|13 January 2003
Bronze Age ring cairn found in Yorkshire
The discovery of a Bronze Age ring cairn and other items of historical importance at a site near Kettlewell, follows two years' work by Dr Roger Martlew and a group of his students from Leeds University's school of continuing education.
"This site has been unusual right from the start," he said." After a detailed field survey we thought we'd found a prehistoric round-house, but once the excavation started we realised we were on to something very different." In fact, excavations have unearthed a number of surprises: hollows that were expected to contain cremation burials in pottery urns proved to be empty, while the latest find was the final resting place of an infant, carefully laid in a stone-lined hollow, with more stones placed on top of the body. This find has been particularly exciting as it is thought this burial may well belong to a phase of activity even older than the ring-cairn. Dr Martlew said he had not expected to find the remains of the child because it was usual for Bronze Age ring cairns to be ceremonial and not actual burial sites.
Unearthed nearby were the remains of a cow, as well as several pieces of pottery. Much of the latter is being kept at the Craven Museum, in Skipton Town Hall. Dr Martlew added: "The site is full of features which, although found individually at different ring cairns around the UK, have not been found together in one place before."
After an enforced break during the foot and mouth crisis, work is now continuing to unravel the complexities of this site.
Sources: BBC News (2 January 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk), Craven Herald (January 2003 http://www.thisisbradford.co.uk), Yorkshire Post (3 January 2003 http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/)
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