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Monument Name Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area
SMR Number 11711
Summary Tumulus excavated in 1924 by Laver and which produced a rich Belgic burial with the remains of the metalwork of a funerary vehicle, bronzes, gold and silver objects and a coin with the head of Auguustus mounted as a medallion..
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Description Tumulus excavated in 1924 by Laver and which produced a rich Belgic burial with the remains of the metalwork of a funerary vehicle, bronzes, gold and silver objects and a coin with the head of Auguustus mounted as a medallion. The finds also include two bronze studs with red glass inlay . Various pottery finds date the burial (cremation) to just before the Roman conquest. There is a suggested ritual mutilation of the grave goods. <1> The burial mound is thought to be the that of Cunobelin and evidence suggests that it is surrounded by an extensive urnfield. An important group of Belgic pottery, palanquin metalwork, amphorae, sculptured bronzes and gold and silver objects was found in the excavtion. The mound still stands 1.5m high, is 30m in diameter and is possibly Bronze Age with a later, Iron Age burial within it; the latest excavation by Colchester Arch Trust was not conclusive on this point. <2> The round barrow, 9 feet high and 100 feet in diameter, was surrounded by a ditch 2.5-3 feet deep. A grave was found just west of the centre, dug 7 feet beneath the old ground surface. It had previouslt been disturbed but contained a rich burial group dated between 17BC and 43AD. The grave goods included traces of fine gold, a coin of Augustus mounted as a portrait medallion, chain mail, silver studs, iron swords, a number of bronzes including a boar and griffin, enammelled discs, the remains of a funeral carriage including a linch pin and a number of amphorae. The only actual evidence of interment were some small fragments from a cremation. A fragmentary bronze palstave apparently a votive object was also included. Hawkes considered that the pottery was only just pre-Roman and the sculptures comparable with Cunobelins coinage. He suggests that `the deceased who had been cremated with ritual mutilation of the grave goods... may well have been Cunobelin himself, or at least one of his family'.<3> ecent excavation has produced evidence to suggest that the principal grave was to be dated AD10 or earlier and that there were later secondary burials. Peacock dated it to the last 15 years BC. <4> A small part of the tumulus was excavated in 1973 in order to establish the original extent of the barrow. No evidence was found to suggest that the tumulus was Belgic and it is thus possible that the barrow is Bronze Age. <5> Photos in SMR. <6> Other refs. <7> - <13> Scheduling revised April 2002. <14> Site Assessment = Scheduled Ancient Monument at present in private garden. The mound is divided by a hedge, has several large pine trees and the northern part of the western half was cut into by building a bungalow. <1>
Monument Type(s) BARROW (Dated 100BC to 42AD)
BURIAL (Dated 100BC to 42AD)
CREMATION (Dated 100BC to 42AD)
SCULPTURE (Dated 100BC to 42AD)
Monument Class(es) EARTHWORK
Period 100BC to 42AD Prehistoric
Status Scheduled Monument
Administration Area COLCHESTER, COLCHESTER, ESSEX
National Grid Reference Square: TL92SE
Ref: 975247
Finds GOLD COIN (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

SILVER PENDANT (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

BRONZE SCULPTURE (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

BRONZE STUD (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

SILVER STUD (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

IRON SWORD (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

POTTERY VESSEL (Dated 100BC To 42AD)

Events PART EXCAV by Laver, HE and PG

PART EXCAV by Crummy, P,

Sources <1> Desc Text : SMR form unknown Dated : 1960 0nwards

<10> Desc Text : The Iron Age and its Hillforts (Peacock, D in Jesson and Hill) p178 Dated : 1971

<11> LIST : Index of Excavations Essex (RCHME) p139 Dated : 1988

<12> Desc Text : Camulodunum (Hawkes, CFC and Hull, MR) p13 Dated : 1947

<13> Map : Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age (Ordnance Survey) p54 Dated : 1967

<14> Scheduling record : Lexden Tumulus Iron Age Barrow and associated cemetery area (English Heritage) Dated : 2002

<2> Scheduling record : DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments (Department of the Environment) parts 5-8 Dated : 1986

<3> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) TL92SE13, 1976 Dated : unknown

<4> Desc Text : Col Mus Rep (Colchester Museum) p11 Dated : unknown

<5> Desc Text : Archaeology in Essex 1973-4 (Crummy, P in Huggins, PJ) p11 Dated : 1975

<6> Photograph : TL92-021 (unknown) 14 frames Dated : unknown

<7> Desc Text : Archaeologia (Laver, PG) Vol 176, p241-254 Dated : 1926

<8> Desc Text : Roman Colchester (Hull, MR) No 20, p252 Dated : 1958

<9> LIST : Archaeological Excavations (Crummy, P) p23 Dated : 1973