Prehistoric ‘House of the Dead’ unearthed in Wiltshire
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Prehistoric ‘House of the Dead’ unearthed in Wiltshire

We’re undertaking an archaeological
excavation in Wiltshire in a place charmingly called
Cat’s Brain and we’ve uncovered an early Neolithic long Barrow.
This is one of our earliest monuments in the country and dates to around 3,600 to
around 3700 BC. Now this land has been ploughed for millennia it’s a very rich
and fertile landscape and as a result the monuments are ploughed completely flat
and all we’re looking for are the features that are cut deep down into the
natural ground and there’s some really key changes going on particularly a
change from a hunting and gathering lifestyle to one that is more settled
and for the first time at some degree of farming and monument construction. The
monument is a rectangular structure, we think, probably a building that is
surrounded by two large flanking ditches. We think the ditches probably produced
soil which could then cover over the building. This is effectively a house for
the dead. This is a very exciting opportunity to dig an extremely rare
type of monument we are extraordinarily privileged and that is felt by all of
the students that have that opportunity to work on the monument and from these
excavations we should be able to add so much more to the history of us, of who we
are where we’ve come from.

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