do this the block was frozen solid with dry ice, carefully lifted,
x-rayed and painstakingly excavated by a trained conservator at
the University of Durham. The excavation of this block led to the
recovery of 41 copper tubular beads, 25 jet buttons and 79 very
small jet beads. The woman had a plain copper bangle on one arm
and a more substantial ribbed copper bracelet on the other.
remains of the lady with the copper jewellery and the man with the
mace head dated to around 1900 BC. However the plain burials
and those in the mortuary structure were several hundred years earlier.
analysis of the human remains from the site has demonstrated that
one of the skeletons from the mortuary structure had been mummified
prior to its burial along with one of the unfurnished burials disturbed
by the builders. This suggests that the community kept mummified
ancestral remains as valued possessions.
mummies were eventually buried with their descendants several hundred
years after their deaths. This type of phenomena is becoming
increasingly apparent at Bronze Age sites and is known as the 'Cult
of the Ancestors'. The site remains one of the most intriguing
archaeological discoveries to have been made on Teesside.