| 4 November 2017
Massive 5,000-year-old structure unearthed in Lincolnshire
Archaeologists from Network Archaeology Ltd have teamed up with Lincolnshire Live to reveal more about the artefacts from a dig along the route of Lincoln's Eastern Bypass (England).
"We are working now on the north side of the River Witham, just beyond the outskirts of the city and not far from Allenby Road trading estate," reported Dr Richard Moore and director Christopher Taylor. "As we machined away the topsoil, a wide ring of pale-coloured soil appeared. It has turned out to be the top of a large bank, surrounded by a ditch infilled with dark peaty soil. It forms a ring over fifty-five metres across. But what is it, and how old is it? Is it a henge monument, dating from the Neolithic period, around five thousand years ago. Or a disc barrow: an unusual variation on the circular burial mounds which developed around the middle of the Bronze Age around 3,500 years ago," they added.
"There were problems with both interpretations. It's the right size for a henge, but these normally - not always - have the ditch on the inside of the bank, whereas ours is on the outside. And the bank of a henge usually has entrance gaps. So far, our bank seems to be continuous. On the other hand, our circular bank is much bigger than any known disc barrow. To add another piece to the puzzle, we have now found two cremation burials inside the circle. The pottery from these burials dates from the early Bronze Age. We now think that this site started as a ceremonial enclosure in the third millennium BCE, but had become a sacred place by around 2,000 BCE when it was used for cremation burials. Later on, it became a focus around the Bronze Age barrow cemetery," concluded the archaeologists.
Changes in the water levels over the centuries led to the bank being partly buried in peat and silts, so that there is still much that survives to be excavated and recorded.
Edited from Lincolnshire Live (10 October 2017)
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