B1+ Reading Test

Read the text about an archeological discovery and complete the reading comprehension exercise below.

Strange burial

In 2017, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Bronze Age chief in Lechlade, a town in the west of England. The finding is historically interesting as the artefacts with which he was buried indicate that he was very important. Plus, the manner of his burial was significantly different from other burials at the time. Even more fascinating was the discovery of an older man’s remains close to the chief’s. Archaeologists are puzzling over what the relationship between the two men could be, and why they were treated so differently from the norm at the time.

Interestingly, the chief was buried with the heads and hooves of four cattle around 4,200 ago. Carbon dating has revealed that the remains, which were found in an area where a skate park is to be built, date back to the Bronze Age. Archaeologist Andy Hood, who helped to excavate the site, said that it was common for Bronze Age chiefs to be buried with the skull and hooves of a single cattle, but that until now none had been uncovered with multiple cattle remains in the UK. This fact seems to indicate that this chief was especially important. Hood and his colleagues consider it likely that the animals were killed as part of the burial ceremony. The loss of four of them would have been a considerable sacrifice.

Other artefacts found near the chief include a copper dagger, a stone wrist guard, a fire-making kit and some jewellery. These items were typically buried alongside members of the “Beaker culture”. These were people who arrived in Britain from mainland Europe in around 2400BC. They were given this name due to the tall pots which looked like beakers that were typical of this culture. Usually, prominent people from this culture were buried with such a pot, but this chief was not. Archaeologists wonder whether this meant that this chief was especially revered among the Beaker society and was not symbolised by the typical pot.

The chieftain was buried at the centre of a circular pit. At the time, soil would have been piled on top of it. Near the chief, within the circle, were the remains of the older man, who was about 50-60 years old when he died. Newspapers have suggested that the older man was a priest who was sacrificed to help the chief in the afterlife. However, archaeologists say there is no evidence to support this idea. Even so, the older man’s burial is strange, as he was buried in an unusual seated position, with his legs going downwards into the earth. Bronze Age people, including the chief, were almost always buried on their sides. The reason for this unique position, the status of the chief and the relationship between the two men, may remain a mystery forever.


Reading comprehension test

Which remains do the sentences refer to? You may choose some answers more than once.

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1 _____ was/were discovered in a park in Lechlade, UK.
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