Parc Le Breos Neolithic Burial Chamber, Glamorgan, Wales

20 votes
Taken the 01/07/13
A Neolithic long cairn of the type known as Cotswold-Severn, Parc Le Breos takes its name from the huge medieval deer park in which it stands. The tomb is wedge-shaped, aligned on a north-south axis. It is 22 metres (72.1 ft) long and measures 13 metres (42.6 ft) wide at the forecourt end, tapering to 6 metres (19.6 ft) wide at the northern tip.

The exposed burial chamber is accessed through a bell-shaped forecourt that leads to a short gallery and then to two pairs of transept chambers. These are small, only about 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) long and 1 metre (3.2 ft) wide. The burial chamber is built of upright limestone stones infilled with irregular dry walling.

Parc Le Breos was in use for anywhere from 300 to 800 years, with the first burials taking place around 3800 BC. The bones of at least 40 people were found inside the tomb. As is common with this type of communal burial site, the bodies were exposed to animals, birds, and the elements for a time until only the bones were left, and these were disposed inside the chambers in no particular order. One collection of bones in the passage appears to have been deposited without this initial exposure, as an entire corpse.

Aside from the human remains, quite a lot of animal bones were found, including bones of cats, dogs, pig, sheep, red deer, and cattle. One of the deer bones dates to 800-200 BC, so it was deposited long after the tomb was used for human burials. Several human bones are vastly earlier, as old as 11,000 BC. These may have come from Cat Hole Cave nearby, perhaps as part of some kind of ritual observance.
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Author:

Jos Sanders

Latitude: 51° 35' 18" N, Longitude: 4° 6' 45" W see »

Location: United Kingdom

Panoramas by Jos Sanders

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