Feature 5 (Burial 7)


by H. Trawick Ward

Pit Morphology

Feature 5 (Burial 7) was located near the center of the cemetery at 290.0R80.4. This burial pit was visible as a nearly oval stain of mottled brown and orange clay at the base of the plowzone. The pit was oriented with its long axis northwest-southeast and measured 3.4 ft long, 2.3 ft wide, and 1.2 ft deep. The upper fill of this pit, designated Zone 1, was unique in that it was quite homogenous and did not contain the rich layer of refuse found in the other burial pits within the cemetery. It was approximately 0.6 ft thick. A small pocket of brown humus in the southwest corner was the only distinct difference and probably represents a small mass of original humus that was incorporated in the final stage of refilling. Zone 2 was very similar to Zone 1 and also contained mottled clay that was roughly 0.6 ft thick. After the floor of the pit was located and troweled, a band of light brown soil was evident along the northeast wall. This layer was excavated, creating a narrow side chamber that dipped slightly below the level of the rest of the pit and undercut the northeast wall. The remaining walls sloped inward slightly at the bottom.

Body Deposition

Burial 7 contained the poorly preserved remains of a neonate who was less than three months old at death. The individual appeared to be oriented with the head toward the southeast.

Grave Goods

Two clusters of cast brass bells lay in the northwest half of the pit. Given the orientation of the other burials, they were associated with the legs of the individual. There were 10-15 incised bells in each cluster held together by leather thongs, portions of which were preserved, as well as fragments of wood or matting that had been on the floor of the pit.