Green Howe round barrow, North Yorkshire…and a progress report

So today I’m going to share some results of my research on Green Howe round barrow, North Yorkshire. Before I get into that I have some news to share! I had my PhD viva a couple of weeks ago and I’ve passed! I have some corrections to do now, but it’s all progress.  It did take that couple of weeks to recover from the viva though!

Anyway, to get back onto subject….

Green Howe round barrow, in North Deighton, Yorkshire was excavated in 1938 by Mr B. Kent and published after his death by Wood (1972). The excavation revealed four grave-pits, only one of which appeared to have been re-used for further burials over a long period of time.  Two of the grave-pits were capped with small mounds of turf, further burials were inserted into the central turf capping before the covering mound was built  with an outer ‘revetment’ of stones.  The mound covering grave 2 was in place before the final barrow was built, absence of weathering or build up of soil layer between may imply that the final barrow was constructed soon after the cluster of graves was complete.

Plan of Green Howe (after Wood 1972.

Plan of Green Howe (after Wood 1972).

A total minimum of 14 individuals are represented in the assemblage; these include: two adult females, five adult males (one adolescent is probably male) and one cremated adult of unknown sex.  The younger age groups include: two adolescents (one cremated), three children (one cremated), and also, one infant and one neonate. 

While all age groups are represented within the Green Howe assemblage, the majority of the adults at the site are young adult males.  There were three very young adult males and two other males in the late twenties.  There were only two adult females at this site; one an older adult and one in the thirties.

The dating of this site was carried out in order to test whether the grave-pits were contemporary or sequential.

Burials 7, 1 and 13 have a similar range, possibly indicating that the three grave-pits which these burials were deposited in may have been created contemporaneously.  Burial 8 in the south of the site is later at 2126-1904 and appears to be a lone event, although it is possible that later burials into grave 1 may have occurred later also.  A later phase of activity is represented in burials 11 and 10 which are both cremation deposits.

Date ref Burial Date BP Cal BC
OxA-26851 7 3775 ±30 2294-2057
OxA-26850 1 3759 ±30 2286-2043
OxA-26853 13 3758 ±30 2286-2042
OxA-26852 8 3629 ±29 2126-1904
OxA-26854 11 3516 ±29 1921-1752
OxA-26855 10 3473 ±28 1885-1696

Below is a photo of one of the burials.  This is burial 8, dated to 2126-1904 cal BC.  From the fusion of the bone epiphyses this individual was aged around 15-17 years at death.  This individual was also probably a male.

Grave 3, Burial 8.  An adolescent individual.

Grave 3, Burial 8. An adolescent individual.

Various objects were associated with the different burials, these included pottery, a plano-convex knife and a bone pin.

Here is one of the original photos of the pottery for those of you who like that kind of thing.

Pottery from Green Howe

Pottery from Green Howe

I hope you find this interesting.  That’s all for now.


2 responses to “Green Howe round barrow, North Yorkshire…and a progress report

  1. thank you for Green Howe stuff – am looking at Peak District barrows where there is v little carbon dating so all examples are useful to me. Mazda Jenkin PG Archaeology student Birmingham

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