Where water wells up from the earth: excavations at the findspot of the Late Bronze Age Broadward hoard, Shropshire

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This very small assemblage of bones from six discrete contexts is dominated by domesticates. No cut marks were observed on any of the bones and it is difficult to link these bones to specific forms of human activity, other than depositional. The presence of a partial horse mandible may indicate that cranial or carcass parts were deposited here, which is more evident with the element representation of cattle, and the character of the bone fragments from the main domesticates is typical of rubbish deposits, pit and trench fills from various periods. The deposits may have been related to what can be broadly and generically described as ‘ritual’ activity associated with the spring. Domestic animals, not only horses and dogs, but also cattle and sheep, are widely associated with ritual killing and depositional procedures across northern Europe.72

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