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contents : Bronze and Iron Ages : Beliefs and customs

Summary: General Information from Bronze Age Period

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There is some evidence that, for the people of the Bronze Age, their world was charged with magic and symbolic meaning. During this period, passage and court tombs remained in existence and very much in use. Wedge tombs were still numerous also. A particular feature of this period was the cist [pronounced kist] tomb. These were small walled tombs which contained mainly the cremated remains of the dead. A large stone formed a roof and, in some areas, a number of these cists was located near to each other in a type of cemetery. The evidence found in these tombs indicates that few people lived beyond the age of thirty five years. The remains found at Straid, near Claudy, Co Londonderry are of a man who was five foot eleven inches [180cms] tall, no more than 35 years old and yet suffering from severe osteoarthritis. In this cist the man was buried with a small bowl near to his skull. Under his left arm and right foot were the cremated remains of women.

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