Bronze Age Burial

A request came in from Newcastle University to look at the human remains from the Bronze Age that we have in our collections for a project on Bronze Age burials. This required having a detailed look at some of the remains, so we went over to Sunderland Museum where we have two skeletons laid out in cists in the Secrets of the Past Gallery.
We took one off display at a time so that the cases would not be empty for too long, packed the bones up safely in boxes and took them upstairs to a room with good natural light and a big table. The skeletons were laid out on the table and could then be studied.

One of the skeletons was that of a child, the other a robust man. Both of them came from a burial mound at Hasting Hill that had been dug in 1911. The mound was 12m across and produced six cremations and four inhumations buried in different parts, although the grave of the robust man was thought to be the primary burial. The man was buried with a pottery vessel, a flint knife, a bone pin, and part of a deer antler, and there were bones from various small mammals such as voles. This cist also included some extra bones from at least one other body, so the study will provide us with some interesting new information when it is complete.

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