Serious Mortality: the Date of the Fussell's Lodge Long Barrow


Wysocki M, Bayliss A & Whittle A (2007) Serious Mortality: the Date of the Fussell's Lodge Long Barrow. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 17 (S1), pp. 65-84.

Twenty-seven radiocarbon results are now available from the Fussell’s Lodge long barrow, and are presented within an interpretive Bayesian statistical framework. Three alternative archaeological interpretations of the sequence are given, each with a separate Bayesian model. It is hard to decide between these, though we prefer the third. In the first (following the excavator), the construction is a unitary one, and the human remains included are by definition already old. In the second, the primary mortuary structure is seen as having two phases, and is set within a timber enclosure; these are later closed by the construction of a long barrow. In that model of the sequence, deposition began in the 38th century cal BC and the mortuary structure was extended probably in the 3660s–3650s cal BC; the long barrow was probably built in the 3630s–3620s cal BC; ancestral remains are not in question; and the use of the primary structure may have lasted for a century or so. In the third, preferred model, a variant of the second, we envisage the inclusion of some ancestral remains in the primary mortuary structure alongside fresh remains. This provides different estimates of the date of initial construction (probably in the last quarter of the 38th century cal BC or the first half of the 37th century cal BC) and the duration of primary use, but agrees in setting the date of the long barrow probably in the 3630s–3620s cal BC. These results are discussed in relation to the development and meanings of long barrows at both national and local scales.

Fussell's Lodge; radiocarbon dates; long barrow;

Cambridge Archaeological Journal: Volume 17, Issue S1

FundersEnglish Heritage
Publication date28/02/2007
Publication date online30/01/2007
Date accepted by journal05/10/2006
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

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