Public invited to see excavation of 4,000-year-old Bronze Age barrow on Dartmoor edge

By Ben Miller | 15 September 2014

Archaeologists are inviting the public to witness the excavation of a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age burial mound

A photo of a large white archaeological stone on grassland on a hill overlooking the sea
Emmet's Post, a Bronze Age burial mound in Devon, is being excavated this month© Oxford Archaeology
Emmet's Post, named after one of several pillars built to divide Lee and Shaugh Moors in 1835, is being investigated as part of a government-approved quarry expansion on the edge of Dartmoor.

The mound of the post, on the boundaries of a china clay pit, was confirmed as a Bronze Age bowl barrow during a dig in 2011. Oxford Archaeology have been granted Scheduled Monument Consent by English Heritage in a bid to discover how the site was constructed and used over the centuries.

‘‘The barrow at Emmets Post, with its slightly hollowed-out top, is not the best-preserved of these Bronze Age monuments,” said Andrew Josephs, an archaeologist for Sibelco, the minerals firm paying for the project.

“The excavation has the potential to further characterise the full extent of the barrow and potential ditch, possibly identifying buried surface deposits and phased construction horizons.

“Environmental remains will add to the regional studies of the wooded prehistoric landscape that was very different to that today.”

Having offered a limited number of volunteer placements at the start of the project, which began on September 1 and will run until September 26, the team are inviting enthusiasts to enjoy an open day on Sunday (September 21), when experts will answer questions and discuss the Post’s history at the site.

Visitors can reach the barrow via a 1.5-mile unfenced single road track from Cadover Bridge. There is a small car park nearby, and waterproofs, warm clothes and stout footwear are recommended.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of people digging a large brown archaeological trench on a cliff over the sea
© Oxford Archaeology
A photo of an archaeologist in a high-visibility jacket and white hard hat on grassland
© Oxford Archaeology
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It is very sad that such a historic piece of landscape is being destroyed - this should be preserved as it stands, very disappointed about the general destruction of the whole area both here and at Crownhill Downs - leave the landscape alone we've done enough damage!
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