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Prehistoric inhumation cemetery at Harlyn

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Prehistoric inhumation cemetery at Harlyn

List entry Number: 1006685

Location

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Merryn

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 30-Jan-1932

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CO 111

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Despite having been partly built on, the prehistoric inhumation cemetery at Harlyn is an incredibly rare monument and its importance for our understanding of prehistoric funeral rites and traditions cannot be overstated. This one monument has enabled the definition of a specific Cornish inhumation tradition characterised by the use of such stone lined graves. The bodies are placed in a distinctive crouched position with a predominant preference for northerly orientation. Also present are limited, but occasionally quite lavish, grave goods which help to confirm trading and commerce in the prehistoric period. More potential archaeological and environmental evidence is still preserved.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric inhumation cemetery at Harlyn in the centre of the present settlement. The cemetery was discovered and excavated prior to building work in 1900 to 1905. Further partial excavations were carried out in 1976. The cemetery consisted of numerous slate-lined cists arranged in rows and aligned along a common axis. There were at least 130 recorded graves. These contained crouched burials which had been placed in mainly rectangular stone-lined and covered cists varying from 0.9m to 1.2m long and 0.5m to 0.75m wide. There were five small cists used for child burials and five double burials. Much of the associated metalwork and pottery belonged to the 1st century AD but some of the artefacts, including brooches and ring-headed pins, suggest it was in use by the 2nd century BC. There were also traces of a curvilinear building with regularly-spaced postholes around the interior which had no evidence of domestic occupation. Two crouched burials were found within the foundations of the building and were interpreted as votive offerings, suggesting that the building either had a funerary or mortuary function since it belonged to the same phase as most of the burials. Roman pottery has also been found. Some of the positions of the cists are still visible.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-429389

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SW 87779 75285

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 05:53:14.

End of official listing