Interrupting the Pots
Excavation of Cleatham Anglo-Saxon Cemetery
by Kevin Leahy
The Cleatham cemetery in North Lincolnshire is, with over 1200 cremations and 62 burials, England’s third largest Anglo-Saxon cemetery. It was in use throughout the early Anglo-Saxon period from the mid-5th century to the late 7th century. Following full excavation, the site was analysed in detail and it proved possible to phase the inter-cut urns and a sequence of five phases was constructed. This phasing was applied to the grave goods found within the urns, giving an insight into the sequence of metalwork, beads, combs etc. Direct links were found between urns from Cleatham and those from other cemeteries in Anglian England. The 62 graves proved interesting and revealed some unusual burial practices. Intensive fieldwalking carried out in the surrounding parishes allowed the cemetery to be placed in context. In 2006 the author received the Award for the Presentation of Heritage Research for his work at Cleatham.
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