Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1852

 Stanton Waggon Low

Ten Years' Digging 1852 is in Ten Years' Digging.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1852, Stanton

On the 10th of April, 1852, in company with Mr. Carrington, and Mr. Glover, the Historian of the County of Derby, I walked over a considerable part of Stanton Moor, in order to survey the scene of former discoveries, and to examine the existing remains of Tumuli, Rocking Stones, &c., upon this interesting tract of land. On passing over the brow of the hill, near the Andle Stone [Map], we noticed a small circle [Doll Tor [Map]] of six stones, four of which retained their upright position, whilst two were prostrate, the diameter being about twenty feet; in the interior were a few small pieces of pottery, and some calcined bones that had been scratched up by rabbits, the sight of which caused us to set to work with our pocket-knives, when finding the remains to become more plentiful, we borrowed a hack and spade from the adjoining farm, and cleared a considerable space in the centre of the enclosure, where a grave had been dug for the reception of three or four cinerary urns, and as many "incense cups;" all which had been emptied of their calcined contents, and broken by former diggers, who, however, left the fragments. These having since been joined, as far as possible, afford a tolerable idea of the original shape and ornamentation of the vessels, about which there is a little peculiarity, the outline of the large urns being more straight sided than common in this part of England; they approach the form of a common red garden flower-pot, and are sparingly decorated with the everlasting chevron. Most of the urns of this type hitherto discovered, have been exhumed in the South-West of England, the Deverell Barrow having afforded several specimens.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1852, Waggon Low

On the 25th of June, we proceeded to the top of a hill near High Needham, called Waggon Low [Map], where we found some indications of an artificial mound, the dimensions of which could not be ascertained, on account of the numerous rocky protuberances around it. By excavation, we found that several interments had been placed between the masses of rock, which had originally been covered by the mound. The first discovered lay on its left side upon the rock, at the South side of the barrow, at the depth of about eighteen inches from the surface, with the knees drawn up, and the head towards the S.W.; immediately in front of this skeleton were two iron knives, respectively 5¼ and 8⅛ inches long, lying in contact with each other; there were also several tips broken from the tines of stags horns, some other imperfect animal bones, and part of a quern, which had been used as a sharpening stone, in the vicinity of the skeleton, which was that of an aged person, one of whose legs had been fractured, and reunited immediately above the ankle. Pursuing the excavation towards the north, the rock was found to have been cut out to the further depth of 18 inches, so as to form a large irregularly shaped grave; at the end nearest the first discovered skeleton, there was a large stone, under which was a deposit of calcined bones, accompanied by a small arrow-point of flint, and a rude instrument of bone, and in an angle of the rock close by, was a small vase of coarse clay, slightly ornamented, 4½ inches high. Next to this deposit were the bones of a full-grown person and an infant, both much decayed, but we considered the former to have been laid with the head to the east, they were destitute of relics, and were very imperfect, though they did not appear to have been disturbed. Immediately in contact with them, we observed the feet of another skeleton, which being carefully uncovered, was seen to lie on its right side, with the legs gathered up, and the skull to the north; at the right shoulder were three instruments of light-coloured flint and a small bronze awl, 1½ inch long, tapering each way from the middle, which is square - also the leg bone of a dog. The skeleton is that of a young person slightly above the middle height, the jaws containing the full number of teeth, which are but little worn; it is in beautiful preservation, and having been articulated, is preserved in a glass case at Lomberdale [Map]. Two flat stones were set up on edge behind it in the barrow, and it was imbedded in earth, to which it owed its preservation. During the progress of these researches, we observed the ground at the west side of the trench to have been disturbed yet lower, but were unable to follow up the indication, from the approach of evening; therefore, on the 28th of June, we again visited the spot, and after removing stone to the depth of 4 feet 6 inches, found that the grave assumed the shape of the letter L the lower limb representing the western portion, now under examination, where we discovered the skeleton of a good sized man of middle age, lying on his left side with the knees drawn up, and the head towards the west, embedded in tenacious clay, above which was a thick layer of charcoal. The whole grave was carefully cleared out to its extremest limits without further result, except the discovery of numerous rats' bones, and of occasional portions of those of larger quadrupeds, such as horses' and swine's teeth.

Bateman's original notebook on display at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield.