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The evolution and medieval re-use of a prehistoric barrow at Wielsbeke (West Flanders, Belgium)

Beke, Floris; Hinsch Mikkelsen, Jari; Van den Dorpe, A.C.


During archaeological research in the sandy loamy region of north-western Belgium in 2015, a prehistorical burial mound was uncovered. Based on detailed macro and meso soilscape analyses, the archaeological excavation data, and a soil micromorphological study, we were able to reconstruct the life cycle of this barrow. After its initial erection in the Bronze Age, the barrow was restored during the Iron Age. A cremation burial was added to the burial mound in the late Iron Age. Roman pottery finds from the ditch filling illustrate that the barrow was still present in the landscape at the time of founding of a late Iron Age to Roman Age settlement in the direct vicinity of the barrow. Finally, in the High Middle Ages, a new and larger mound was erected superimposing the original barrow.

This article is part of a book edited at the occasion of the Geoarchaeological meeting of Bruges: Soils as records of Past and Present: the geoarchaeological approach. Focus on: is there time for fieldwork today? - Bruges (Belgium), 6 and 7.11.2019. Editors Judit Deák, Carole Ampe and Jari Hinsch Mikkelsen Technical editor Mariebelle Deceuninck English language reviewer Caroline Landsheere Graphic design Frederick Moyaert Printing and binding Die Keure, Bruges
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