Cist Burial!

Author: Rachel 

We’ve been keeping a bit of a secret since day two of the dig! Whilst we were still deturfing we came across some upright slates which we were pretty confident were part of a Bronze Age burial cist!

The cist poking through the subsoil

Today we excavated the cist! The cist is very close to the surface and has been damaged by ploughing. The capstone was missing and rocks from the mound have fallen into the cist. 

Half sectioned cist

We half sectioned the cist – meaning we took out half of the contents first so we could see the layers within it. During the half section it became clear that we had prehistoric pottery within our cist!

The Urn appears!

The vessel we have appears to be a Collared Urn that has been turned upside down and placed within the cist. The base of the urn has also been damaged (probably by the plough). 

Collared Urns in cists are often inverted over cremated remains (as at Staarvey). We block lifted the whole pot by wrapping it in bandages and cling film so that it can be carefully excavated in lab conditions back in the museum! Expect more updates on the excavation of the pot in the future!

The excavation of the cist made for a very exciting day on site which was rounded off by a wonderful feast with our wonderful landowners Robert and Anne! Very happy archaeologists!

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