Bowl Barrow 950m North of Betton Farm
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North Yorkshire County Council
Scarborough Borough Council
Scarborough and Whitby
OV000000 (500015, 486406)
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A Neolithic cairn excavated in 1849 by Conyngham and again in 1960 by Vatcher, the latter unpublished. It is one of a pair of barrows described by Conyngham (see also TA 08 NW 22), and was described by him as measuring 160 feet by 100 feet. At a distance of 40 feet from the exterior of the mound, he found a cairn of limestone rubble surrounded by a kerb of stone blocks. Beneath this cairn were considerable signs of burning, plus a quantity of animal and human bones and pottery. Beneath the centre if this cairn were "two separate masses of human bones, very much decomposed. With each mass was a rude spear, or arrowhead of flint..". A secondary interment inserted into the mound comprised a small group of human bones with a stone rubber, 3 edge-polished flint axes, one edge-polished flint adze, 5 lozenge flint arrowheads, 1 polished flint knife, 1 flint plano-convex knife, 2 flint flakes, 2 boar tusk blades and an antler macehead. Published details of Vatcher's excavations are few. Interims refer to a stone and timber rectangular mortuary structure 25 feet by 17 feet. The north and south sides were flanked by drystone walls which continued east and expanded to form a forecourt at the eastern end. Subsequently this forecourt area was closed by a stone and post wall across the front. This enclosed forecourt was used as a site for cremations. Bones of several individuals were present, as were Neolithic bowl sherds. Charcoal has produced a radicoarbon date of 3080+/-90 bc (uncalibrated). Subsequently the structures were partly demolished and infilled with rubble. Vatcher describes the final mound as a long barrow, though Kinnes (1979) lists it as a round cairn, and Kinnes & Longworth (1985) as an oval cairn. In 1954, 6 years prior to excavation, it measured 68 feet by 48 feet, and 4.5 feet high.
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