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The work now offered to the public will be found to contain a record of the examination of above two hundred and thirty sepulchral mounds, belonging to a period before the occupation of Britain by the Romans. A considerable part of many years has been devoted to this examination; and, I trust I may say with confidence, the facts collected during this process have been carefully and minutely observed and accurately recorded.<br><br>Though numerous barrows have been opened throughout Britain, but few accounts have been given of what has thus, from time to time, been brought to light. Many have been destroyed by shepherds and others, from motives of a mere idle curiosity, or in the delusive hope of finding treasure; still more have been destroyed, under the influence of a curiosity almost as idle, by persons indeed of better education, but who have thought that enough was gained if they found an urn to occupy a vacant place in the entrance hall, or a jet necklace or a flint arrow-point for the lady of the house to show, with other trifles, to her guests requiring amusement. Naturally in none of such cases has any record of these openings been preserved, and hence what otherwise might have grown into an almost invaluable collection of facts has been entirely lost to archaeological science.<br><br>Notwithstanding this, however, some extensive series of barrow examinations have happily been undertaken and the results given to the public. Sir Richard Colt Hoare in his magnificent volumes ‘Ancient Wilts’ was the first systematically to explore and publish a most valuable amount of discoveries in that county and some adjoining districts.
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