Record Details

NHER Number:41735
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Early Saxon inhumation

Summary

In 2005 a human burial of a male aged 35 to 50 years was found in the garden of a house in this area. A single bone recovered on its own was a human humerus, and it is thought that this site may contain more than one burial. An associated Early Saxon pottery sherd suggests that at least one of these burials may date to the Early Saxon period.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 23 01
Map Sheet:TG20SW
Parish:STOKE HOLY CROSS, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

21 May 2005. Found in excavating for new garden steps.
Human skull with jawbone, in fragments. Report of a dog skull and ribs (alone) found nearby about a year before which 'looked more recent'.

23 May 2005. Site examined with [1] Norfolk Police representatives.
The skull is extremely friable, much penetrated by roots, and with worn teeth. Adjacent section cleaned and revealed 450mm topsoil with 19th/20th century finds above yellow sand; skull found 1 metre down in this. Sand contains many black root holes, very large quantity of flint pebbles, and some tiny recent brick chips probably brought down by the roots. In area where skull was reportedly found, and at same depth a number of broken sherds were found; not one pot crushed in situ but arranged haphazardly in one discrete area, However, identified as thirty-four sherds from one Early Saxon vessel. No trace of grave cut or pit but after drying, A. Rogerson (NLA) noted difference of colouration in attached sand suggesting former contents. One tiny animal tooth found in same area.
Immediately to the south, in section, a single sherd was found in the sand 100mm below the base of topsoil, again with no trace of any surrounding disturbance. Identified as Early Saxon body sherd but quite different from other sherds.
Identifications by A. Rogerson (NLA).
See also (S2).
Reports on pottery in file.

26 May 2005. Excavation.
Further digging by owner at same depth revealed, 800mm east of skull position, further bones in a clear grave cut 560-600mm across, visible as bright orange gravely sand amongst the yellow sand.
Two parallel leg bones approx 400mm in length aligned east-west, second pair of ?lower leg bones at an acute angle to southeast; overall length 1.40m. No trace of any other bones except some spalls. With lower leg bones was a small piece of glass, identified as Roman, corner of square bottle; with upper leg bones another sherd, from same vessel as those by the skull. One bone was also found by the owner in area of the alleged dog skeleton, but identified as human long bone.
Identifications by A. Rogerson (NLA).
Pottery and glass reports in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 31 May 2005.

(S1) in file, describing bones as skeleton of a male aged 35-50. The single bone from the site of the 'dog skeleton' was a human humerus thus suggesting more than one inhumation on site.
E. Rose (NLA), 2 August 2005.

Monument Types

  • INHUMATION (Unknown date)
  • FLEXED INHUMATION (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Boghi, F.. 2005. Skeletal report.
<S2>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 133.

Related records - none

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