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Plymouth City Museum - Dartmoor Urns

Photographed 4 December 2010


Dartmoor urns - The Hurston Ridge urn is the top one in the display cabinet.


Hurston Ridge Urn, about 2 ft. tall ..... photograph taken holding the camera at arms' length overhead.


The label.


Raddick Hill Urn - where Dartmoor Preservation Association are currently clearing the enclosure .....


The label.


While not strictly speaking on Dartmoor, Elburton (on the south-west edge of Plymouth) is close by.

Transcription of the text above .....

The discovery of a Bronze Age cemetery at Elburton was made during excavations which took place from 1997-1999. Remains from the cemetery were radio-carbon dated to around 2050-1500 BC. Unusually, these burials do not appear to have been covered by barrows (burial mounds).

The largest urn was buried upright and contained the cremation of a woman, about 30 years old. The urn had been broken before burial. A large piece from the side of the vessel had been wedged with pieces of burnt limestone in the top of the pot.

The style of this urn is known as "Trevisker" and was distinctive to South West Britain. Although there was no date directly associated with this burial it is almost certainly early Bronze Age (around 2050-1500 BC) as burials after this date are rare. The clay used to make the urn comes from the Lizard area in Cornwall where the vessel was probably made.

Overall, the excavation discovered the remains or fragments of seven urns. In addition to the woman in the large Trevisker urn, two further individuals were identified. These were a woman, about 18 years old, and a toddler, about three years old. Some of the urns did not contain burials.



Elburton Urn no. 1 .....


The label.



Fernworthy Beaker.


Dewerstone Urn.


Elburton Urn no. 2 .....



Wooden and copper alloy knife fragments. Found in the same burial mound as the Fernworthy Beaker. Dates around 2050-1950 BC.


Flint knife: Found in the same burial mound as the Fernworthy Beaker.


Elburton Urn no. 3 .....



Elburton Urn no. 3.











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