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Prehistoric Grave Goods Project

Date 2017 - 2020

Event ID 1126324

Category Project

Type Project


The Prehistoric Grave Goods Project, funded by the AHRC, focused on material culture in graves and other formal mortuary contexts in Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain, c. 4000 BC to AD 43. The project was a collaboration between the Universities of Reading and Manchester and the British Museum. The project team also worked closely with Historic Environment Record officers in England and Wales and with Canmore in Scotland.

Analysis was conducted at a series of different scales, ranging from macro-scale patterning across Britain, to regional explorations of continuity and change, to site-specific histories of practice, to micro-scale analysis of specific graves and the individual objects (and people) within them. Our main dataset consisted of a database of all material culture found in formal mortuary contexts during the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age within six case study regions across England, Scotland and Wales: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Dorset; Kent; East Yorkshire; Gwynedd and Anglesey; Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.

Project publications include:

Cooper, A., Garrow, D., Gibson, C., & Giles, M. (2019). Covering the Dead in Later Prehistoric Britain: Elusive Objects and Powerful Technologies of Funerary Performance. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 85, 223-250. DOI

Cooper, A., Garrow, D., & Gibson, C. (2020). Spectrums of depositional practice in later prehistoric Britain and beyond. Grave goods, hoards and deposits ‘in between’. Archaeological Dialogues 27(2), 135-157. DOI

Cooper, A., D. Garrow, C. Gibson, M. Giles & N. Wilkin (2021). Grave goods: objects and death in later prehistoric Britain. Oxford: Oxbow.

Further details, the full project database and downloads of all project publications can be accessed here:

An accessible visualisation of the database can be found here:

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