Books, Prehistory, Archaeologia Volume 15 Section XI Page 126
Archaeologia Volume 15 Section XI Page 126 is in Archaeologia Volume 15.
Heytesbury, June 29, 1803.
On my return from Stonehenge last Wednesday, (where I had been to open some barrows with Mr. Coxe) I was surprised to find a large string of beads, which had been taken out of the large barrow on Upton-Lovell Downs near you. This barrow is bell-shaped, surrounded with a deep ditch, and small vallum, the diameter at the base is 105 feet, its elevation 11 feet, and from its large size is called Upton Great Barrow [Map]. [e] On enquiry I found it had been opened in my absence by a labouring man, who is often employed, in digging flints on those Downs for the turnpike roads; his views were the hopes of finding treasure, but on finding nothing but burnt bones and the beads, he sent for me; but being absent, my brother and one of my daughters went, and having persuaded him to defist from further pursuits till my return, they brought away the beads. When I saw the barrow, I found he had made a large trench near the centre, when, at the depth of nearly eleven feet, he found a circular cist in the native chalk; this contained burnt human bones, with which were deposited 48 beads; of these 16 were of green and blue glass [f] "in long pieces notched between, so as to resemble a string of beads," 5 were of canal-coal or jet, and the remaining 57 of red amber; among the latter was one of a large size; the very small ones fell to pieces soon after their exposure to the air, but the large ones are in good preservation. Mr. Crocker has drawn a sample of each very accurately, as you will see on comparing. A neighbouring farmer, Mr. Baker of Chiltern, having brought two labourers to assist; these with the same man worked all day in making further researches, but we were not able to discover any thing else, except a variety of animal bones; and abundance of black ashes and charred wood. I am therefore of opinion that this large tumulus was erected over the remains of some illustrious female, for such the beads indicate; had there been more than one interment, I think we should certainly have discovered them, as we made some very large sections in those parts of the barrow where they are generally found.
I am very respectfully.
Your faithful Servant,
Note e. I have accompanied this with a drawing of the barrow, and part of the beads, by Mr. Crocker, and request your acceptance of them.
Note f. Theese are finely coated with the Armatura acquired by lying a length of time in the earth.