The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record
 

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GRAIG DDU CAIRN

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01751g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Site Type : Round barrow cemetery
Period : Bronze Age
Community : Crucorney
NGR : SO28452646
Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument

Summary :
An excavated round barrow cist which is circular in form with quite steeply sloping sides and a depressed interior. The mound's perimeter is well defined although no kerbstones or ditch was visible. The sides of the mound are under turf, whilst the level

Description :
An excavated round barrow cist which is circular in form with quite steeply sloping sides and a depressed interior. The mound's perimeter is well defined although no kerbstones or ditch was visible. The sides of the mound are under turf, whilst the levelled interior exposes stone. A large sandstone slab, aligned E-W, dominates the central S area of the cairn's interior. This is presumably the remains of the cist excavated by Jones (1981); the upper most edge of this slab is all that is now exposed.
Reference: Jones ###1981
Dimensions: diameter 15.2m; height 1.2m-1.4m
(1981) A cairn 15.5m diameter, c.1.5m high with a large cist at the centre was examined. Small particles of bone and a few potshereds were found in soil in the cist, and further sherds, the rim of a large vessel with incised decoration and a barbed and tanged arrowhead were found on the cairn floor. There was no evidence of a kerb. There are several other cairns and mounds in the vivinity. (Source 08)

(1981) EXCAVATION: The removal of the part-fill of loose boulders together with C20th rubbish revealed an irregular layer of dark brown soil slopping down towards the E end. Progressive trowelling revealed no stratification, the soil being of a disturbed nature and containing burned bracken and some broken glass similar to that associated with the boulder deposits. However, there was a firmer area of soil in the angle between the eaternmost orthostat and the boulder clay on which the cist had been constructed. In this undisturbed material the first and largest pottery sherd, a piece of the rim of a large, decorated, vessel (see Photo A) was discovered. Scattered in a random manner and near the first find were other small fragments of pottery together with several fragments of bone (see Photo B). A tanged and barbed arrow head and other small flint flakes and artifacts also appeared in a scatter across this area (see Photo C).
The Cist had been constructed from sandstone slabs. The S orthostat measured 1.86m in length, 1.2m deep and was 0.075m in thickness, being set into the ground so that its upper edge was almost exactly horizontal. The N slab was 1.56m, 0.87m deep and 0.075m thick. Both these main orthostats were orientated generally E-W. Slots had been cut into the original boulder clay surface and the orthostats were held upright with small stones and earth packing. The smaller E and W slabs were not so deep set and were given additional support by small stones placed within the cist. The N orthostat had cracked under lateral pressure while that at the W end was incomplete and badly damaged. A matching portion of this slab was found lying within the cist.
All the indications were of a robbed burial, impression futher strengthened by finds made outside the cist itself and at its E end. At this point an area of the cairn boulders were cleared so that any pattern of construction could be investigated. Although the cairn proved to have been made of randomly placed boulders at this point, on the original ground surface and in close proximity to one another, were five small sherds of pottery. The loose nature of the cairn boulders would have allowed such small fragments of pottery to have percolated downwards had they been placed on the edge of the cist by the original robbers. (Source 03)
GGAT 72 Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites Project 2003

Sources :
Cadw , New Entry to the Schedule of Monuments
02/MM Record Card/OS/1976/SO 22 NE 14
06/PM Desc Text/1978/Arch in Wales no30
05/MM Record Card/OS/1979/SO 22 NE 14
03/MM Excavation Report/Jones PM/1981
04/PM Desc Text/1978/Arch in Wales no35
07/PM List/NCC/1980/Stat Sites Nat Park 1949/Gwent pp6,9,map
08/MM Record Card/OS/1981/SO 22 NE 14
01/PM List/Lillie MC/1991/Bronze Age Gwent (University of Nottingham dissertation) p56
Pm desc text/Evans EM/2003/GGAT 72 Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites Project
09/Desc Text/Cadw/ new entry to the schedule of monuments/2009/Copy in further information file

Events :
E000305 : GRAIG DDU CAIRN, UNSPECIFIED EXCAVATION, 1979 (year : 1979)

Related PRNs : 8411-3g


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