Beneath the peaceful green hill fort of Fin Cop lies a segregated mass grave of women and children, providing an intriguing narrative into one of the earliest examples of warfare in Iron Age Britain.(read more)
DERSB : 2009.48.1131
Fragment of pottery found inside the hillfort at Fin Cop, 2,800–2,500 years old (late Bronze Age or early Iron age).
The pot was decorated by pinching the wet clay. The potter’s fingernail marks can still be seen in the grooves. There are burnt food residues on the inside and surfaces which suggest this pot was used in the cooking or serving of food.
The hilltop of Fin Cop has been visited by people for over 12,000 years. Around 10,000 years ago, people at Fin Cop quarried chert – a hard stone that can be made into hunting barbs, as well as scrapers and piercers for working hides. Many years later, about 4,000 years ago, local farming communities buried their dead here in rock-cut graves covered by a barrow.
Around 400BCE, the hilltop was fortified by a massive stone rampart. Between 2009 and 2012, a community archaeology project uncovered some more secrets of Fin Cop. They found a second, hastily-built bank and ditch which suggests that the people were responding to an immediate threat. It seems this became reality when the women and children were massacred. The bodies were thrown into the hillfort’s ditch and the stone ramparts pushed over on top of them.
Wonders linked to these objects:
The end of a people: The wall had collapsed, a tumbled, toppled mass of rocks half filling the ditch. There was a smell of smoke but no trails rising into the still evening air, rather the bitter scent of fires doused fast. And still there was silence.(read more)