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Worked shale from Barbrook II.
Material and Medium: Shale
Dimensions: Length 7.6cm, width 5.5cm
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: 1966.248
Worked shale from a burial cairn connected to Barbrook II stone circle in Derbyshire. The burial consisted of an urn and a cremation. A radiocarbon date of 3450 +/- 150 BP was obtained from material found with the urn. The radiocarbon date calibrates to around 1500 BC. This places the burial securely in the Bronze Age. It is assumed that this fragment is shale, but it hasn't been analysed to confirm this. It was found a short distance from the shale working settlement at Swine Sty. Its shape and working are very similar to the material worked at Swine Sty so it is likely a piece of locally worked shale. Local shale or cannel coal was worked in the Bronze Age. The settlement at Swine Sty is the only excavated working site. The shale was used as a cheaper substitute for jet, a popular material for jewellery at the time.
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