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In the WKLB it appears that the primary burials were deposited as mainly articulated bodies.

Although some bones found on the chamber floors may have come from disarticulated bodies that were dead before the monument was built, and had already been buried or de-fleshed elsewhere, this is now regarded as unlikely.

The bodies were of both sexes and between three and fifty years old.

Almost all those over 25 years old showed signs of arthritis, particularly of the back, hands and feet; several had spina bifida.

There was a suggestion some years ago that instead of being set vertically, as it is now, Stone 45 may have originally have been set horizontally as a roofing slab.

If so, the passage would have been considerably longer and may have extended across the forecourt.

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19 of the humans were primary deposits; six humans and the goat were secondary. As one model produced dates with a probability as low as 14% it is ignored here for clarity.

However, two Stukeley drawings appear to disprove this theory.

The drawings may be seen in Piggott's excavation report: Piggott, S R, 1962, The West Kennet Long Barrow: Excavations 1955-56 Note how in the 1723 drawing (bottom) Stone 45 is in its current position.

Piggott's notion that the barrow had remained open and in use for "up to a thousand years" became widely accepted.

But it now appears that this was not the case: latest dating techniques and a reassessment of the 1955-6 dig indicate that the barrow's mortuary use lasted for only a generation or so - between ten and thirty years.

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