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

Parc Le Breos

Long Cairn


Parc le Breos Cwm Transepted Long Cairn, Gower, West Glamorgan: Date, Contents, and Context
By Alasdair Whittle and Michael Wysocki

First investigated in 1869, the transepted long cairn of Parc le Breos Cwm was re-excavated in 1960–61 but without a report being published. This account presents a number of radiocarbon dates and a detailed re-examination of the human bone assemblages, and attempts to put the monument in local and regional context. Radiocarbon dates place the long cairn in the later part of the earlier Neolithic, and support a fairly long span of time over which its mortuary deposits were accumulated; they also show secondary re-use of the passage, and perhaps also the deliberate incorporation of very old animal bone from nearby caves. The analysis of the human bone assemblages indicates prior exposure of the remains found in the chambers, in contrast to those in the passage. Variation in musculoskeletal stress markers may indicate a mobile lifestyle for at least some of the male mortuary population. Other lifestyle indicators are noted, and isotopic evidence is presented for a terrestrial and mainly meat-oriented diet in the sampled group. The isolated context and hidden setting of the Parc le Breos Cwm long cairn and the apparently low density of south Welsh monuments are stressed.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
7th February 2003ce

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