Record Details

NHER Number:49110
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon inhumations and ?later substantial walls.

Summary

In 2006 an archaeological evaluation and watching brief recorded three Late Saxon inhumations as well as two flint and mortar walls likely of later date. The precise origin and function of the walls remains unknown, although the size of one of the features suggests a fairly substantial building once stood in this location.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 86 82
Map Sheet:TL88SE
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

May-August 2006. Evaluation and watching brief. Contexts 1-19.
Two trenches were found to contain Late Saxon inhumations, which, once identified as human, were left in-situ.
Trench 1 contained a single inhumation, aged between 25 and 35 at the time of death. The extent of the grave cut could not be established as it fell outside of the area of excavation. The remains were disarticulated and fragmentary, and it is likely that the grave would have contained more than one internment.
Trench 2 revealed two grave cuts. One grave contained a skull which was face down, perhaps as a result of movement during decomposition, or possibly suggesting the individual had been decapitated, the head being deliberately placed the wrong way around. There were some pathological indications that this individual may have suffered from Paget's Disease. The other grave cut in this trench was found to contain disarticulated remains including a pelvic bone and a long bone.
See NHER 20982 for earlier excavations in and around this area which revealed four to six Late Saxon inhumations and other contemporary material.
A watching brief was subsequently carried out during construction work. A small area of flint and mortar was recorded as well as two flint and mortar walls. The walls are thought to post-date the Late Saxon period as they cut into subsoil deposits containing Late Saxon pottery. The precise origin and function of these features remains unknown, although the size of one of these walls suggests a fairly substantial building once stood in this location.
See (S1) for further details.
See also (S4).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 29 May 2008.

The unusual orientation of the skull recorded in Trench 2 resembles examples of burials elsewhere, particularly Dover Buckland, where the remains have been exhumed and multilated (principally by inversion and decapitation) within a short period of the initial burial. The majority of these inhumations have been dated to the 6th and 7th century, and it is possible that the burial in Trench 2 is a late manifestation of this phenomenon.
See (S2) and (S3) for further details.
J. Allen (NLA), 12 February 2007.
Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 31 July 2008.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING? (Late Saxon to Post Medieval - 851 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • GRAVE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • OYSTER SHELL (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Birks, C.. 2006. Chris Birks Archaeological Services Report No. CB050R. Report on Archaeological Works at Land adjacent to 7 Williamson Crescent, Thetford..
<S2>Unpublished document: Rose, E.. 2006. Note on Chris Birks Archaeological Services Report No. CB050R. Report on Archaeological Works at Land adjacent to 7 Williamson Crescent, Thetford..
<S3>Correspondence: Blair, J.. 2006. Email regarding unusual Late Saxon burial at 7 Williamson Crescent. 24 November 2006.
<S4>Article in serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 2007. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2006. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 261-273. p 271.

Related records

20982Related to: Late Saxon to medieval burials, pottery sherds and small finds, Williamson Crescent (Monument)

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