Tyne and Wear HER(5225): Ryhope Dene, inhumation - Details
Ryhope Dene, inhumation
Religious Ritual and Funerary
Two broken off leg bones were found protruding from the cliff face at Ryhope Dene in February 1987 by a local resident. A rescue excavation took place five days later to remove the burial. The burial lay under circa 2 metres of windblown sand immediately south of the mouth of Ryhope Burn. The cliff is in a constant state of erosion. The grave was c.0.35 metres deep and was sub-oval with no indication of a coffin. The alignment was east to west with head to the west. Some crushing and deformation had taken place after burial, probably caused by the overlying soils slumping into the burn. The bones were soft and crumbly. No indication of clothing fibres or fastenings. A piece of straight bronze wire, c.5 metres in length was located next to the left hand. The feet and lower shin bones had been removed by erosion. The amount of overburden suggests a date of several hundred years. Originally buried some distance inland. The course of the Ryhope Burn has altered since the burial, it now runs through a disused quarry.
<< HER 5225 >> Tyne and Wear Museums Service, 1987, Excavation at Ryhope Dene, Co. Durham