Possible burial mound or barrow and middle saxon cemetery at Ridge House, Ratley and Upton

Description of this historic site

A low knoll on top of ridge remains uncertain if it is entirely natural, there is a distinct possiblity that it was an older burial mound. Human remains of a near full skeleton and three partials were discovered.

Notes about this historic site

1 The skeletal material represented at least four indiviuals which had been buried on a low knoll at the top of the ridge. The results of studying the bones gave a wealth of information on the life of these individuals. We can determine the sex and age; a juvenille aged 10-12 years, a probable mature adult female, a young middle adult male, and a mature female adult aged 46 +. The bones showed signs of distress, deteriorization, and infection. There was evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency by the Cribra orbitalia lesions as well as dental enamel hypoplasia, which is an indicator of disrupted dental devolopment due to severe biological stress during early childhood. The juvenile exhibited numerous skeletal lesions consistant with infection and could be associated with TB, hypertrophic(pulmonary) osteoarthropathy, or a non – specific infection. These lesions were active at the time of death. The probable mature adult female suffered with chronic sinusitis, a benign tumor on the outer surface of the skull, osteoarthritis of the spine and shoulder. The young adult male had a number of devolopmental defects but this would not have affected the individual but had poor dental health. The mature female adult 46 + suffered with shildhood stress and may have had a hormonal imbalence during her later life. This is difficult to assess as the remains for this indiviual were in poor condition and only partial. There were no other finds at the site of the burials. With so much surrounding evidence of Neolithic to Iron Age occupation there is sufficent evidence to support the possiblity of a barrow at Ridge Hill.

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