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Historic England Research Records

Amesbury 51 (Goddard)

Hob Uid: 942662
Location :
Wiltshire
Amesbury
Grid Ref : SU1147542728
Summary : A reconstructed Bronze Age round barrow, known as Amesbury 51, which forms part of the Cursus barrow group (Monument Number 219681). The round barrow has an overall diameter of approximately 36m. It comprises a roughly circular mound, 1m high, surrounded by a ring ditch, with slight traces of an outer bank visible to the north-west. The barrow was excavated by Colt Hoare in the early 19th century (Barrow 36) and completely re-excavated by Ashbee in 1960, after which it was reconstructed from the spoil to show the outward appearance. Ashbee's excavations showed the mound to be surrounded by a berm and causewayed ring ditch. The mound contained several inhumations, with finds including Beakers, some antler points, fragments of bluestone, and barbed and tanged arrowheads. The barrow was listed as Amesbury 51 by Goddard and by Grinsell (as a bowl barrow). Maud Cunnington considered it in good condition in 1913 but the barrow was severely damaged by ploughing in the mid-20th century, when it is also visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. The round barrow was surveyed at 1:1000 scale by English Heritage in April 2009 as part of the Stonehenge WHS Landscape Project.
More information : `C' - SU 11434273; Amesbury 51, a ditched bowl barrow 66ft in diameter and 4ft high. (1) Excavations by Colt Hoare (Barrow 36) located a primary inhumation with an `A' beaker and sawn off skull fragment 6ft below the ground surface, and a secondary inhumation at ground level with a drinking cup and a substance resembling decayed leather. There was an intrusive inhumation 2ft below the top of the mound. (2)

Amesbury 51 was re-excavated in 1960 by Mr. P. Ashbee on behalf of the Ministry of works. It revealed that the mound had a loam core capped by chalk, surrounded by a berm and a causewayed ditch. The mound contained an undisturbed contracted burial covered by a tapering board with a wooden, knife-like implement before the face. Also with the burial were a long-necked beaker (DM 483), a handled awl, a flint scraper and antler points.

An undisturbed contracted inhumation and a bell beaker were found lying in the silt of the ditch. There were also fragments of bluestone in the ditch silts which the body of the mound, doubtless incorporated when the barrow was raised.

The early excavation had only partially destroyed the central grave and the dimensions of a coffin or timber mortuary house were recovered. One skeleton was recovered and also the `sawn off' piece of skull which proved to be a trepanned roundel of unusual size. In the throw back of the 19th century excavations there were two barbed-and-tanged arrowheads and fragments of beaker pottery. (3-6)

(Authy 3 lists the barrow as Neolithic though contemporary references (4) and (5) list it as Bronze Age. The latter seem more likely to be correct.)

Amesbury 51; visually a simple bowl barrow 1m high. There is no sign of the berm or causewayed ditch. Published 1:2500 surveys revised. (7)

Originally recorded as Amesbury 51 by Goddard, with a note by Maud Cunnington: condition good, 1913, never ploughed. (8)

The full excavation report includes a radiocarbon determination of BM-287 1788 +/- 90bc. obtained from the timber found with the burial excavated in 1960. The report includes a full discussion of the structural and burial sequence of the barrow and of the inhumations. The round barrow was rebuilt from the spoil to give the outward appearance. (9)

The barrow is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs, and has been mapped by both RCHME's Salisbury Plain Training Area NMP and EH's Stonehenge WHS Mapping Project. (11-14)

The Bronze Age round barrow described above (1-14) was surveyed at 1:1000 scale by English Heritage in April 2009 as part of the Stonehenge WHS Landscape Project. The reconstructed round barrow measures approximately 36m in overall diameter. It comprises a roughly circular mound, 1m high: its top measures 12m and its base is 28m in diameter. A berm around the eastern side of the mound measures between 1.5m and 2.5m wide. The surrounding ring ditch measures circa 5m wide and 0.25m deep, with slight traces of an outer bank, circa 2m wide and 0.15m high, visible to the north-west. A slight bank sits along the south-eastern edge of the berm, which shows signs of more recent erosion. (15-16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1
Source details : L Grinsell: Archaeological Gazetteer
Page(s) : 151
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Source Number : 2
Source : The ancient history of Wiltshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 163
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Source Number : 11
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1143/18 (CCC 5203/05666) 09-FEB-1934
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Source Number : 12
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : USAAF US/7PH/GP/LOC122 1049-50 24-DEC-1943
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Source Number : 13
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1142/16/249-50 (811/249-50) 17-MAR-1975
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1142/73-4 (18559/22-3) 09-JAN-2000
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Source Number : 15
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sharon Bishop/28-MAY-2010/English Heritage: Stonehenge WHS Landscape Project
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 16
Source : Research Department Report Series
Source details : Amadio, L & Bishop, S 'The Cursus Barrows and surrounding area.' Stonehenge WHS Landscape Project. Archaeological Survey Report. RDRS 85/2010. Swindon: English Heritage.
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) : 85-2010
Source Number : 3
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : (P. Ashbee)
Page(s) : 31
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 58, 1961-3
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ministry Of Works: Excavations 1961, p6
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Source Number : 5
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 345
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Vol(s) : 27, 1961
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : FK Annable, DDA Simpson (1964) Guide Catalogue to the Neolithic and Bronze Age Collections at Devizes Museum, p41 no. 112
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ANK 11-JAN-71
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Source Number : 8
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : EH Goddard: A list of prehistoric, Roman and pagan Saxon antiquities in the county of Wiltshire...
Page(s) : 169
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Vol(s) : 38, 1913-14
Source Number : 9
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : (P. Ashbee)
Page(s) : Jan-60
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 70/1, 1975/6
Source Number : 10
Source : Archaeological assessment of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and its surrounding landscape
Source details : Record number 562
Page(s) : 189
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Bronze Age
Display Date : Early Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -1600
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Bowl Barrow, Causewayed Ring Ditch, Inhumation, Coffin, Mortuary House, Human Remains, Round Barrow, Bell Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Inhumation
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Early Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Bowl Barrow, Causewayed Ring Ditch, Inhumation, Coffin, Mortuary House, Human Remains, Round Barrow, Bell Barrow
Object Type : SCRAPER (TOOL), BARBED AND TANGED ARROWHEAD, VESSEL, AWL, KNIFE, POINT
Object Material : Flint, Pottery, Wood, Antler

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 10339
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SU14SW735
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 14 SW 422
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 942659
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 942661
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 942674
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 942672
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: SALISBURY PLAIN TRAINING AREA NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1994-12-01
End Date : 1995-08-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: STONEHENGE WHS MAPPING PROJECT NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2001-02-01
End Date : 2001-07-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: STONEHENGE WHS LANDSCAPE PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31