ANU archaeologist discovers Cornish barrow site—28 March 2018

An Australian Research Council (ARC) supported archaeologist at The Australian National University (ANU) has discovered a prehistoric Bronze-Age barrow, or burial mound, on a hill in Cornwall and is about to start excavating the untouched site which overlooks the English Channel.

The site dates back to around 2,000 BC and was discovered by chance when ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient Dr Catherine Frieman, who was conducting geophysical surveys of a known site outside the village of Looe in Cornwall, was approached by a farmer about a possible site in a neighbouring field.

"He told us about a 'lump' on his land and that nobody knew what it was, so he asked us to take a look at it," said Dr Frieman, who is a Senior Lecturer in the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

"So we ran our equipment over a 1,600 metre square area and sure enough we found a quite obvious circular ditch—about 15 metres across—with a single entrance pointing south east and a bunch of pits in the middle."

Dr Frieman has been able to mount the geophysical survey and excavation work with the help of her DECRA and a contribution from the ANU College of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Excavations are being carried out in April 2018, in collaboration with the Cornwall Archaeological Society, the Cornwall Archaeological Unit, and with support from the National Trust who own and manage the site.

Media issued by The Australian National University


Image: Dr Catherine Frieman surveying a site in Cornwall.
Credit: Southeast Kernow Archaeological Survey.


Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018