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An Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Great Chesterford, Essex

Vera Evison with J Evans

CBA Research Report No 91 (1994)

ISBN 1872414 37 0


Title page of report 91

Destruction by commercial gravel-digging in the fields north-west of the Roman town of Great Chesterford, Essex in 1952 produced evidence of Anglo-Saxon graves near the known position of one of the Roman cemeteries surrounding the town. As a result of subsequent excavation on behalf of the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments 161 inhumation graves, 33 cremation graves, 2 horse graves and 2 dog burials were uncovered, and the positioning of some of the graves, together with other evidence, indicated the earlier presence of tumuli. The adult female graves were well furnished with a variety of jewellery. Some of the men were provided with weapons as usual, but a large percentage of the graves were without weapons, and as some of these graves contained other items of some interest the identity of these men comes into question. There was an unusually large percentage of children's graves, probably reflecting a more accurate picture than usual of the normal mortality rate in Anglo-Saxon times.


  • Title Pages (pp i-iv)
  • Contents (pp v-vi)
  • List of figures (pp vii-ix)
  • List of plates (p ix)
  • List of tables (p x)
  • Summaries; English, French, German (p xi)
  • Acknowledgements (p xii)
    • Excavation (pp 1-2)
    • Grave goods, discussion of types (p 3)
      • Weapons (pp 3-5)
      • Jewellery (pp 5-20)
      • Containers (pp 21-24)
      • Personal equipment (pp 24-27)
    • Discussion (p 28)
      • Graves (pp 28-30)
      • Skeleton positions (pp 30-31)
      • Human bones (p 31)
      • Animal bones (pp 31-35)
      • Stratification (pp 36-43)
      • Limits of the cemetery (p 36)
      • Orientation and layout of the cemetery (pp 36-43)
      • Social status (pp 43-45)
      • Chronology (pp 45-60)
      • Comparison with the cemetery at Westgarth, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk(pp 46-48)
      • Conclusion (pp 48-51)
    • Specialist reports (p 52)
      • The human remains, by A W Waldron (pp 52-66)
      • The animal bones, by Dale Serjeantson (pp 66-70)
      • A possible identification of the bird portrayed by brooch 68/l , by Dale Serjeantson (pp 70-71)
      • Textiles, by Elisabeth Crowfoot (pp 71-76)
      • Examination and analysis of glass beads, by M J Heyworth (pp 72-80)
      • The petrology of the pottery, by D F Williams (pp 81-82)
      • The Romano-British material, by C J Going (pp 82-86)
      • Roman coins, by R A G Carson, J Kent, and R Bland (pp 86-87)
      • The Roman glass, by Jennifer Price (pp 87-89)
      • X-ray fluorescence analysis of three pieces of Anglo-Saxon metalwork, by D R Hook (p 89)
    • Catalogue (p 90)
      • Anglo-Saxon inhumations (pp 90-114)
      • Anglo-Saxon cremations (pp 114-117)
      • Romano-British cremations (p 117)
      • Anglo-Saxon unassociated objects (pp 117-119)
      • Unstratified Roman objects (pp 119-121)
  • Bibliography, by Valerie Cooper (pp 122-127)
  • Concordance: Great Chesterford catalogue numbers and British Museum registration numbers, by Valerie Cooper (pp 128-122)
  • Index, by Susan Vaughan (pp 230-234)

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