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South Street

Long Barrow


South Street Long Barrow SU 0902 6928 (Avebury G 68)

This long barrow has been greatly reduced, so the majority of these field notes will consist of the report on the barrow from W.A.M. Vol. 79 page 23.

I have included some site pictures to show what little remains of this barrow.

Two show the remains from the filled-in side ditch on the south side of South Street, the other two show the remaining mould north of the road and between Adam and Eve, on the Beckhamption Ave.

This long barrow, oriented ESE-WNW, was situated 120 m E of the Longstones and to the N of South Street, a minor road running between Beckhampton and Avebnry Trusloe. Stukeley was the first to record the mound, but his several drawings of the site give no consistent indication of its precise form. Further details of past records are to be found in the account ol the barrow's excavation
(Ashbee, Smith and Evens 1979: page 250-75).

The earthen and chalk mound was 41.3 m long with a maximum width of 15.0m, and though unfinished appeared to he rectangular in shape. The parallel flanking ditches both ended, at the E, level with the proxinial end of the barrow. This had been delimited by a cresccntic zone ol chalk rubble, into which a late neolithic/beaker pit had been dug subsequently.

Of the ditches the S was the more regularly cut, tapering from E to W, while the N appeared to be unfinished. As at the Beckhampton Road long barrow, the mound behind the frontal chalk rubble was shaped by a series of wooden hurdling bays, here 20 bays to either side ot the long axis. In these had been placed material from the side-ditches, laid down in the order in which they would have been encountered during the quarrying - turves and loose soil against the axis, then sub-soil, with the chalk towards the edges. Towards the front of the mound five large sarsens, and several smaller ones, had been included in the bay structure, but there was no evidence that these represented a collapsed chamber. Two disturbances in the mound at this point would appear to have been the result of the removal of at least four large sarsens, perhaps during the medieval period.

It is possible that it was these, left on the adjacent field boundary, that Stukeley saw and mistakenly drew as a peristalith (1743: Tab. 24). No human burials were found within the barrow.

The construction of the barrow was dated to the second quarter of the third millenium BC by radiocarbon estimations taken from ox vertebrae (2750 +/- 135 b.c.; BM-357) and an antler (2670 =/- 140 b.c.; BM-358a) •from the bottom of the N ditch, and from an antler included in the filling of one of the bays (2580 +/- ±110 b.c.; BM-358b).
Chance Posted by Chance
5th May 2008ce

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