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Tyne and Wear HER(452): Sunderland, Hasting Hill barrow, cremations - Details

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Sunderland, Hasting Hill barrow, cremations



Religious Ritual and Funerary




Bronze Age


A number of cremation burials are recorded from Hasting Hill barrow: [1] A small, oblong cist, of four limestone slabs without a cover-stone, found full of soil on the south side of the mound. It measured 2 feet 1 inch x 1 feet 1 inch, x 1 feet 1 inch deep, and had a base slab of magnesian limestone set on a bed of gravel a few inches above the base of the mound. It contained calcined bones in a cist, mixed with fragments of a food vessel, a decorated pygmy cup and 3 flints (a flint core, a flake, and an implement with secondary chipping, all more or less calcined). [2] About 12 feet south-east of the centre and about 9 inches under the surface, not far removed from [1] were the scattered remains of a very large cinerary urn which had been filled with calcined bones. The upper part of the vessel was decorated with lines of twisted cord, the bevel with four concentric lines, the neck with intersecting vertical and horizontal lines, and the rim with sloping lines. [3] About 12 feet south-west of the centre of the mound a deposit of calcined bones occurred, a few inches beneath the surface. [4] Slightly west of [3] a complete, decorated food vessel in light brown fabric was found, lying on its side about 1 foot beneath the surface of the mound, its mouth to the west. It contained only earth and stones, but was partly blackened inside as though by burning. It was described as a bipartite vase with shoulder groove, 10.2 cm high, 12.7 cm rim diameter, 7.5 cm base diameter. [5] A limestone cist was found at the base of the barrow, roughly circular in outline, 1 foot 2 in in diameter, and formed of five rough undressed masses of sandstone and magnesian limestone, sunk some inches into the limestone rock, topped by a coverstone. The cist contained a cremation - "calcined bones of an adult individual” - with a fragment of a food vessel and a sheep's tooth. [6] A cist made from thin slabs of limestone was found near the south-west edge of the barrow. In it was an inverted cinerary urn (‘Food Vessel’) containing a large quantity of calcined bones in very small fragments. The cist appeared to have been constructed around the vessel, which was in coarse ware with prominent grits especially around the rim, but externally smoothed and decorated, measuring 245 mm high, c.240 mm rim diameter and 115-120 base diameter. [7] A small nearly square box-shaped cist of thin slabs of magnesian limestone occurred very slightly north of the primary grave and very near the surface of the mound. It measured 1 foot 2 inches by 1 foot and had a depth of 1 foot, and was about 6 feet from the centre of the barrow. It contained calcined bones but no other remains.




<< HER 452 >> C.T. Trechmann,1912, Recent Finds of Pre-historic Remains at Hasting Hill, near Offerton, Antiquities of Sunderland, XIV, p. 2 C.T. Trechmann, 1913, Hasting Hill, Offerton, Co. Durham,Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 3, V (for 1911-12), p. 139 C.T. Trechmann, 1914, Prehistoric Burials in the County of Durham, Archaeologia Aeliana, 3, XI, pp. 136, 139 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 68 no. 1.1a

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