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22 February 2013
Amazing find in Dartmoor Bronze Age grave

A rare discovery dating back 4,000 years has been described as the most significant find on Dartmoor (Devon, England), and has given archaeologists a glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived there.
     The undisturbed bronze age granite cist uncovered in 2011 in a peat bog on White Horse Hill revealed the first organic remains ever found on the moor, and a hoard of about 150 beads, including two amber beads. Previously only eight beads in total had been found on the moor.
     The park's chief archaeologist, Jane Marchand, said: "What was so unusual was the survival of so many organic objects which you never usually get in a grave of this period, they've long since rotted away."
     Amongst the grave goods was a animal pelt containing a delicate bracelet studded with tin beads, a textile fragment with detailed leather fringing, and a woven bag containing two ear studs believed to be the only ones discovered in the South West. Marchand said: "I've worked on Dartmoor for over 20 years and never anticipated getting anything like this.
     Despite there being about 5,000 remnants of buildings and 200 burial cists on Dartmoor, the moor has offered up few of its secrets. English Heritage archaeologist Win Scutt said: "A lot of it's to do with robbing, some people have actually robbed the stone, some have robbed the artefacts.

Edited from BBC News (18 February 2013)

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