Bronze Age Grantham

When was the Bronze Age?

Around 4000 years ago, people living on the British Isles started to make tools and weapons out of bronze. Before this time tools had been created from stone. Bronze was made using a mixture of copper and tin. 


What is the Bronze Age?

Because of this new use of bronze, the time between 2200 BC and 800 BC came to be known as the 'Bronze Age'. The Bronze Age is part of what is known as 'prehistory', which is the span of time before recorded history and before the invention of writing systems.

 

How do we learn about prehistoric times?

Because there are no written documents to help us discover things about how people lived in prehistoric times, we have to use other methods to find out about this period. Excavation of historic sites is used to uncover buried treasures, as well as geographical surveys which locate built structures in the landscape.

 

Burials:
Another way we can find things about people in the Bronze Age is by looking at how people are buried. Differences in the manner in which people were buried and the objects they were buried with can tell us about different ages. 


In the Stone Age (before the Bronze Age), people were buried in long barrows. However, in the Bronze Age people were typically buried in round barrows, or mounds. Some of these can still be seen in the landscape today. (You can look at some examples using the links at the bottom of this page.)

 

Bronze Age people in Lincolnshire:

There is evidence that people lived in Lincolnshire during the Bronze Age. A round barrow was discovered on an aerial photograph of the area just south of Grantham. Bronze Age barrows have been found at Tallington in Welland valley, Thoresway on the Wolds and at Deeping St Nicholas. 


These sites are known as 'barrow cemeteries' as they form part of a series of barrows which have been found together. One of the barrows found in Lincolnshire was over 50 metres wide. It contained three burials, with two bodies that seem to have been buried slightly later than the first.


Glossary:

Barrow - a large mound of earth above a prehistoric grave

Bronze - a hard, yellowish-brown alloy (mixture) of copper and tin, often used to cast statues

Cemetery - area of ground in which the dead are buried

Excavation - digging something up, usually an archaeological site

Locate - find or search out something

Prehistory - the time before recorded history


Download the interactive grave goods sorting activity, which provides a selection of grave goods found alongside Bronze Age burials. 




 
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