Saturday, March 9, 2013

Remarkable ringfenced burials from Roman Colchester

 recently-completed cemetery excavation close to Colchester’s Roman circus has revealed that some of Camulodunum’s citizens marked their grave plots with ditches and wooden fences. It had previously been speculated that, during the Roman period, those unable to afford stone monuments might have used wooden markers or mounds of earth to distinguish individual burials. Now a four-month investigation by Colchester Archaeological Trust has unearthed clusters of inhumations dated by grave goods and other finds  to the 2nd and 3rdcentury and surrounded in some cases by lines of small post-holes up to about 20cm in diameter.
‘This is certainly extremely unusual – I have never seen anything like it before,’ said CAT chief archaeologist Philip Crummy. ‘We have excavated about 400 inhumations and cremations here with much that is unusual. For example, we found areas of fenced burials at either end of the site, 80m apart, and it seems we are dealing not with one great cemetery area but a collection little plots used by different groups or families.’

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