Neolithic Oval Barrow

789 Neolithic oval barrow

A large Neolithic oval barrow was excavated on the site, having been previously partially investigated in 1990 by Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS). The excavations focused on two concentric cropmarks that were visible from aerial photographs. The investigations revealed a ‘U’-shaped enclosure surrounded by a later oval barrow, built during a secondary phase of construction. 
 

790 Antler picks

The Early Neolithic inner ditch contained midden-like material including large quantities of animal bone, possibly the result of feasting. The lower fills of the continuous outer ditch contained a series of placed deposits including a Fengate Ware bowl and a number of birch bark bowls. A number of antler picks were also placed at intervals around the base of the outer ditch and may have been used to initially excavate the monument. Other finds included several broken arrowheads, pottery and animal bone. 
 
The oval barrow is one of only a few such monuments found in the Middle Thames Valley. These monuments were used in ceremonies, as places where votive offerings were made and, occasionally, for the selective burial of important individuals.   
793 Mortlake Ware