Wiltshire

Dartmoor Bronze Age burial remains X-rayed in Salisbury

The excavated cist at Whitehorse Hill on Dartmoor
The burial cist was excavated at Whitehorse Hill on Dartmoor in August 2011

Early Bronze Age remains from a burial site in Dartmoor National Park will be X-rayed at Salisbury District Hospital.

The items were found in a burial cist, a stone chest containing the ashes and belongings of a dead person.

Senior conservator, Helen Williams, said: "We have a real opportunity to research these finds and potentially discover more about the individual buried there."

The items, which include a woven bag, will be scanned at the spinal unit.

'Unusual and fascinating'

The burial cist was excavated from Whitehorse Hill in August 2011.

Archaeologists found cremated human bone, burnt textile, and a delicate woven bag inside.

The bag contained shale disc beads, amber spherical beads and a circular textile band.

Senior archaeologist for Dartmoor National Park Authority and Whitehorse Hill project manager, Jane Marchand, said: "This is a most unusual and fascinating glimpse into what an early Bronze Age grave goods assemblage on Dartmoor might have looked like as it was buried, including the personal possessions of people living on the Moor around 4,000 years ago."

Once the X-ray work is complete, further analysis will be made of the peat surrounding the cist.

Archaeologists believe this will give an insight into evidence of the vegetation and climate at the time of the burial.

Wiltshire Conservation Service will also be on hand to consult with the archaeology team on the x-ray results.

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