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Dating the Dead: a High-Resolution Radiocarbon Chronology of Burial Within an Early Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery at Over, Cambridgeshire

  • Duncan Garrow (a1), John Meadows (a2), Christopher Evans (a3) and Jonathan Tabor (a3)


This paper outlines the results of a programme of radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modelling relating to an Early Bronze Age barrow cemetery at Over, Cambridgeshire. In total, 43 dates were obtained, enabling the first high-resolution independent chronology (relating to both burial and architectural events) to be constructed for a site of this kind. The results suggest that the three main turf-mound barrows were probably constructed and used successively rather than simultaneously, that the shift from inhumation to cremation seen on the site was not a straightforward progression, and that the four main ‘types’ of cremation burial in evidence were used throughout the life of the site. Overall, variability in terms of burial practice appears to have been a key feature of the site. The paper also considers the light that the fine-grained chronology developed can shed on recent much wider discussions of memory and time within Early Bronze Age barrows



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