oval barrow

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Class of middle and late Neolithic burial found in the British Isles in the 4th and 3rd millennia bc. The barrow mound is oval in plan, typically less than 45 m long, and made from earth and stones. In some cases there is a kerb or peristalith around the edge of the mound, while internal subdivisions of the mound seem to reflect building techniques. Flanking ditches are common and provided a source of material for building the mound. In some cases the ditches completely encircle the mound. Early examples cover a platform or simple timber mortuary structure containing disarticulated multiple inhumations. Later examples usually cover a centrally placed grave with one or two flexed inhumations. Grave goods are rare, but include personal ornaments that were probably introduced with the corpses.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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