Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dean Merewether's diary.

This is a tale of great archaeological explorations, or to put it more truthfully, how many barrows can you hole in one afternoon. Our nineteenth century vicars had a lot of time on their hands, after all God only calls them to work on Sunday, so being of the educated classes, with a bit of private money to boot, they amused themselves in various ways. Writing poetry is of course a leisured pastime, but being 'archaeologists', yes that is what he calls his fellow barrow-plunderers you can employ the 'rustics' to do the dirty work,whilst our Dean can come back in a few hours, and find the hidden secrets of the barrows.

His rapacious nature in searching for the monuments round Avebury leave one slightly sick, at the thought of how one man could do so much damage, and of course he was'nt the only one. Perhaps we should be pleased that he managed to record some of his findings, though unfortunately not in a form to be readily identifable. Apparently whilst he was watching the Silbury excavation, he joined up with the rector of Yatesbury Mr.Money Kyrle

At Yatesbury, several barrows intact, but not for long, Merewether sent men to open two large barrows, sadly he did'nt find much in the barrows, though they seemed to be large with fir trees on top. Lots of animal bones, including hare.

Two barrows in Barrow field, at least 20 feet high until the farmer reduced them 15 years previously. Layer of black substance, also a cist (barrow 18) contained an unusual quantity of human bone. A cist with a coffin of a hollowed tree, and a piece of cleft wood had been placed over it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love having comments!