Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 4-2 (April 2013)Martijn van Haasteren; Maaike Groot: The biography of wells: a functional and ritual life history
5. Rituals surrounding the life of a well

5.3 Ritual deposits within the fill

Deposits within the fill may have been placed there to mark the end of the period of use of the well. Some deposits would have made it impossible to use the well any longer, such as those of a stone pedestal from Beuningen, complete wagon wheels and deposits of fresh animal skulls at Tiel-Passewaaij (Van der Kamp & Polak 2001, 22; Groot 2008, 129). Deposits consisting of butchery and settlement refuse could have been used for the same purpose. The fact that such waste often includes still usable or special items, such as a brooch or several animal skulls, makes a ritual interpretation more likely. Of course, it is possible that cases like these represent the merging of functional and ritual behaviour. Placing the special objects in a well together with a concentration of waste materials would mark the moment with an offering while the waste would end the practical usefulness of the well.