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Title:The Whitehorse Hill Cist. Analysis of the Finds
Originator:Marchand, J.
Summary:Over the last three years painstaking conservation work and analysis has been carried out on the finds from the Whitehorse Hill cist. The unusual environmental conditions within the cist enabled the survival not only of cremated human remains but also organic materials which do not usually survive. The cremated bone represents a young person. Amongst the cremated bone were a small number of burnt textile fragments, perhaps from a shroud. The cremated remains had been wrapped in an animal pelt, yet to be identified at the time of writing. This was laid on top of a fine leather and textile object made from woven nettle fibre. Stitched to the outer edges were two rows of leather binding with a fringe of leather triangles. The fine detail suggests it was an item to be worn. It is unique in north-western Europe. Hidden within the pelt was a woven basket of lime bast and within the basket and spread beneath it were more than 200 beads. This is by far the larges number of beads from a single Early Bronze Age context in the south-west. There were 7 amber beads, 92 shale beads, 110 clay beads; analysis of the clay has shown that it was not local to Dartmoor and a single large tin bead. Also in the basket were two pairs of small wooden studs of spindle wood and a worked flint flake while beneath was an arm band of woven cow hair with tin rivets. A layer of 'packing material' has been identified as purple moor grass while pollen analysis has revealed a concentration of meadowsweet suggesting that a floral tribute was deposited with the burial. This together with the purple moor grass indicates that the burial took place in the summer.

Associated Monuments (1)

MDV66367Whitehorse Hill Cist (Monument)