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Bishopsbourne Grave A

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posted on 10.11.2021, 14:52 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Orientation: Very nearly north and south, the head[s] towards the south. [Section: see Site Figure 3.] We first opened a large barrow, which appeared to have been rifled at some former period. Here, as in all Saxon barrows, the deposit is not in the mound itself, but in a rectangular grave dug into the chalk. At the top of the grave were found two portions of bones of the leg, and at the bottom a fragment of a skull (in the place where the head must originally have been placed), some teeth (which were at the foot of the grave), some other fragments of bones, a small piece of the blade of a sword, and an iron hook exactly resembling those on the lower rim of the bucket described below. At each of the four upper corners of the grave, was a small excavation in the chalk, which was filled with the skulls of and bones and mice, with the remains of seed, &c., which had served them for food, mixed with a quantity of fine mould apparently the remains of some decomposed substance. From the condition of the bones and seed, they would appear to much more modern than the original deposit, but it is a remarkable circumstance that the same articles are found in so many of the barrows here and on the Breach Downs. The grave itself was of large dimensions, being about fourteen feet long, between six and seven broad, and somewhat more than three in depth, independent of the superincumbent mound.

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