Fillingham Project overview - Excavation October 2000 - The Cemetery

The Cemetery

Trench 5 (see plan) was excavated in October 2000 by a small group of volunteers (who, incidentally, braved terrible weather - thanks guys!). The stone lining of five graves had been identified at the end of the July excavation, and these graves were excavated over a period of five days.

The skeletons were all supine, extended and west-east aligned, with the heads to the west. Like the two skeletons excavated in 1982, four of these skeletons had pillow or 'ear-muff' stones (stones placed by the sides of the head). Grave 2 cut through grave 1, indicating that the cemetery had been in use for some time.

All of the individuals excavated were adults, and both males and females were present. These bones have yet to be analysed, so their ages at death have not been estimated. One of the skeletons (on the left of the photo) had stones placed over the eyes and in the mouth. This practice is fairly unusual, but appears to have been carried out in the late Anglo-Saxon period. Several sherds of pottery were found in the fills of the graves. These were all dated as early-mid Anglo-Saxon, and were probably from the settlement nearby.