Cotswold–Severn long barrow

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A regional type of middle Neolithic long barrow found on the north Wessex Downs, Cotswold Hills, South Wales coast, and Brecon Beacons in the west of England and eastern Wales. Dating to the early 4th millennium bc, these long barrows have rectangular or trapezoidal mounds, shallow forecourts at the higher and wider ends of the mounds, and in some cases an elaborated façade of large upright slabs. Two patterns of chamber location are represented: terminal chambers in a simple linear pattern with cells opening off a central passage; and lateral chambers where short passages lead into the body of the mound from the side to give access to a simple polygonal or rectangular chamber. The material used in constructing the mounds was derived from flanking quarries. In the areas where these barrows occur the stone is suitable for dry‐stone walling and the outer cairn walls of the barrows themselves are typically well constructed. Burial is by inhumation; grave goods are rare and mainly confined to personal objects. Excavations by Alan Saville at Hazleton, Gloucestershire, in the early 1980s showed that here at least bodies were first placed in the outer part of the entrance passage and that as the corpse decayed and room was needed for new burials parts were gradually moved further and further into the tomb. Also known as Severn–Cotswold long barrows.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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