Preserved in the Peat: An Extraordinary Bronze Age Burial on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor, and its Wider Context [Paperback]

Andy M. Jones (Author)

ISBN: 9781789258783 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 304p, H297 x W210 (mm) Colour

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Preserved in the Peat


Excavation of a Scheduled burial mound on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor revealed an unexpected, intact burial deposit of Early Bronze Age date associated with an unparalleled range of artefacts. The cremated remains of a young person had been placed within a bearskin pelt and provided with a basketry container, from which a braided band with tin studs had spilled out. Within the container were beads of shale, amber, clay and tin; wo pairs of turned wooden studs and a worked flint flake. A unique item, possibly a sash or band, made from textile and animal skin was found beneath the container. Beneath this, the basal stone of the cist had been covered by a layer of purple moor grass which had been collected in summer. Analysis of environmental material from the site has revealed important insights into the pyre material used to burn the body, as well as providing important information about the environment in which the cist was constructed. The unparalleled assemblage of organic objects has yielded insights into a range of materials which have not survived from the earlier Bronze Age elsewhere in southern Britain.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Background
Chapter 1: Introduction
Andy M Jones
Section 2: Deconstructing and reconstructing the cist
Chapter 2: Results from the 2011 fieldwork
Andy M Jones
Chapter 3: The micro-excavation and conservation of the artefacts
Helen Williams
Chapter 4: The wooden stakes from the Whitehorse Hill cist
Richard Brunning
Chapter 5: The samples of peat and possible soil from the cist at Whitehorse Hill
M.G. Canti
Section 3: Assembling the burial
Chapter 6: The human remains
Simon Mays
Chapter 7: The wood charcoal
Zoë Hazell
Chapter 8: The charred textiles from the cremation deposit
Susanna Harris
Chapter 9: The matted plant material from the base of the cist
Julie Jones
Chapter 10: The pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs from the cist samples
Ralph Fyfe and Marta Perez
Section 4: Items with the young adult
Chapter 11: The animal pelt
Esther Cameron and Quita Mould
Chapter 12: The copper-alloy pin
Alison Sheridan, Esther Cameron and Henrietta Quinnell
Chapter 13: The basketry container
Caroline Cartwright, Maggie Cooper, Sherry Doyal, Dinah Eastop, Linda Lemieux and Ruth Stungo
Chapter 14: The composite braided hair armband or bracelet
Alison Sheridan, Esther Cameron, Caroline Cartwright, Mary Davis, Joanna Dunster, Susanna Harris, Linda Hurcombe, Jamie Inglis, Quita Mould, Caroline Solazzo and Helen Williams
Chapter 15: The composite necklace
Alison Sheridan, with contributions by Mary Davis, Joanna Dunster, Jamie Inglis, Henrietta Quinnell, Hal Redvers-Jones, Roger Taylor, Kate Verkooijen, Helen Williams and Lore Troalen
Chapter 16: The wooden studs
Alison Sheridan, Richard Brunning, Vanessa Straker, Gill Campbell, Caroline Cartwright, Stuart King and Henrietta Quinnell
Chapter 17: The flint
Anna Lawson-Jones
Chapter 18: The textile and animal-skin object
Esther Cameron, Susanna Harris and Quita Mould
Section 5: The cist and the moor: the environmental setting of the site and its wider landscape context
Chapter 19: The environment of the Whitehorse Hill cist
Ralph M. Fyfe, Jeffrey J. Blackford, Mark Hardiman, Zoë Hazell, Alison MacLeod, Marta Perez and Sarah Littlewood
Section 6: The radiocarbon dating
Chapter 20: Interpreting the chronology of the cist
Peter Marshall, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Nicola Russell, Fiona Brock and Paula Reimer
Section 7: Discussion, interpretation and conclusions
Chapter 21: The results from the project
Andy M Jones
Appendix A: Chemical analysis of beads from the Whitehorse Hill cist
Joanna Dunster
Appendix B: Report on the scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination of the basketry container and other organic artefacts from Whitehorse Hill cist
Caroline Cartwright
Appendix C: Report on the proteomic analysis of hairs from the basketry container, the braided band and the pelt from the Whitehorse Hill cist
Caroline Solazzo

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