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Wilsford G8

primary name: Wilsford G8

other name: RCH: Normanton 155

archaeology / bronze age

SiteName: The Normanton Group, Parish: Wilsford, County: Wiltshire, LocalityType: bell barrow, LocalityType: round barrow, Coordinates: NGR:ST11814133

Bell barrow with primary cremation on surface with incense cup, a gold covered shale cone, gold covered bronze horns, 2 gold covered amber disks, a halberd pendant rivetted to an amber handle wrapped with gold strips, a gold covered bone plaque, and amber pendants.
author: Martin, Andrew, Dr.

No. 155 is a fine bell-shaped barrow, 92 feet in diameter, and 11 in elevation. On the floor we found a large quantity of burned bones, and with them an earthen cup of a very singular and novel pattern, a cone of gold similar to the one discovered in the Golden barrow at Upton Lovel, five other articles of gold, and several curious ornaments of amber. The cup was unfortunately mutilated on one side by the pressure of incumbent earth, but its size and pattern will be sufficiently described by the annexed engraving, TUMULI PLATE XXV. An enthusiastic antiquary, who was present at the opening of this barrow, fancied that he could trace in this cup a design taken from the outward circle of STONEHENGE. The elegant cone of gold, No 1, is ornamented at intervals with four circular indentations, which are all dotted with a pointed instrument, in the same manner as the lines on our British pottery, but none of the intervals of these circular lines are filled up with the zigzag ornament, as in the gold cone found at Upton. The base of the cone is covered with a plate, which is also ornamented with indented circular lines, and is made to overlap the lower edge of the cone, to which it is fastened : it is perforated at bottom in two places for the purpose of suspension. The outward plate of thin, but pure, gold, is supported by a cone of blackish wood, on which the indentations correspond exactly with those on the outward cone. The horn-like ornament, No. 2, is made of brass, but covered with a thin plate of gold: two holes at the broad part of it, seem to indicate that this also was an ornament of decoration, and worn by suspension; and from the position of the perforations in each of these articles, we might suppose they were worn with their points downwards. The two circular trinkets, No. 3, are extremely beautiful, and in high preservation ; they are composed of red amber set round with gold, and are also perforated for suspension : they bear a very strong resemblance to some articles found by Dr. Stukeley in a barrow, north of STONEHENGE, and engraved in TAB. XXXII. where he describes them as. being of earth covered with gold. In No. 4, we see another trinket of red amber, decorated with fluted stripes of gold, and having the usual perforations : a thin bit of brass still adheres to it, and which appears to have been fastened to the amber by two rivets. No. 5 is a checquered plate of gold laid over a piece of polished bone. On first sight of this article we might be led to suppose that the hole on the top had been made for the purpose of suspension, but on a close examination of it, we evidently see that the points never joined ; and the holes for stringing are on the back part. Besides these various ornaments of gold, there were several articles of deep-coloured amber, and of a novel shape, No. 6. No barrow that we have yet opened has ever produced such a variety of singular and elegant articles, for except the cone of gold, all are novelties, both in pattern and design.

RCH 155: primary cremation with incense cup, gold covered shale cone, gold covered horned object, 2 gold covered amber disks, halberd pendant in amber and gold handle, gold covered bone disk, and amber pendants. Wessex grave 71. AW i. 201-2 DMCat, i. 127, I33-8, I43, I88c.

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