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Recent radiocarbon dating and skeletal analysis of two log coffin burials from Yorkshire: Willie Howe and Towthorpe 139

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Publication details

JournalYorkshire Archaeological Journal
DatePublished - 28 Jun 2017
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)61-74
Original languageEnglish


This paper presents the results of the re-analysis and dating of skeletal material from two Early Bronze Age barrows in the east of Yorkshire, which contained log coffin burials. Towthorpe 139, which was investigated in the nineteenth century by the antiquarian JR Mortimer and Willie Howe, Cowlam which was excavated by TCM Brewster in the 1960s. Analysis of the human remains from Towthorpe revealed that the inhumed body was that of an adult male and the cremated remains, which were found in the mound above the log coffin burial were of a young person. Those from Willie Howe were of an adult male who had suffered a blow to the head. Not enough of the Towthorpe burials survived to obtain radiocarbon dates; however, two determinations were obtained on the skeleton from Willie Howe. These dates have revealed that the human remains date to the period ca. 2200–2000 cal BC.

Bibliographical note

© 2017 The Yorkshire Archaeological and historical society. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Cremation, Early Bronze Age, Grave goods, Inhumation, Log coffins

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