Ringlemere barrow

Ringlemere barrow

The Ringlemere barrow is an archaeological site near Sandwich in the English county of Kent most famous as being the find site of the Ringlemere gold cup.

As the find was reported by the metal detectorist finder, thus enabling the site to be properly excavated, this work has revealed a previously unsuspected funerary complex of Early Bronze Age date (approximately 2300 BC) had stood at the site. It is thought that the cup was not a grave good however but a votive offering placed at the centre of the barrow independent of any inhumation in approximately 1700 - 1500BC. No contemporary burials have in fact been found at the site although later Iron Age ones have since been found along with a Saxon cemetery.

Excavation work has continued at the site, funded by English Heritage, the BBC, the British Museum and the Kent Archaeological Society. This work has indicated that the now ploughed-away barrow was as high as 5m and had a diameter of more than 40m. The flat-bottomed ditch that surrounded it was 5-6m wide and 1.35m deep. Considerable evidence of much earlier Neolithic activity has now been found on the site including by far the largest assemblage of grooved ware in the county. Current theories now focus on the site having been significant long before and after the barrow being built and that the ditch may have been that of an older henge or, more likely, hengiform monument.

External links

* [http://www.canterburytrust.co.uk/hilights/ringle01.htm The excavation at the find site]

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