‘Round Mounds’ Investigation Reveals Rare Bronze Age Object Search of iMuseum

‘Round Mounds’ Investigation Reveals Rare Bronze Age Object

Posted on 07.02.2017

A project to investigate prehistoric “round mounds” on the Isle of Man began this autumn, led by Dr Rachel Crellin at Leicester University and Dr Chris Fowler at Newcastle University.  The mounds were built over human burial sites and are found throughout the British Isles and in Continental Europe.   First appearing in the Neolithic, round mounds were constructed periodically into the Bronze Age.

Over 160 round mounds have been identified on the Isle of Man, with four excavated between 30 and 60 years ago.  No modern research using systematic survey and excavation has ever been carried out.  Alongside geophysical surveys of Manx round mounds and landscape analyses using LiDAR imagery, a new assessment of Neolithic and Bronze Age mortuary evidence from the island will be completed.  As part of this last component, Dr Michelle Gamble carried out an osteological assessment of human remains from historic excavations preserved in the Manx National Heritage collections.  This has revealed some intriguing artefacts.

Image courtesy Dr M Gamble (IOMMM Accession Number: 1983-0215/0005)

A stone cist at Staarvey Farm on the island, excavated in 1947, contained two Collared Urns, a plano-convex flint knife, a flint scraper and cremated bones.  In amongst these bones lay a small pommel, not noticed by excavators.  Originally made to fit on to the handle of a bronze knife, this is one of only about 40 surviving the Bronze Age from the British Isles – none having been previously found on the Isle of Man.  It is made from bone, and further analysis may be able to identify which species of animal it was made from.

For an example made from amber from Wiltshire, click here;

For more information on the Round Mounds of the Isle of Man project, visit;

Allison Fox (Manx National Heritage Curator of Archaeology)

Blog Archive

October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
January 2023
June 2022
May 2022
March 2022
February 2022
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
February 2021
December 2020
November 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
March 2018
February 2018
December 2017
November 2017
September 2017
June 2017
May 2017
March 2017
February 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
August 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015