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Monkton Farleigh G2

primary name: Monkton Farleigh G2

other name:

archaeology / bronze age

SiteName: Jug's Grave, Parish: Monkton Farleigh, County: Wiltshire, LocalityType: bowl barrow, LocalityType: round barrow, Coordinates: NGR:ST79696305

Bowl barrow with primary interment of 2 fragmentary crouched (?) inhumations (one head to NW., one to SE.) in stone cist (4.3x2.10ftx12in, with paved floor and cup marks under capstone) with 3 barbed and tanged arrowheads, 1 ranged arrowhead, a circular gold sundisk with cruciform design, and 12 Beaker (?) sherds. 4 secondary interments of fragmentary bones (all broken except arms) were placed in the N. part of the mound, two in intrusive stone lined cists, one with red ochre. Part of a stone mace-head was found near N. edge of mound. A Type Bi Beaker was also found in 1953. A cairn of flat stones covered the mound.
author: Martin, Andrew, Dr.

M.I. Mound " JUG'S GRAVE". Fig. 5. This mound has been known as Jug's Grave to the three previous owners of the property, all of whom have been interested in, but have not investigated, it. It measures approximately 83 x 63 ft. and stands 4 ft. above ground level. It is higher and wider at its western end, and the highest part is at the point A. or a little to the east of that. On the south and west there are some slight indications that a ditch may have existed, and there are also a number of nearly buried stones round the mound, but not so regular as to suggest a peristalith. Some are in groups, and some may have rolled off the mound. Three of the linear mounds connect with Mound M. I. One of these, Mound II, appears to continue almost to the top, after taking a semi- circular course for no obvious reason. At some unknown date the mound has been quarried, leaving a circular excavation on its north side, 20 ft. in diameter, with vertical sides, reaching to the point A. No signs of nearby dumps suggest the archaeologist or treasure-seeker. The floor of this excavation was about 1 ft. above the level of the surrounding ground. M.I. Burial No. 1. As a trench from F. to A. was being commenced to ascertain what, if anything, had been left by the quarrymen, a human parietal bone was noticed protruding from the vertical face at B. at ground level, and 12 ft. from A. A jawbone and a number of other fragments of skull were also found there, and on excavating the stone face, other parts of a skeleton were found, all between B. and A. and within 37 ins. of the top of the parietal bone. All the larger bones were in fragments and many were missing. Those found were sent to Dr. Baxter of Bristol University Anatomical Dept. who reported that they were of a young person aged 16 to 20, probably male and of considerable antiquity. Insufficient parts of the skull were found to establish the type. Later, further fragments were found in the grass roots on the surface above the burial, presumably thrown there when disturbed by the quarrymen. It is hoped that these may fit with the others sufficiently for measurement. This burial had been disturbed and consequently afforded little useful evidence. M.I. Burial No. 2. Under a flat stone of peculiar shape, with a pointed projection on one side directed to the west at about 12 ins. lower level than that of Burial No. 1, some teeth and bones of a child were found, also in fragments. M.I. Burial No. 3. On excavating 5 ft. further into the mound in a N.E. direction another human mandible and many scattered bones and fragments were found at slightly above the level of Burial No. 1. The only unbroken large bones were a humerus and an Ulna. Many stones containing galls of yellow ochre were found with these burials and some burned limestone and red ochre. No implements, pottery or ornaments were found here. These burials were covered by several layers of flat stones sloping upwards towards the centre of the mound, as in undisturbed barrows. If, therefore, these are secondary burials, the stones must have been replaced with considerable care. It is, of course, possible that the burials were made when the barrow was constructed. They were on the northern side of the mound, which is unusual with secondary burials. The trench 1 ft. deep from F. to A. produced a few flint flakes and scrapers only, all close to A. It was extended over the area F. A. G. disclosing a construction of stones at C. having some appearance of a cist, as shown in Fig. 5. Part of a stone mace was found 3 ft. north of A. The hole for the haft was cup-shaped on each side. Large flat stones were found at ground level between A. and B., sloping upwards towards the centre of the mound. Above these was rubble, suggesting that the mound has been dug into from the top and the hole refilled. M.I. Burial No. 4. At point D., near the top of the mound there was a large stone. Under this was a rectangular opening about 32 x 18 ins. with dry walls and filled with small rubble arid soil. These were removed and at a depth of about 18 ins. large stones were encountered, making investigation from the top impossible. A trench was made from 12 ft. to the west so as to open the supposed cist from one end and below the obstructions. A number of human bones, teeth and bone fragments were found including, again, two armbones in an articulated position. No flints, implements or pottery were found. This trench showed stones sloping towards the centre as at B. The stones at the west end of the trench were more vertical, and included a pointed stone standing above the others. They appeared to form a retaining wall. Burial No. 5. Primary. Loose rubble was removed at the supposed centre of the mound, and A cavity was disclosed. This led to the south-east corner of a megalithic rectangular cist, measuring 4 ft. 3 ins. x 2 ft. 10 ins., with its long axis 20' west of north. A pile of human bones, including part of a skull, was at the north end. The walls were vertical stone slabs, their top edges being 2 ft. 6 ins below the highest part of the mound. The inside faces and top edges appear to have been dressed. The east stone was about 5 ft. long, 11 ins, thick and broken in the middle. On the upper part of its inner face there was a series of 5 circular holes about 3 ins. to 5 ins. wide and 3 ins. to 6 ins. deep, irregularly placed but all within 11 ins. of the top. There was also a cup-shaped hole near the south -end 22 ins. x 4 in. deep. These were apparently natural potholes. At about 12 ins, from its south end the top edge of this stone sloped downwards sharply, as though mitred. The west stone appears to be the same size as the east stone but leans inward. It has two horizontal grooves about 10 ins. long x 2 ins., apparently water worn, and, at the south end there are three holes 11 ins. in diameter, 5 ins. apart, arranged in pyramid form. The south corner is mitred in a similar manner to the east stone. The south stone is 6 ins. thick and there is a space of about 7 ins. between it and the east stone, the gap being filled by a smaller stone. The north stone has sunk 6 ins. at its east end, and is split lengthways. Stones have been inserted in the crack to raise the top part to meet the capstone. The capstone has a tree growing above it but appears to have been about 6 ft. x 4 ft. and is about 12 ins. thick. It has two circular holes 1i ins. diameter in its under surface and is cracked across in two directions dividing it into 4 pieces, of which that at the S.E. corner is missing. This has left a triangular opening 18 ins. x 2 ft. x 3 ft. The remaining parts of the capstone are held in place largely by the weight of stones above them, and any interference might bring them down. As it was important to preserve the cist, the remainder of the capstone was not disturbed, and the only access therefore was through the triangular opening, which made excavation difficult. The floor was within 12 ins. of the roof, remarkably flat, and it appeared to have been flooded. Water was dripping from the fibrous roots of the tree above when the cist was first opened, in rainy weather. The main roots did not penetrate the chamber. The material of the floor was about a foot thick, in two fairly well defined equal layers resting on a rough paving of small stones. The top layer was fine gravel with a little clay, and the lower stratum was of sandy loam containing stones and appeared to be natural top soil. All visible bones being at the N. end of the chamber, it was decided to excavate the south half first. This was done to a depth of about 3 ins. and disclosed three legbones parallel with and close to the west stone ; a pile of ribs, two broken ulnas, a hip bone and some small bones in the middle ; a humerus parallel with the east stone and another by the south stone, and a skull and jawbone in fragments in the S.E. corner. It was clear that either the burials had been disturbed or no articulated interment had taken place. It was decided therefore to continue to excavate the south half of the cist before dealing with the top surface of the north part. Various other bones were found, almost all of which were in the gravelly layer, although a few fragments were found in the lower stratum. The north half was then excavated in the same way. In the N.W. corner was an unbroken skull. In the middle and about 2 ft. from the south end, and in the lower part of the gravel layer, a coccyx lying N. -S., and facing east, with a left hip-bone in close proximity, was found. Three sacral vertebrae were north of, and in line with, the coccyx. This was the only evidence found of any articulated inhumation having taken place. The remains showed that there had been at least two burials in the cist, but a number of bones are missing, including about 30 vertebrae. The skull from the S.E. corner has a cephalic index 76.8, showing that it is nearer to the long-heads than to the round-heads. The N. W. skull was brachycephalic with index of 82. Outside the cist, and about 18 ins. south of it, a thigh and hip-bone of a man were found, with a few other bones, level with the. top of the cist. All bones have been sent to Dr. Baxter, of Bristol University, who has kindly offered to report on them. Finds. No implements were found in the cist other than a few small flint flakes, two of them knife shape, and flints apparently damaged by use A fragment of black wheel-made pottery sixth of an inch thick, was found in the top layer of the north end, and another fragment, slightly lower, black with red slip on the outside, 0.25in. thick, not wheel-made and undecorated. It was of rough material, and the inner face was missing. M.I. Dating Material. The dating of this mound presents difficulties. Little pottery and no metalwork have been found in it, and no weapons or implements have been found in such a position as to give them dating value. The only sources of dating evidence are therefore in the construction, shape, size, etc. of the mound, and in the character of the burials. Construction. The mound has a core of overlapping stone slabs, sloping upwards, all directed towards a common centre and covered by rubble. This is the normal construction of barrows in the Cotswolds. Shape. The oval shape of the mound has led to the suggestion that it may be a long barrow. But the shape may be partly due to its being on a slope of 1 in 40 ft. Round barrows, when erected on slopes, must necessarily occupy oval sites, it being impossible to build a symmetrical circular mound (that is to say, one in which the angles to the horizontal are equal) without making one side longer than the other. Mr. L. V. Grinsell, however (Ancient Burial Mounds of England, p. 84), holds that this may be due to weathering. The oval shape does not therefore provide reliable evidence that this is a long barrow as has been suggested. The slope of the ground is, however, from N.W. to S.E., and the major axis of the barrow is from S.W. to N.E.. suggesting that the oval form is not entirely due to the slope or to weathering. The fact that the long axis of the cist is approximately at right angles to the major axis of the barrow should also be observed.

Oval shape perhaps due to situation on hill slope, causing soil-creep. Ex. G. Underwood c. 1946: primary interment of 2 skeletons, fragmentary, in stone cist 4 ft. 3 in. long, implying that the skeletons must have been crouched; gold circular disk with cruciform design, 3 b & t arrowheads, 1 ranged arrowhead, and 12 sherds; secondary interments (4 inhumations?) in N. part of mound. Part of stone mace-head with cup-shaped hole on each side, found near N. edge of mound. Type Bi beaker, found 1953, now in BRIS. WAM 11. 447-52; lii. 270-1

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