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An Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Norton, Cleveland

S J Sherlock and M G Welch

CBA Research Report No 82 (1992)

Contributions by David Birkett, Carol Brown, Mandy Marlow, Sally Parker, Wendy Sherlock and Penelope Walton

ISBN 1 872414 09 5


Title page of report 82

The accidental discovery of a 6th century grave in 1982 led to the survey and excavation of an almost complete Anglo-Saxon cemetery between 1983 and 1985. This represents the first large-scale investigation of a well-furnished Early Anglo-Saxon cemetery within the presumed boundaries of Bernicia, the northernmost of the Northumbrian kingdoms. Its location in the Tees valley frontier zone between Bernicia and Deira (ie later Yorkshire) is significant and is matched by the incompletely-investigated cemetery in Darlington and other sites between the rivers Tees and Tyne. One hundred and twenty burials were recorded, of which all but three were inhumations, the rest being urned cremations. The date range for the cemetery is based on the grave finds recovered and covers the greater part of the 6th century, possibly extending into the early 7th century. The finds indicate close links with sites as far north as the Tyne valley and with other Anglo-Saxon communities and workshops to the south in Anglian England (Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, the Midlands and East Anglia), after these regions had adopted Scandinavian modes of female dress c AD 500.


  • Title pages
    • Contents (pp i-ii)
    • List of figures (pp ii-v)
    • List of tables (pp v-vi)
    • List of plates (pp vi-vii)
    • List of colour microfiche (pp vii-viii)
    • Acknowledgements (p viii)
    • Summary (p ix)
  • Introduction (pp 1-9)
    • Discovery of Grave 1 (p 1)
    • The archaeology and early history of Norton (pp 1-2)
    • Previous discoveries of Anglo-Saxon burials in north-east England (pp 2-6)
    • The historical context and place-name evidence (pp 6-9)
  • The excavation (pp 10-30)
    • Methodology (pp 10-12)
    • Pre-cemetery excavated features (pp 12-14)
    • Layout of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery (pp 14-22)
    • Grave structures and dimensions (pp 22-23)
    • Graves intercut by other features and multiple burials (pp 23-26)
    • Prone and crouched burial (pp 26-30)
    • Disturbed burials (p 30)
    • Cremation burials (p 30)
  • The grave finds (pp 31-72)
    • Weapons (pp 31-34)
    • Dress fittings and ornaments (pp 35-50)
    • Personal equipment (pp 51-54)
    • Vessels (pp 54-56)
    • Repoussé bosses and punched decoration (p 56)
    • Textiles remains (pp 57-61)
    • Conservation report and technological examination (pp 61-72)
  • The social structure of the Norton cemetery (pp 73-102)
  • The Norton cemetery in its national and international context (pp 103-106)
  • The human remains (pp 107-120)
    • The Population (pp 107-117)
    • Skeletal pathology (p 118)
    • Cremations (pp 119-120)
  • Grave catalogue (pp 121-218)
  • Bibliography (pp 219-225)

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