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Name:Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area
SMR Number:11711
Type of record:Monument
Grid Reference:TL 975 247
Map Sheet:TL92SE
Parish:COLCHESTER, COLCHESTER, ESSEX

Summary

Tumulus excavated in 1924 by Laver and which produced a rich Belgic burial with the remains of the metalwork of a funerary vehicle, bronzes, gold and silver objects and a coin with the head of Auguustus mounted as a medallion..

Full description

Tumulus excavated in 1924 by Laver and which produced a rich Belgic burial with the remains of the metalwork of a funerary vehicle, bronzes, gold and silver objects and a coin with the head of Auguustus mounted as a medallion. The finds also include two bronze studs with red glass inlay . Various pottery finds date the burial (cremation) to just before the Roman conquest. There is a suggested ritual mutilation of the grave goods. <1> The burial mound is thought to be the that of Cunobelin and evidence suggests that it is surrounded by an extensive urnfield. An important group of Belgic pottery, palanquin metalwork, amphorae, sculptured bronzes and gold and silver objects was found in the excavtion. The mound still stands 1.5m high, is 30m in diameter and is possibly Bronze Age with a later, Iron Age burial within it; the latest excavation by Colchester Arch Trust was not conclusive on this point. <2> The round barrow, 9 feet high and 100 feet in diameter, was surrounded by a ditch 2.5-3 feet deep. A grave was found just west of the centre, dug 7 feet beneath the old ground surface. It had previouslt been disturbed but contained a rich burial group dated between 17BC and 43AD. The grave goods included traces of fine gold, a coin of Augustus mounted as a portrait medallion, chain mail, silver studs, iron swords, a number of bronzes including a boar and griffin, enammelled discs, the remains of a funeral carriage including a linch pin and a number of amphorae. The only actual evidence of interment were some small fragments from a cremation. A fragmentary bronze palstave apparently a votive object was also included. Hawkes considered that the pottery was only just pre-Roman and the sculptures comparable with Cunobelins coinage. He suggests that `the deceased who had been cremated with ritual mutilation of the grave goods... may well have been Cunobelin himself, or at least one of his family'.<3> ecent excavation has produced evidence to suggest that the principal grave was to be dated AD10 or earlier and that there were later secondary burials. Peacock dated it to the last 15 years BC. <4> A small part of the tumulus was excavated in 1973 in order to establish the original extent of the barrow. No evidence was found to suggest that the tumulus was Belgic and it is thus possible that the barrow is Bronze Age. <5> Photos in SMR. <6> Other refs. <7> - <13>
Scheduling revised April 2002. <14>

Site Assessment = Scheduled Ancient Monument at present in private garden. The mound is divided by a hedge, has several large pine trees and the northern part of the western half was cut into by building a bungalow. <1>


<1> unknown, 1960 0nwards, SMR form unknown (DESC TEXT). SEX4.


<2> Department of the Environment, 1986, DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments, parts 5-8 (Scheduling record). SEX15328.


<3> Ordnance Survey, unknown, OS cards, TL92SE13, 1976 (RECORD SHEET/FORM). SEX52658.


<4> Colchester Museum, unknown, Col Mus Rep, p11 (DESC TEXT). SEX2503.


<5> Crummy, P in Huggins, PJ, 1975, Archaeology in Essex 1973-4, p11 (DESC TEXT). SEX34079.


<6> unknown, unknown, TL92-021, 14 frames (Photograph). SEX34085.


<7> Laver, PG, 1926, Archaeologia, Vol 176, p241-254 (DESC TEXT). SEX34086.


<8> Hull, MR, 1958, Roman Colchester, No 20, p252 (DESC TEXT). SEX33867.


<9> Crummy, P, 1973, Archaeological Excavations, p23 (LIST). SEX34087.


<10> Peacock, D in Jesson and Hill, 1971, The Iron Age and its Hillforts, p178 (DESC TEXT). SEX34088.


<11> RCHME, 1988, Index of Excavations Essex, p139 (LIST). SEX34089.


<12> Hawkes, CFC and Hull, MR, 1947, Camulodunum, p13 (DESC TEXT). SEX34090.


<13> Ordnance Survey, 1967, Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age, p54 (Map). SEX312.


<14> English Heritage, 2002, Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area (Scheduling record). SEX61398.

Monument Types

  • BARROW (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • BURIAL (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • CREMATION (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCULPTURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COIN (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • CREMATION (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • LINCH PIN (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • PENDANT (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCULPTURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • STUD (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • STUD (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • SWORD (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • VESSEL (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Events

  • PART EXCAV by Laver, HE and PG (Ref: ?)
  • PART EXCAV by Crummy, P, (Ref: LTC73)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument () 1019967: Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area: part of the Iron Age territorial oppidum of Camulodunum

Sources and further reading

<1>DESC TEXT: unknown. 1960 0nwards. SMR form unknown.
<2>Scheduling record: Department of the Environment. 1986. DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments. parts 5-8.
<3>RECORD SHEET/FORM: Ordnance Survey. unknown. OS cards. TL92SE13, 1976.
<4>DESC TEXT: Colchester Museum. unknown. Col Mus Rep. p11.
<5>DESC TEXT: Crummy, P in Huggins, PJ. 1975. Archaeology in Essex 1973-4. p11.
<6>Photograph: unknown. unknown. TL92-021. 14 frames.
<7>DESC TEXT: Laver, PG. 1926. Archaeologia. Vol 176, p241-254.
<8>DESC TEXT: Hull, MR. 1958. Roman Colchester. No 20, p252.
<9>LIST: Crummy, P. 1973. Archaeological Excavations. p23.
<10>DESC TEXT: Peacock, D in Jesson and Hill. 1971. The Iron Age and its Hillforts. p178.
<11>LIST: RCHME. 1988. Index of Excavations Essex. p139.
<12>DESC TEXT: Hawkes, CFC and Hull, MR. 1947. Camulodunum. p13.
<13>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1967. Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age. p54.
<14>Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2002. Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area. 29464.

Related records

11713Parent of: Lexden - Roman cemetery (Monument)
11714Parent of: Lexden Cemetery (Monument)
11712Parent of: Lexden Tumulus (Monument)
11710Parent of: Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area (Monument)