Thames Valley Archaeological Services Monograph: Volume 27
A Bronze Age Ring Ditch and Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Story's Meadow, Marland Land, West Meon, Hampshire
by Steve Ford and Ceri Falys
A levelled Bronze Age round barrow was fully excavated to reveal its use as a cemetery in both the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon periods. A central cremation burial of an unsexed adult placed in a Collared Urn was dated to 1911–1739 cal BC and is likely to date the first construction of the monument, with an inhumation burial of a young child dated to 1541–1402 cal BC placed just above the primary fills of the ring ditch providing a terminus ante quem date. Flint nodules recovered during the ditch digging were used as a source of struck flint.
Later prehistoric and Roman ploughing close to the barrow led to the infill of the upper fills of the ditch but the mound must have survived for it subsequently to be selected as the focus for a large Anglo-Saxon cemetery, with at least 49 inhumation burials (roughly equal numbers of adults and non-adults, the adults also roughly evenly split between women and men) and a single Anglo-Saxon urned cremation burial of an unsexed adult also present. Nine radiocarbon dates indicate a predominantly 6th–7th century AD date. The cemetery’s limits to south and west seem to have been defined but it may have extended further north or east; any eastwards extension will have been lost to the modern road but there is every chance that more burials could survive to the north.
A unexpected concentration of unusual skeletal pathologies was observed, including three burials of individuals who had survived trepanning, including one adolescent with leukemia; and a woman who died whilst pregnant. This may tentatively indicate that an Anglo-Saxon medical ‘specialist’ operated in the local area. Stable isotope studies indicate a non-marine diet for the population.
A4 soft cover, 128pp, illustrated throughout including 32 colour plates: