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Tyne and Wear HER(874): West Boldon, Downhill, inhumation - Details

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S Tyneside

West Boldon, Downhill, inhumation

West Boldon


Religious Ritual and Funerary

Funerary Site



Bronze Age


During the excavations in 1899 for the Reservoir at Down Hill (part of Nanny Cow Hill)... the grave of a man...was uncovered...before interested parties could arrive...the workmen had allowed the lining stones to fall in and perish. It is reasonable to assume that this was a description of a cist, but whether it was under the supposed barrow (HER no. 873) is unknown. Sunderland Museum register records two skeletons among the finds, one adult and one child. With the bones were found a metal spear-head (probably now in Sunderland museum) and several pieces of pottery. Two of the pottery sherds are prehistoric, though their published descriptions don't tally, while a third is medieval green-glazed ware, suggesting the assemblage is possibly contaminated. Gibson declares that one is the undecorated fragment of a Food Vessel, and the other part of a Food Vessel Urn. Miket thought they might both be Food Vessels, and described both as decorated. Preston also seems to refer to flints from the site: Down Hill, too, yielded specimens when the water works necessitated the removal of the barrow.




<< HER 874 >> G.B. Gibbs, 1912, Early History of the Water Supplies of Sunderland and South Shields, Antiquities of Sunderland, XII (for 1911), p. 34 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 85 no. 1

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