Parc le Breos Cwm transepted long cairn, Gower, West Glamorgan

Wysocki, Michael Peter and Whittle, A (1998) Parc le Breos Cwm transepted long cairn, Gower, West Glamorgan. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 64 . pp. 139-182.

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First investigated in 1869, the transepted long cairn of Parc le Breos Cwm was re-excavated in 1960-61 but without a report being published. This account presents a number of radiocarbon dates and a detailed reexamination of the human bone assemblages, and attempts to put the monument in local and regional context. Radiocarbon dates place the long cairn in the later part of the earlier Neolithic, and support a fairly long span of time over which its mortuary deposits were accumulated; they also show secondary re-use of the passage, and perhaps also the deliberate incorporation of very old animal bone from nearby caves. The analysis of the human bone assemblages indicates prior exposure of the remains found in the chambers, in contrast to those in the passage. Variation in musculoskeletal stress markers may indicate a mobile lifestyle for at least some of the male mortuary population. Other lifestyle indicators are noted, and isotopic evidence is presented for a terrestrial and mainly meat-oriented diet in the sampled group. The isolated context and hidden setting of the Parc le Breos Cwm long cairn and the apparently low density of south Welsh monuments are stressed.

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