Human remains dating back to the Bronze Age were unearthed during an excavation of a burial mound close to Morecambe Bay.
As part of the ‘Barrowed Time’ community archaeology project, the team excavated a Bronze Age burial mound which was originally discovered when two local metal detectorists found part of a Bronze Age Hoard.
One of the star finds from the site was an early Bronze Age funerary urn (between 4,200 and 3,600 years old) that was found buried upside down, beneath three slabs of stone. A micro excavation of the urn (pictured above) discovered the cremated remains of at least one adult individual. The huge amount of bone insideis something not normally seen and suggests that more than one person was interred inside.
The remains of a flint ‘thumb-scraper’ tool were found , that would have been buried with one of the individuals.
In addition to the urn, whilst archaeologists were on site a second hoard was discovered nearby, consisting of bronze axe heads, spears, two pennanular wrist rings, complete arm rings, a chisel and a pair of horse harness ornaments. A 3,000-year-old pressed flower placed inside the hollow end of an axe handle and buried with other weapons, jewellery and ornaments, was found. Most of the objects were in virtually pristine condition, and the variety was striking and very rare.
Dr Ben Roberts, project co-director and lecturer at Durham University, said: “These barrows are not found in isolation – there are normally a number of them in the same area. We’ve confirmed that one of them is a huge ring cairn, which was constructed with large white limestone blocks, quartzite and even rock crystal. It would have been a striking white beacon and landmark.
“The items found in the hoard must now be assessed and analysed in a laboratory, before a coroner decides whether they can be officially designated as treasure. Then they’re offered up to local or national museums.”
DigVentures who crowdfunded for the Barrowed Time archaeological project, is an innovative crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for archaeology and heritage projects with an interested, informed and active community
Venturers can support the dig by pledging money in return for a variety of benefits, from joining the team in the field, to masterclasses on identifying artefacts or documenting a dig. Venturers and supporters from around the world can follow the digs live online through DV’s bespoke Digital Dig Team app.
Every object and discovery is logged live from the trenches via iPads, tablets and smartphones, making it instantly accessible from anywhere in the world.
The London based company was launched in 2012 by Lisa Westcott Wilkins and Brendon Wilkins as a rewards-based crowdfunding platform designed to enable participation in and interpretation of archaeology, heritage and conservation through digital technology.
With their first project Flag Fen Lives, they created the world’s first-ever successfully crowdfunded archaeological excavation, a Bronze Age wetlands site and Scheduled Ancient Monument near Peterborough.
Since then, DigVentures has raised over £470,000 in crowdfunding and grants to fund archaeological digs in the UK and abroad, and now has a worldwide community of supporters, including professional and amateur archaeologists as well as people from all walks of life who are fascinated by archaeology and the chance to be actively involved in every aspect of the digs.
DigVentures is the only community-focussed Registered Organisation in the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and the first-ever CIfA Accredited Field School.