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Archaeologists uncover giant Bronze Age barrow cemetery

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Archaeologists from Cotswold archaeology have uncovered a giant Bronze Age barrow cemetery in the suburbs of Salisbury, England.

Excavations were in preparation for a housing development project, where the researchers found evidence of round barrows that have been levelled due to centuries of cultivation.

The construction of round barrows dates back to the Neolithic period, but the majority of them were built during the Beaker and Early Bronze Age (2400 – 1500 BC). These barrows typically comprise a central burial chamber, a mound, and a surrounding ditch.

The size of round barrows can range from under 10 metres in diameter to up to 50 metres, although the majority tend to average between 20 and 30 metre. Additionally, the earthworks associated with barrows can vary.

Some feature sizable central mounds, referred to as “bell barrows,” while others have smaller central mounds and outer banks, known as “disc barrows.” There are also those with central hollows, often referred to as “pond barrows.” Barrows tend to be associated with burials – some contain only single individuals, others a sequence of burials and occasionally multiple burials.

Image Credit : Cotswold Archaeology

The cemetery near Salisbury consists of up to twenty or more barrows that spread along a valley floor up an adjacent hillside. The cemetery is arranged in small clusters of pairs or six, for which at least three are multi-phased barrows – two had been substantially enlarged and one had started out with a slightly oval ditch that was later replaced by a near-circular ditch.

The oval shaped barrow indicates that it could potentially be of Neolithic origin or constructed in an area associated with Neolithic activity. Positioned near the centre is a collective mass grave containing the skeletal remains of adults and children. The barrow revealed also contained two further graves, both of which held Beaker burials that were probably created at the start of the Bronze Age, as well as cut through Neolithic pits containing a cache of red deer antler used for making tools.

Excavations also found remains from the Saxon period, indicated by the discovery of a possible sunken-featured building, preserved timbers, iron knife blades and ceramics, as well as a cultivation terrace (‘lynchet’) of probable late Iron Age date and pits from the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

Cotswold Archaeology

Header Image Credit : Cotswold Archaeology

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Archaeology

Excavations uncover traces of Kraków Fortress

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A team of archaeologists conducting archaeological works at the S52 construction site have uncovered traces of the Kraków Fortress in the Polish city of Kraków.

S52 is a Polish highway being constructed in the Silesian and Lesser Poland voivodeships, which upon completion will connect the border of the Czech Republic in Cieszyn with Kraków.

Kraków Fortress refers to a series of Austro-Hungarian fortifications constructed during the 19th century. The fortress included the 18th century Kościuszko Insurrection fortifications, the medieval Wawel Castle, and the Kraków city walls. Of the over 50 post-Austrian forts in Krakow, 44 structures have been preserved in their entirety or with minor changes.

Excavations in the area of ​​the northern bypass of Krakow have revealed the remains of earthen structures related to the network of military units being established around the city, whose task was to turn Krakow into a modern border fortress.

The team also uncovered traces of earth embankments and moats, as well as the infrastructure for draining rainwater from the infantry entrenchment area and a wooden shelter from a dugout measuring 25 by 7.5 metres.

A press statement by the Republic of Poland, said: “During the research, objects related to the everyday life of soldiers were discovered. These include a tin enameled mug with a signature on the bottom depicting a double-headed imperial eagle with the inscription Austria and the initials H&C 1/2.”

“The preserved marking allowed us to determine that the mug is a product of the Haardt & Co. factory located in Knittelfeld, Austria. Enamellierwerke und Metallwarenfabriken AG. Founded in 1873 by Friedrich Wilhelm Haardt, the factory produced embossed enamelled dishes, including orders for the then Austrian army.”

Header Image Credit : Republic of Poland

Sources : Republic of Poland

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Excavations at Sheffield Castle uncover city’s industrial heritage

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A team of archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have uncovered the industrial heritage of Sheffield during excavations at Sheffield Castle.

Sheffield Castle was constructed following the Norman Conquest of England (1066) at the confluence of the River Sheaf and the River Don.

Throughout April and May of 2024, Wessex Archaeology is conducting a series of excavations to uncover and preserve the foundations of the circular towers of the castle’s gatehouse, and explore the destruction deposits from the razing of the original motte and bailey castle by John D’Eyvill in the 13th century.

The team will also be investigating areas never before excavated, finally reaching the remains of the 11th to 17th-century castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.

Following the removal of the modern concrete foundations and backfill deposits, excavations have already uncovered traces of structures from the 19th century.

The team found remnants of a vaulted ceiling, which upon further inspection has been revealed to be a crucible furnace, a type of foundry furnace used for melting and casting metals such as steel, in addition to ‘rake out’ pits below the furnace.

A press statement by Wessex Archaeology, “This cellar would have been a hot, unpleasant place when the crucible furnaces above were working. Reaching temperatures of 1200 degrees centigrade, the firing process was hot and efficient, but it also produced lots of ash which needed to be cleared. The ash would fall into the ‘rake out’ pits below, where a worker, perhaps a young boy, had the back-breaking job of removing it.”

Throughout April and May 2024, the Sheffield community is invited to experience and discover the site’s archaeology firsthand, through open days and opportunities to participate in the excavation for a day. Attendance is FREE with booking required. For more information and to book, visit www.wessexarch.co.uk/events

Header Image Credit : Wessex Archaeology

Sources : Wessex Archaeology

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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