Tyne and Wear HER(333): Silksworth, Steeple Hill, cist in barrow - Details
Silksworth, Steeple Hill, cist in barrow
Religious Ritual and Funerary
In February, 1876, the small natural mound of sand and gravel, with a small barrow on top, called Steeple Hill, was removed. Inside it was a cist laid east-west, 4 feet long x 2.5 feet wide x less than 2.5 feet deep, constructed of 4 whin boulders, 2 on each side, and with end and cover stones of limestone. The cist contained "the skeleton of a man past middle life, laid in the contracted position…. Two 'food vessels' had been deposited close to the chest of the man", and in one was a cremation of a child under 12. One of the vessels was a bipartite vessel with shoulder groove and 5 unpierced lugs, and decorated with incised herring bone pattern, the other probably bipartite, and decorated with encircling and vertical cord lines. Both are lost. A second skeleton, of a woman past middle life, was found 3 feet west of the cist.
<< HER 333 >> W. Greenwell, 1877, British Barrows, p. 441 Transactions Architectectural & Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, 1890, A Prae-Historic Cist Burial at Sacriston, Vol. III (for 1880-9), p. 184 W. Page, ed. 1905, Early Man, Victoria County History, Durham, Vol. I, p. 208 r W. Mitchell, 1919, History of Sunderland, p. 11 A.M. Gibson, 1978, Bronze Age Pottery in the North-East of England, British Archaeological Report, Vol. 56, p. 76 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 72 no. 10 R. Young, 1980, An Inventory of Barrows in Co. Durham, Transactions Architectectural & Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, New series,Vol. 5, p. 13