Cliffs End Farm Isle of Thanet, Kent [Hardback]

Jacqueline I. McKinley (Author); Matt Leivers (Author); Jörn Schuster (Author); Peter Marshall (Author); Alistair Barclay (Author); Nick Stoodley (Author)

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ISBN: 9781874350705 | Published by: Wessex Archaeology | Volume: 31 | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 288p,

Cliffs End Farm Isle of Thanet, Kent


Excavations at Cliffs End Farm, Thanet, Kent, undertaken in 2004/5 uncovered a dense area of archaeological remains including Bronze Age barrows and enclosures, and a large prehistoric mortuary feature, as well as a small early 6th to late 7th century Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery. An extraordinary series of human and animal remains were recovered from the Late Bronze Age–Middle Iron Age mortuary feature, revealing a wealth of evidence for mortuary rites including exposure, excarnation and curation. The site seems to have been largely abandoned in the later Iron Age and very little Romano-British activity was identified. In the early 6th century a small inhumation cemetery was established. Very little human bone survived within the 21 graves, where the burial environment differed from that within the prehistoric mortuary feature, but grave goods indicate‘females’ and ‘males’ were buried here. Richly furnished graves included that of a ‘female’ buried with a necklace, a pair of brooches and a purse, as well as a ‘male’ with a shield covering his face, a knife and spearhead. In the Middle Saxon period lines of pits, possibly delineating boundaries, were dug, some of which contained large deposits of marine shells. English Heritage funded an extensive programme of radiocarbon and isotope analyses, which have produced some surprising results that shed new light on long distance contacts, mobility and mortuary rites during later prehistory. This volume presents the results of the investigations together with the scientific analyses, human bone, artefact and environmental reports.

Reviews & Quotes

"This volume is indeed ‘extraordinary’ in terms both of content and production quality, and the exciting nature of the site shines through every section of the report. Cliffs End Farm represents a sea of change in our knowledge of prehistoric Britain, and this volume provides the detail, insight and specialist knowledge necessary for the site to be appreciated as such."
Rebecca Redfern
Antiquity (25/11/2016)

"Overall, then, this is a hugely significant addition to existing literature on Late Bronze Age and Iron Age mortuary practice and provides fascinating insights into the character, scale and significance of long-distance movements during these periods. It is beautifully-produced, and combines both detailed presentation of the primary data with high-level analysis and interpretation. "
Joanna Brück
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society

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