Tuesday, 1 July 2014

An update on the exciting things happening at Millhaugh Barrow:

As well as all of the other things going on at SERF this year, a small crack team of diggers have been working away on the outskirts of Dunning, working on a possible prehistoric barrow (burial mound) called Millhaugh. This mound, which is visible from the main road and across from the Maggie Wall monument, is tree-covered but was only identified as a possible prehistoric monument in the 1990s. It is a fairly big mound, about 20m across, and almost 2m high in the middle.
We started work on this on Monday 23rd July and we have made great progress, and are already fairly sure this is a Neolithic or Bronze Age barrow. We started by moving weeds and nettles, and shifting a lot of modern field clearance material, before removing the upper turf level. Very quickly we started to reveal the prehistoric monument, sealed beneath a much larger modern field clearance cairn.
The strategy is to dig a slice out of the barrow as if it were a big cake, so we can see the layers inside. Our trench only measures 2m by 11m so we are only really carrying out a keyhole investigation into the barrow, and we still have loads to do, but already we can tell that the top level of the barrow was probably some kind of turf capping. This overlies a thick rubble and earth layer which we are still investigating. The whole thing was defined by a kerb of large rounded boulders.
We’ll update the blog as we get deeper into the heart of the mound. Thanks for a great week’s work to Rebecca, Brenda, Josh, Felix, Andrew and Ashleigh.

Kenny and Helen

Laying out the trench post vegetation clearance


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