Builders working on the new Tank Regiment base at Tidworth have discovered Bronze Age burials. Dating back to the time of Stonehenge, the four graves are 3,500 years old making them the oldest finds from Tidworth.
Wessex Archaeology was called in and they found that the bodies had been cremated. The ashes in three of the graves were covered by pots that had been placed upside down. The fourth burial was not covered by a pot and instead it may have been wrapped in a cloth that has long since rotted away.
The bones will be studied by experts to establish the age and sex of the dead. It is hoped that radiocarbon dating on tiny fragments of charcoal from the funeral pyre found with the bones will allow a close dating of the finds.
Nick Truckle, Project Manager at Wessex Archaeology said ‘Bronze Age burial mounds are a familiar site even today. But not everyone was buried under a barrow at this time. As the four graves lay in a line, we imagine that the sites of the graves were marked by some sort of memorial. As the graves are so close together this small cemetery may be a family one.’