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A re-assessment of Early Bronze Age human remains in Tyne and Wear Museums: results and implications for interpreting Early Bronze Age burials from North-East England and beyond.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michelle Gamble, Professor Chris Fowler


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The North East of England has yielded a rich array of Early Bronze Age burial evidence over 200 years of recorded excavations by antiquaries and archaeologists, much of it reported in Archaeologia Aeliana. Yet few of the human remains have been consistently examined and analysed and there has been little attempt to produce a synthesis of the burial evidence for the region. This article presents a re-analysis of the human remains from several Early Bronze Age burials in the care of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. Osteological re-analysis of these remains was undertaken by the lead author, and was considered by both authors alongside the contextual evidence from the original excavations and a broader corpus of over 350 burials from the period c. 2500–1500 BC recently compiled and analysed by the second author. Selected remains were also subjected to radiocarbon dating, and the results of most of these analyses are discussed here alongside relevant contextual information (most notably remains from burials at Allerwash, Reaverhill, Hollybush Field, and Hasting Hill). The results provide important information on variation in mortuary practices in the Early Bronze Age.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gamble M, Fowler C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archaeologia Aeliana

Year: 2013

Volume: 42

Pages: 47-80

ISSN (print): 0261-3417

Publisher: The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne