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      Bits and Pieces: early Bronze Age stone bracers from Ireland

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      Internet Archaeology

      Council for British Archaeology

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          Abstract

          Large numbers of bracers from Ireland were illustrated and published by Peter Harbison in 1976. In association with the preparation of a similar corpus of the bracer material from England (as part of a Birmingham University Leverhulme project on Early Bronze Age grave goods), 32 Irish bracers housed at the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, have been re-examined. Consideration of lithology showed that far more of the bracers were made from red jasper than was evident from Harbison's publication. Other rocks employed were mainly grey-brown in colour and included a few examples of porcellanite from the Group IX Neolithic axe factory sites. Detailed study of fragmentation and traces of manufacture showed that more than half of the bracers had been broken in antiquity, and then reworked for use as pendants. This article will examine all these aspects, and will compare the results with the different patterns of rock type, colour and fragmentation found in England and Scotland.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Transforming Beaker Culture in North-West Europe; Processes of Fusion and Fission.

          ‘It is the slippery assemblages and the social traditions they represent, that we are trying to precipitate from the mass of beaker data’. Clarke 1970, 33
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            C-14 Dating and the Neolithic in Ireland

             W. WATTS (1960)
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              A ‘Head and Hooves’ Burial beneath a Round Barrow, with other Neolithic and Bronze Age Sites, on Hemp Knoll, near Avebury, Wiltshire.

              This barrow was excavated by the author for the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate of the then Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (now the Department of the Environment) in August and September 1965. The barrow was scheduled under the Ancient Monuments Acts by the Department of the Environment as Wiltshire 563, and all finds were accordingly thus marked at the time of excavation. In 1958 the barrow was observed by the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate as being 4½ ft high and the mound was spread by agricultural activity to a diameter of 75 ft. In 1965 this bowl barrow stood barely 18 in. high, having suffered much from the effects of ploughing. The barrow had been disturbed mainly in the centre of the mound by early, possibly nineteenth century, excavations. At least one slit trench had been dug into the side of the mound during the 1939–45 war and much other disturbance had been caused by rabbits. Residual finds from this site caused a particular problem. Where they seem to be dateable they have been inserted in their appropriate section, otherwise where there is a possible alternative date they have been cross referenced. All ranging rods and scales shown in the photographs of the site are marked in feet and inches, except where otherwise obvious.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Internet Archaeology
                IA
                Council for British Archaeology
                13635387
                2009
                2009
                :
                : 26
                10.11141/ia.26.31
                © 2009

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

                Product
                Self URI (journal page): http://intarch.ac.uk/

                Pre-history, Early modern history, Archaeology, Anthropology, Ancient history, History

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