Orton Longueville 1979-82

Two Bronze Age barrows, some 170m apart, were found by David Hall in the late 1970s and originally lay on the north bank of the river Nene. Both barrows were seen as  slight bumps in the flood meadows, scarcely 0.25m above the general level. The archaeological work was intermittent and held up by lack of funds and only completed under a government unemployment scheme.

 

Both burial sites cover the period from the Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age with evidence of a complementary sequence of development. There was evidence for ritual practice in the Iron Age using the barrows, and the discovery of seven La Tène swords, other weapons and currency bars in the silted up bed of the Nene should be ascribed to this. Some of the complete objects showed signs of having been “killed”. There were indications that religious practice carried on until the Early Saxon period. The focus of the cult may have been the tidal effect on the Nene.

 

The silting of the valley bottom with the complete covering of the monument and the virtual covering of the barrow belongs to the Late Saxon and Medieval periods and is due to cultivation in open fields up-stream, the process coming to an end progressively through the eighteenth century.

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Monument and the virtual covering of the Barrow belongs to the Late Saxon and Medieval periods and is due to cultivation in open fields up-stream, the process coming to an end progressively through the eighteenth century. The site was free of modern disturbance and the chief monuments were complete, showing the effects of the weathering to which they had been subjected prior to the deposition of the flood silts.

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