Age.

Today the dolmen lies on a bend in the modern (and presumably ancient) county boundary between Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. Even in 1971 field observations turned up "two small fragments of human skull, two fragments of long bones, three struck flints, including a retouched flake, and two fragments of pottery." It does make you think about what will be left of our society's artifacts in 5500 years time.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th July 2004ce

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