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Name:RING DITCH, east of Galley Hill
HER No.:13981
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

A ring ditch located to the east of Galley Hill. The internal area was stripped and a third of it excavated in 1984. To the north of the interior was a shallow pit which contained an inverted Early Bronze Age burial urn, itself containing cremated remains and part of a quoit shaped bead. The cremation appears to have been located within a post hole structure. A number of rectangular features within the ring ditch proved to be inhumations, one of which showed clear evidence of a coffin. The fills of the grave suggested a Middle Neolithic to early Bronze Age date. There were a further 4 cremation pits.

Grid Reference:TL 099 269
Parish:STREATLEY, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

<1> N J Thorpe, 1984, Excavations at Galley Hill Site 'C' 1984 (Archaeological Report). SBD12444.

Summary of excavations of ring ditch in 1984 - see short report and accompanying letter.

The internal area was stripped, and one third of the ditch was excavated. In the interior of the site were a large number of features around an empty central area. To the north of centre was a shallow pit containing an inverted Early Bronze Age burial urn ( a collared urn) which had been partially destroyed by ploughing but still contained cremated bones and part of a quoit shaped bead (of faience). To either side of this pit were a small posthole and connected beam slot which seem to have formed a structure (of apparently unique form) around the burial pit. Five sub-rectangular features were uncovered and four of these excavated. These were found to be graves, two containing adult skeletons, and two containing children. One of the adults had been buried in a wooden coffin, the outline of which survived as a clear mark in the soil within the grave. There were no definite grave goods with any of these burials, but the grave fills contained Middle Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery and some undiagnostic flintwork. To the south east of centre was a small rectangular four post structure; this may be the remains of a mortuary structure. Four small circular pits, both north and south of centre, were found to contain cremations. One of these was cut into the top of the fifth, so far unexcavated, sub-rectangular feature; nearby in plough disturbed subsoil a Late Bronze Age bronze pin (of a rare type) was found. A small number of post-holes were found, but did not form any regular patterns. The ditch produced a large amount of flintwork, including two discrete in situ knapping clusters in the upper fill. The ditch was found to have been recut on two separate occasions; the second recut was associated with a thin layer of charcoal: this upper recut may be related ot the series of cremation burials. The previous existence of a mound covering the burials was not confirmed by excavation of the ditch sections.

Protected Status:

  • Archaeological Notification Area
  • Archaeological Notification Area (AI) HER13981: RING DITCH, east of Galley Hill

Monument Type(s):

  • COFFIN (Middle Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3500 BC to 1501 BC)
  • CREMATION (Middle Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3500 BC to 1501 BC)
  • INHUMATION (Middle Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3500 BC to 701 BC)
  • PIT (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POST HOLE (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds

  • FBD14346 - HUMAN REMAINS (Middle Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3500 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FBD363 - BEAD (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FBD5521 - BURIAL URN (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FBD1555 - PIN (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Events

  • EBD1370 - Excavations at Galley Hill Site 'C' 1984

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SBD12444 - Archaeological Report: N J Thorpe. 1984. Excavations at Galley Hill Site 'C' 1984.