'Golden Barrow' at Mold which had in the last century produced the gold cape which, in 1953, had been republished in a notable study by T. G. E. Powell. It was hoped that this barrow might be equally rewarding, but since its position was unusually close to the river, it was decided that the first season's work should be limited to a single trial trench to confirm the nature of the mound. This was done in 1954, and in 1955 more extensive work was done in the SE quadrant where an assymetrically-placed primary inhumation was found beneath a small cairn. In the cairn, but not directly associated with the body, was a necklace of tiny jet beads and some parcels of cremated bone. Two or three secondary cremations had been found elsewhere in the mound, two in 1954. In 1956 work was limited to confirming features of the barrow structure. The barrow lies close to the village of Llong where the river Alyn flows through a wide, flat valley with gentle wooded slopes on either side. It is only some 50 metres from the river itself, the lowest of a group of valley-bottom barrows which are to be found in this neighbourhood, contrasting with the more usual hilltop siting of such monuments. The site was first recorded by Canon Ellis Davies in his Prehistoric and Roman Remains of Flintshire (1949, 246), where he notes that the field in which it stands is called 'Dol yr Orsedd' in the Tithe Schedule, a name which suggests that the mound was then more obvious and more stony. At the time of the excavation the barrow was no more than a low swelling in the middle of the field, having lost, it was thought, more than 0.50m of height through ploughing. In 1954 the trial excavation lasted only four days (25-28 September) and a single trench, 3ft (1m) wide and 57ft (17.50m) long was dug from outside the mound towards the centre in an E-W direction. The sepulchral nature of the mound was confirmed by the discovery of two cremations close to the surface. One seems to have been found near the outer edge of the mound and was readily recognized as a secondary insertion; alterations in the text of a typed report suggest that there was some doubt about the status of the second one, which may therefore have been deeper and closer to the centre, but it, too, was finally identified as a secondary burial. The bones (Find A(JC)) have been identified as those of an adult of indeter- minate sex. The first cremation can be less certainly identified but is probably Find C(JC), another adult, probably female. In neither case was more than a token quantity of bone recovered, but this may be due to the erosion of the barrow surface. The 1954 trench revealed that the barrow survived to a height of 4ft (1.22m) and should have had a diameter of about 100ft (30m); the structure was shown to be quite complex. The account of this year's work states that the primary burial had not been found, but must have been covered by a small cairn of water-rolled boulders which was in turn covered by a sequence of gravel and clay layers bounded by a stone 'edging'. This statement is important because it implies that the 1954 trench struck the edge of the cairn which, in the following year, was indeed found to cover the primary burial. The dimensions of this cairn are never
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