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Chartham Down Grave F

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posted on 10.11.2021, 14:56 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
In the barrow F, which was one of the largest of all, being full thirty feet diameter at the basis, and near six feet in perpendicular height, were found several bones, as if many bodies had been buried there.[1] And among the bones, some were the shin bones of horses, but lying in the common mould, which in this barrow was four or five feet deep: they were almost all perished. At the bottom was a larger trench than is usual in the chalk, in which lay some few bones, but none entire. Here were also found several pieces of rotten wood, and some nails clenched with wood adhering; and two plates of iron, with broad-headed rivets at each end, and some wood adhering to them. Near to these I found two brass nails with round heads, standing close together and riveted through a piece of wood, which fell to pieces as soon as handled.[1]It is by no means an unusual thing to meet with the bones of several skeletons before we arrive at that which lies at the bottom of the trench; and very probable reasons for their being there found may easily be given, without having recourse to the supposition that the persons there buried were slain in battle. Why, for instance, may not such tumuli have been the burying-places of some particular families? Or, perhaps, common sepulchres for the lower sort of people? Add to these the great difficulty of sinking graves in so hard a soil as rock chalk; which may have been an inducement to the digging of them in the already raised tumuli. - B.F.

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