A surprise discovery
The Bronze Age burial urn, with cremated remains were found in Clinton Lane during routine archaeological evaluations of foundation trenches being dug for a small housing development on behalf of Mr Stephen Bond.
Archaeology Warwickshire’s Project Officer Bryn Gethin, who excavated the cremation urn said “I was looking for evidence of medieval settlement, and was surprised to see what looked like cremated bone fragments in the side of a trench. Further investigation revealed the bones were underneath a type of prehistoric pot known as a collared urn. These date from the Early Bronze Age period, between 2500BC and 1800BC but we had to send samples of bone to be radiocarbon dated to confirm the age of the burial”.
Landowner Mr Stephen Bond, who is the grandson of the late Mr Herbert Bond who acquired the land in 1917, said it was a privilege to donate the find to the people of Kenilworth for future generations to enjoy.
Archaeology Warwickshire Business Manager Stuart Palmer added “Although a few flint tools that are potentially older than this find have previously been discovered in Kenilworth, this is certainly the earliest known human inhabitant of the area. It is possible that the burial was originally covered by a mound that would have been prominent on the skyline but which has long since disappeared”.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, County Council Portfolio Holder for the Heritage and the Environment said: “We are very proud of the work done by Archaeology Warwickshire, who are experts in so many aspects of local history and always willing and able to use that expertise to assist on a wide variety of fascinating projects. Along with the remains of Roman child, Oriens, the Kenilworth Urn is one of their most fascinating finds and well worth a visit at the Abbey ‘Barn’ Museum when it reopens.”
The urn will be on display when the ‘Barn’ reopens for visitors on Easter Sunday 5th April and will be open every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until mid-September from 2.30 to 4.30 pm. It is staffed by volunteers from KHAS and other local organisations and admission is free of charge.
You can find out more about the work of Archaeology Warwickshire on their webpages: http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/archaeology/welcome-to-archaeology-warwickshire/
Find out more about the investigations by Archaeology Warwickshire in the Oriens find: http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/archaeology/welcome-to-archaeology-warwickshire/case-study/oriens-shining-a-light-on-britains-roman-past/