square barrow

Quick Reference


A burial monument of later prehistoric date in the British Isles that comprises a circular mound of earth and redeposited bedrock, anything between 6 m and 15 m across, which covers a central burial deposit and which is enclosed within a roughly square or rectangular quarry ditch. The central burial is usually an adult inhumation and is variously set on the old ground surface or in a burial pit. Grave goods, in some cases including complete or dismantled wheeled vehicles, usually accompany the interment. Most square barrows date to the La Tène I period in Britain, broadly the 6th and 5th centuries bc, and are found mainly in Humberside and the East Riding of Yorkshire. An increasing number, however, are being recognized in other parts of England. The square barrow tradition in England has been characterized as a key part of the Arras Culture, which may have been introduced to eastern England by settlers from France.

Subjects: Archaeology.

Reference entries