Printer Friendly

New light on the Anglo-Saxon succession: two cemeteries and their dates.


Archaeologists in every country have problems arguing for and against cultural and demographic continuity. Key questions relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 migrations reflect on the past and present identities of peoples and nations, and can be answered differently according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 current ideological perspectives and theories about the meaning of cultural variation. In Europe, this has been especially important in the interpretation of the character and impact of the transition from the Roman Empire to the early medieval 'barbarian' successor states, including Anglo-Saxon England (Hills 2003). The debate has fluctuated between the traditional scenario of large-scale population replacement (significant immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.  or invasion) to explanations constructed in terms of changes in the material representation of identities driven by social, economic and political change (Hakenbeck 2007; Harke 2007; Hills 2003, 2007).

The chronology of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries is still largely based on artefact See artifact.  typology typology /ty·pol·o·gy/ (ti-pol´ah-je) the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.


the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.
 supported by small-scale radiocarbon dating. These provide loose frameworks which give social models much room for manoeuvre. There is a large-scale project now in hand to provide radiocarbon dates for burials of the sixth century onwards (Scull & Bayliss 1999) and other kinds of scientific evidence is increasingly deployed in these debates, such as genetics and isotopic variation, in the belief that these will provide some much needed objectivity. However, reliance on limited samples, sometimes analysed during early stages of the development of new techniques, can introduce misleading conclusions, sometimes with very wide implications for interpretation.

This paper illustrates the problem by means of a re-assessment of the chronology of two cemeteries in the Thames Valley This article is about the Thames Valley in southern England. For New Zealand's Thames Valley region, see Thames Valley, New Zealand, or for the ITV region in the United Kingdom, see ITV Thames Valley. , Queenford Farm and Wally Corner, Berinsfield, which both lie to the north of Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, UK. Both were partially excavated in advance of gravel quarrying, respectively in 1972 and 1981, and in 1974 and 1975 (Chambers 1987; Boyle et al. 1995). Initially the cemeteries were designated as belonging to two different cultural traditions, Queenford Farm to the Romano-British tradition and Berinsfield to the Anglo-Saxon, according to burial practices which are usually seen as chronologically consecutive, and possibly representing ethnically distinct populations.

However, based on radiocarbon dating from Queenford Farm, and artefact chronology from Berinsfield, it was subsequently argued that both cemeteries were in use during the fifth and sixth centuries AD and were therefore at least partially contemporary. The possibility that Britons and Anglo-Saxons existed as neighbouring and contemporary communities has attracted considerable attention and has been used to support an argument that 'apartheid' existed in early Anglo-Saxon England (Booth et al. 2007: 226; Harke 2007: 16).

As in all attempts at the explanation of culture change, the structure of the debate is affected by the quality of the evidence. These two cemeteries have the potential to provide key evidence about replacement/interaction strategies between British and Anglo-Saxon populations, but the arguments that can be deployed depend directly on the precision with which they can be dated. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, it is essential first to examine how far these cemeteries really could have been contemporary.

The sites

The Thames Valley is an area with significant evidence for early Anglo-Saxon contact, with a number of cemeteries producing grave-goods of fifth-century type. This region has long been the subject of archaeological fieldwork and research relating to the early Anglo-Saxon period (Hawkes 1986; Booth et al. 2007). Around Dorchester a series of late Roman cemeteries have been partially investigated (Booth 2001) and to the south of Dorchester, the well known early fifth-century burials from Dyke Hills were found with both late Roman belt equipment and early Germanic brooches (Kirk & Leeds 1952-53).

The sites examined by us lie to the north of Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxon, UK (Figure 1), and were both excavated by the Oxford Archaeological Unit in advance of their destruction (Chambers 1987; Boyle et al. 1995). Maps of the Dorchester region show that up to and including 1960 little quarrying had taken place, whereas by 1975 extensive quarries had removed most of the archaeological evidence for both sites.

The Queenford Farm cemetery lay within a rectangular enclosure, identified in air photographs in the 1930s, to the west of Queenford Mill (Durham & Rowley 1972). Excavation in 1972 in advance of gravel quarrying identified 188 graves, of which 82 were excavated and further excavation took place in 1981 in advance of road construction, when a further 102 graves were identified, of which another 82 were excavated. Many other graves are known to have been destroyed through quarrying without record, and it was estimated that the cemetery could have originally contained over 2000 graves (Chambers 1987). The cemetery contained unfurnished unfurnished

not containing any furniture

Adj. 1. unfurnished - not equipped with what is needed especially furniture; "an unfurnished apartment"
 inhumations laid out with heads to the west in rows within a rectangular enclosure. Late Roman pottery, mostly abraded sherds, occurred within grave-fills and features and as a scatter across the site. Iron coffin fittings and nails occurred in a number of burials. The only recorded grave-good is a double-sided bone comb of late Roman type. There is nothing in the burial rite to suggest this was other than a normal late Roman cemetery, which would be expected to have gone out of use before Anglo-Saxon burial practice became the norm in the region during the later fifth century AD. Five radiocarbon dates were obtained from human bone, one from the 1972 burials giving a date of 420+100 years (Durham & Rowley 1972: 37) and four from the 1981 burials, measured by liquid scintillation counting Liquid scintillation counting is a standard laboratory method in the life-sciences for measuring radiation from beta-emitting nuclides. Scintillating materials are also used in differently constructed "counters" in many other fields.  (HAR-5325, HAR-5350, HAR-5324, HAR-5351). These were calculated to give a group mean calibrated cal·i·brate  
tr.v. cal·i·brat·ed, cal·i·brat·ing, cal·i·brates
1. To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quantitative measuring instrument):
 date at 1[sigma] of AD 530-550, 2[sigma] AD 430-630 (Chambers 1987: 58). Queenford Farm has been discussed in connection with the evidence for health and burial practice in late Roman and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries (Harman et al. 1981) and in most reviews of Roman burials in Britain, especially in Oxfordshire (Harman et al. 1978; Booth 2001).


Berinsfield is a modern settlement, built in the mid-twentieth century, but named after the Anglo-Saxon Birinus, first bishop of the West Saxons, whose see was at Dorchester (Boyle et al. 1995: 144). The cemetery at Wally Comer lies south-east of Berinsfield within a complex of prehistoric and Roman features, first identified in aerial photographs in the 1930s. It was excavated in 1974 and 1975 in advance of gravel quarrying. One hundred inhumation graves were excavated, containing 114 burials and four cremations, estimated as half to two-thirds of the original cemetery. Many of the graves contained grave-goods of typical Anglo-Saxon type, including weapons and jewellery, which can be dated typologically from the early/mid-fifth century AD to late sixth/early seventh century AD. A detailed report on the cemetery has been published which included specialist reports on finds and human remains (Boyle et al. 1995). It was argued that the site was polyfocal, and that family or household groups can be identified. The social and ethnic composition of this cemetery has been the subject of research by Heinrich Harke (Harke 1992, 1995), and more recently by Duncan Sayer (Sayer 2007). Harke argued that a difference between native and non-native males at Berinsfield was evidenced by a link between the presence or absence of weapons, and stature, and epigenetic epigenetic /epi·ge·net·ic/ (-je-net´ik)
1. pertaining to epigenesis.

2. altering the activity of genes without changing their structure.
 traits suggesting familial groupings. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that there is also an age-related distinction, in that males buried without weapons were all over 30 years in age (Harke 1995: 69). The age-related difference is also reflected in diet (Privat et al. 2002: 787).

The distance between the two cemeteries as excavated appears to be approximately 600m, but may have been originally less as neither the southern edge of Wally Corner nor the northern edge of Queenford Farm was archaeologically defined. Aerial photographs suggest the unenclosed cemetery at Wally Comer extended south into areas quarried away without excavation (Boyle et al. 1995: 6). Most Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and all but the major urban Roman cemeteries were small, so it is not likely that the two sites originally formed part of one cemetery. At Queenford Farm, burial appears to have been originally contained within a rectangular ditched enclosure, as at other late Roman cemeteries, for example Church Piece, Warborough (Harman et al. 1978: Figure 1) and Wasperton, Warwickshire (Carver et al. 2009).

Osteological comparison of those buried at Berinsfield with local late Roman cemeteries including Queenford Farm (Harman in Boyle et al. 1995: 108) suggests those buried at Berinsfield were slightly taller but had lower life expectancy Life Expectancy

1. The age until which a person is expected to live.

2. The remaining number of years an individual is expected to live, based on IRS issued life expectancy tables.
 than the late Roman populations. At Queenford Farm females were relatively smaller than elsewhere and a higher proportion of child burials was found than in other local cemeteries of either period (Harman et al. 1981: 148-9). Both sites have been the subject of research into dietary patterns, involving successful collagen extraction and stable isotope stable isotope
An isotope of an element that shows no tendency to undergo radioactive breakdown.
 analysis (Privat et al. 2002; Fuller et al. 2006). These studies suggest that the two populations were following different dietary practices. Overall, isotopic values for Berinsfield and Queenford Farm showed significant difference, with Queenford Farm higher in both [delta][sup.13]C and [delta][sup.15]N values (Berinsfield mean [delta][sup.13]C = -20.1 [+ or -] 0.2 [per thousand], mean [delta][sup.15]N = + 9.8 [+ or -] 0.8 [per thousand]; Queenford Farm mean [delta][sup.13]C = -19.6 [+ or -] 0.4 [per thousand], mean [delta][sup.15]N = +10.3 [+ or -] 0.8 [per thousand]; Student's t-test, p < 0.001 for both [delta][sup.13]C and [delta][sup.15]N). Furthermore, at Queenford Farto, sex-related differences were identified, whereas this was not the case at Berinsfield, where status differences in diet seemed more apparent. These two populations therefore appear different in several respects. However, Gowland's research on skeletal material across southern Britain from this time period, including these two cemeteries, concluded that osteological variation appeared to relate more to geographical rather than chronological separation, in this case between these Oxfordshire cemeteries and others from Hampshire (Gowland 2007).


We chose to date relatively late burials from Queenford Farm (on stratigraphical grounds) and early burials from Berinsfield (based on grave-good typology), in order to establish the degree, if any, of overlap. We selected adults, matching age and sex where possible, from burials where collagen has already been successfully extracted during the earlier stable isotopic analysis.

At Queenford Farm we sampled five burials from within the rectangular enclosure and therefore likely to be more representative of its main period of use (F32/32, F55/55, F56/56, F57/57, F36/217). We sampled the two burials from a small stratigraphically later enclosure (F10/196, F11/197) one of which was found with the only grave-good from the site, a late Roman bone comb, and one of the burials that cut the small enclosure, F106/256, which is stratigraphically the latest in this sequence. These three are likely to be amongst the latest burials from the cemetery and possibly of relatively higher status as they are distinguished by a separate mortuary enclosure A mortuary enclosure is a term given in archaeology and anthropology to an area, surrounded by a wood, stone or earthwork barrier, in which dead bodies are placed for excarnation and to await secondary and/or collective burial. . Further burials lay to the south of both enclosures, from where we sampled two burials (F 120/263, F44/225). At Berinsfield, the cemetery is divided into three overlapping phases, spanning the later fifth to early seventh centuries AD. We chose a total of ten graves: 20 and 64, the only two dated to Phase 1; 1 and 8, the only two dated to transitional Phase 1/2; and six from Phase 2 (5, 6, 18, 35, 73, 121).

Samples were AMS AMS - Andrew Message System  [sup.14]C dated by the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit. Full details and results of all samples analysed are listed in Table 1. All samples dated were of rib fragments, save for two samples from Berinsfield (that from Grave 1 was a long bone fragment, and from Grave 64 was a skull fragment). We chose to use mainly rib fragments to minimise problems associated with the long turnover time associated with long bones (Hedges et al. 2007). One of the samples (Berinsfield F56/56) was dated twice as part of ORADS standard procedure, with very good agreement between the repeat measurements. All Queenford Farm samples were successfully dated, but only five of the Berinsfield samples yielded sufficient collagen for a date. The dates were calibrated using OxCal 4.0.5 (Bronk Ramsey 1995, 2001) using the IntCal04 atmospheric curve (Reimer et al. 2004), and statistical analyses of the dates were carried out using Calib v5.0.1 (Stuiver et al. 2005).

Results (Table 1, Figure 2)

The calibrated dates of the ten samples from Queenford Farto span AD 254-426 (1[sigma]), AD 240-531 (2[sigma]), which is typical of that expected for a Late Roman cemetery. This range is substantially earlier than that obtained from the original five dates. Given the advances in dating techniques and sample pre-treatment chemistry over the last 20 years, we consider that the new dates obtained are likely to be the more accurate. Overall, the patterning of the dates parallels that of the stratigraphy stratigraphy, branch of geology specifically concerned with the arrangement of layered rocks (see stratification). Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition, which states that in a normal sequence of rock layers the youngest is on top and the oldest on the . Those of the seven burials assumed to be from the main phase form a tight group (AD254-408, 1[sigma]), with the two burials from the small enclosure (F10/grave 196 and F 11/grave 197) giving slightly later dates, and the date of the stratigraphically latest burial cutting the small enclosure (F 106/grave 256) is marginally later still (Table 1, Figure 2). However, this pattern is not statistically significant, as all dates are the same at the 95% confidence level (t = 5.900188, [X.sub.i]2(p < 0.05) = 18.3, df = 10). The only grave-good, the double-sided bone comb buried with grave 197, was dated to the late fourth century AD by reference to burials with combs from Lankhills, Winchester (Clarke 1979: 368-9).

The five successful dates from Berinsfield are of Graves 20 (Phase 1), 1 and 8 (Phase 1/2), and 35 and 73 (Phase 2), and, when calibrated, span AD 385-538 (l[sigma]), AD 344-556 (2[sigma]). The dates of Graves 1 and 8 (Phase 1/2) are slightly earlier than those of Graves 20, 35 and 73 (Figure 2), however, all five dates are statistically the same at the 95% confidence level (t = 5.520201, [X.sub.i]2(p < 0.05) = 9.49, df = 4). These [sup.14]C dates are not inconsistent with those suggested on the basis of artefact typology. At Berinsfield, Grave 20 was dated to Phase 1, up to the last quarter of the fifth century, on the basis of the spearhead of Swanton type B2, a type unusual for Britain with a central rib, a feature current in continental and Scandinavian spearheads of the Roman Iron Age. Grave 1 contained an early type of shield boss A shield boss is a round, or conical piece of material at the center of a shield. Shield bosses (or sometimes, just "bosses") are usually made of thick metal but could also be made of wood. , Grave 8 an equal-armed brooch brooch

Ornamental pin with a clasp to attach it to a garment. Brooches developed from the Greek and Roman fibula, which resembled a decorative safety pin and was used as a fastening for cloaks and tunics.
, both graves were assigned either to Phase 1 or to an early part of Phase 2, i.e. up to the end of the fifth century. The equal-armed brooch is an unusual type, put late in the sequence by Evison as ah insular insular /in·su·lar/ (-sdbobr-ler) pertaining to the insula or to an island, as the islands of Langerhans.

Of or being an isolated tissue or island of tissue.
 development (Evison 1977). This brooch has an exact parallel in a brooch found by a metal-detectorist at Burnham Market Burnham Market is a village and civil parish near the north coast of Norfolk, England. Burnham Market is one of the Burnhams, a group of adjacent villages in North Norfolk.  in north Norfolk North Norfolk is a local government district in Norfolk, England. Its council is based in Cromer. History
The district was formed on April 1, 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972.
 (Gurney gurney /gur·ney/ (gur´ne) a wheeled cot used in hospitals.

n. pl. gur·neys
A metal stretcher with wheeled legs, used for transporting patients.
 2002). Grave 35 contained a pair of disc brooches, and 73 a pair of five scroll saucer brooches, both assigned to Phase 2, late fifth- mid-sixth century. The analysis of glass beads by Brugmann (Brugmann 2004) puts Grave 8 in her Phase A, AD 450-580, and Grave 35 in A2, AD 480-580.

The main divergence between the radiocarbon and artefact dates is that Grave 20, attributed to Phase 1, is indistinguishable from Graves 73 and 35 (Phase 2), and is later than Graves 1 and 8, both attributed to Phase 1 or 2, so perhaps Grave 20 now should be re-assigned to Phase 2.


The [sup.14]C results give a date range which covers all of the fifth century and the first half of the sixth. While this is compatible with current typological chronologies it provides some encouragement to reconsider the mid-fifth-century starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo

commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the
 often assumed for Anglo-Saxon burials, as do [sup.14]C dates recently produced for apparently Anglo-Saxon cremations at Wasperton which are also earlier than expected (Carver et al. 2009: 47).


Some cemeteries from southern England have produced radiocarbon dates spanning from the Roman period into the seventh century AD. At Cannington, Somerset, the main use of the cemetery was dated to between the late third and late seventh centuries AD (Rahtz et al. 2000:391), while at Tolpuddle Bali, Dorset, radiocarbon dates suggested use between c. AD 400-700 (Hearne & Birbeck 1999: 227). However, Somerset and west Dorset West Dorset is a local government district and parliamentary constituency in Dorset, England. Its council is based in Dorchester. The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, and was a merger of the boroughs of Bridport, Dorchester and Lyme Regis,  lie outside the area of initial Anglo-Saxon contact and settlement, and basic continuity of the local British populations might be assumed there, so continuity of 'Romano-British' type cemeteries is not surprising. Only Wasperton, in the Avon Valley in Warwickshire (Carver et al. 2009) has so far produced convincing evidence for both Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon burials succeeding each other within the same cemetery.

The main period of use at Queenford Farm is in the fourth and into the fifth century AD, whilst at Berinsfield it is in the fifth into the sixth century AD, suggesting that the two cemeteries succeeded each other. The seven early samples from Queenford Farm and the three later ones from Berinsfield are different at the 95% confidence level (t = 55.19817, [X.sub.i]2(p < 0.05) = 19.7, df = 11). Although we obtained no overlapping dates from the two cemeteries, the later dates from Queenford Farm and the early dates from Berinsfield all fall in the early fifth century: the three later Queenford Farm dates and the two earliest dates from Berinsfield are the same at the 95% confidence level (t = 3.97433, [X.sub.i] 2(p < 0.05) = 9.49, df = 4, OxA-V-2217-55, OxA-V-2218-6, OxA-V-2217-57, OXA-18187 and OxA-18188). This suggests that while the use of one cemetery followed the other, there may have been a brief transition period when both were in use.

It is important to note that calibrating the dates is complicated by the shape of the calibration curve In analytical chemistry, a calibration curve is a general method for determining the concentration of a substance in an unknown sample by comparing the unknown to a set of standard samples of known concentration.  for this period, in which a steep slope (AD 400-440) is preceded by radiocarbon wiggles wiggles - [scientific computation] In solving partial differential equations by finite difference and similar methods, wiggles are sawtooth (up-down-up-down) oscillations at the shortest wavelength representable on the grid.  (AD 250-300 and AD 350-370) and followed by a plateau (AD 440-530). But whilst the calibration curve can distort things, it does not alter the fact that these two occupations are successive. That said, there seems to be a degree of closeness, witnessed by the determinations (one from each site: OxA-18188 and OxA-X-2217-57) that appear close to one another in the steeper section of the calibration curve between the bulk of the two results (between c. AD 400-440), spanning the period between the two cemeteries.

How does this result affect current views of the Roman-Saxon transition in Britain? Discussion of genetic evidence is currently focused on the extent to which modern English Modern English
English since about 1500. Also called New English.

Modern English

the English language since about 1450

Noun 1.
 populations are descended from Germanic immigrants rather than native British (e.g. Weale et al. 2002; Capelli et al. 2003). Alternative proposals are for violent population replacement, or for interaction and acculturation acculturation, culture changes resulting from contact among various societies over time. Contact may have distinct results, such as the borrowing of certain traits by one culture from another, or the relative fusion of separate cultures. , or, most recently, apartheid, allowing a few dominant males to 'father the nation' (Thomas et al. 2006). The genetic replacement model aligns with traditional historical accounts, while archaeological interpretations have for some decades favoured ah acculturation model. The 'apartheid' model is an attempt to reconcile these two, by showing how a relatively small incoming dominant male population could be ancestral to a majority of the later population.

If Queenford Farm and Berinsfield were contemporary, this would provide evidence for the survival of a Romano-British population in the Thames Valley into the sixth century AD, and also for separation of the two populations, probably native and immigrant, or perhaps pagan and Christian, in burial. If the cemeteries do not overlap in date, we see two consecutive cemeteries in close proximity, implying that cultural factors operating on one community might have played as strong a role in change as population replacement. In either case, these cemeteries provide a rare opportunity for comparison between two successive populations in the same place, not many generations apart, but with different burial practices.


The [sup.14]C dates for our samples broadly confirm conventional wisdom in separating late Roman from early Anglo-Saxon burials. They do not support the earlier [sup.14]C dates which suggested Queenford Farm continued in use as late as the sixth century AD. Instead, they indicate that the main use of this site lay within the fourth century AD, whereas the sampled burials from Berinsfield belong to the fifth and sixth centuries AD. This distinction in date corresponds to expectation for the chronological sequence Noun 1. chronological sequence - a following of one thing after another in time; "the doctor saw a sequence of patients"
chronological succession, succession, successiveness, sequence

temporal arrangement, temporal order - arrangement of events in time
 from late Roman to early Anglo-Saxon. It appears therefore that these two cemeteries do not provide evidence for long term co-existence of two separate populations, and thus provide no support for the 'apartheid' model in early Anglo-Saxon England. However, there is both artefactual adj. 1. of or pertaining to an artefact.
2. made by human actions.

Adj. 1. artefactual - of or relating to artifacts
 and 14C evidence for a contiguous succession in the first half of the fifth century. The bone comb from Queenford Farm and the supporting arm brooch from Berinsfield Grave 64 could both date to the later fourth or early fifth centuries. The [sup.14]C dates thus allow for a succession without hiatus between the end of the Queenford Farm sequence and the start of Berinsfield during the first part of the fifth century. The start of a new cemetery at Berinsfield demonstrates a new approach to burial, focusing on grave furnishings. It came into use while the last burials at Queenford Farm were taking place. Changes in burial practice and in the location of cemeteries have happened often within recorded history Recorded history can be defined as history that has been written down or recorded by the use of language, whereas history is a more general term referring simply to information about the past.[1] It starts in the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing.  without a major population change, and we could be seeing such a shift here, with a move by the local population over a generation from one burial site to the other. However, the continental influence apparent within the Berinsfield grave assemblages does support arguments for new arrivals, while the biological evidence, even if not securely linked to ethnic origins, at least suggests some significant differences (for example in diet and stature) between the two populations.

Although we have demonstrated the weakness of the basis for arguing that these two sites were contemporary, this should not be seen as an argument against the deployment of scientific evidence in relation to population history, but instead as a call for the use of a range of precise techniques applied to larger samples which do have the potential to provide new answers to old questions.


This project was supported by a NERC NERC Natural Environment Research Council (UK)
NERC North American Electric Reliability Corporation (Princeton, New Jersey, USA)
NERC Northeast Recycling Council
NERC National Environment Research Council
 ORADS grant 2006/2/6. Permission to resample the bones was kindly given by Alison Roberts and the curators of the Ashmolean Museum Ashmolean Museum: see under Ashmole, Elias. , Oxford (Berinsfield) and Christiane Jeuckens, Manager of the Oxfordshire Museums Resource Centre (Queenford Farm). We are grateful to the Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. for permission to reproduce Figure 1. Thanks to Cameron Petrie, Marc Vander Linden Linden, city, United States
Linden, city (1990 pop. 36,701), Union co., NE N.J., in the New York metropolitan area; inc. 1925. During the first half of the 20th cent.
 and Tom Higham for their assistance with interpretation of the dates, and the editor and two referees for helpful comments. TO'C is grateful to the Wellcome Trust for financial support.

Received: 30 January 2009; Accepted: 1 March 2009; Revised: 13 March 2009


BOOTH, P. 2001. Late Roman cemeteries in Oxfordshire: a review. Oxoniensia 66: 13-42.

BOOTH, P., A. DODD v. t. 1. To cut off, as wool from sheep's tails; to lop or clip off. , M. ROBINSON & A. SMITH. 2007. The Thames through rime: the archaeology of the gravel terraces of the upper and middle Thames: the early historical period, AD 1-1000 (Thames Valley landscapes monograph 27). Oxford: Oxford Archaeology Oxford Archaeology (formerly the Oxford Archaeological Unit) is, along with MoLAS and Wessex Archaeology, one of the big three private archaeological organisations in the United Kingdom. .

BOYLE, A., A. DODD, D. MILES & A. MUDD (edited by D. JENNINGS & I. SCOTT). 1995. Two Oxfordshire Anglo-Saxon cemeteries: Berinsfield and Didcot (Thames Valley landscapes monograph 8). Oxford: Published for the Oxford Archaeological Unit by Oxford University Committee for Archaeology.

BRONK RAMSEY, C. 1995. Radiocarbon calibration and analysis of stratigraphy: the OxCal programme. Radiocarbon 40(1): 461-74.

--2001. Development of the radiocarbon calibration program OxCal. Radiocarbon 43(2A): 355-63. BRUGMANN, B. 2004. Glass beads from early Anglo-Saxon graves. Oxford: Oxbow.

n a sex chromosome that in humans and many other species is present only in the male, appearing singly in the normal male. It is carried as a sex determinant by one half of the male gametes. None of the female gametes contain a Y chromosome.
 census of the British Isles British Isles: see Great Britain; Ireland. . Current Biology 13: 979-84.

CARVER, M., C. HILLS & J. SCHESCHKEWITZ. 2009. Wasperton: a Roman, British and Anglo-Saxon community in central England. Woodbridge: Boydell.

CHAMBERS, R.A. 1987. The late- and sub-Roman cemetery at Queenford Farto, Dorchesteron-Thames, Oxon. Oxoniensia 52:35-69

CLARKE, G. 1979. The Roman cemetery at Lankhills (Winchester Studies 3). Oxford: Oxford University Press

DURHAM, B. & T. ROWLEY. 1972. A cemetery site at Queenford Mill, Dorchester. Oxoniensia 37: 32-37.

EVISON, V. 1977. Supporting-arm brooches and equal-arm brooches in England. Studien zur Sachsenforschung 1: 127-47.

FULLER, B.T., T.I. MOLLESON, D.A. HARRIS, L.T. GILMOUR & R.E.M. HEDGES. 2006. Isotopic evidence for breastfeeding and possible adult dietary differences from late/sub-Roman Britain. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 129: 45-54.

GOWLAND, R. 2007. Beyond ethnicity: symbols of social identity from the fourth to sixth centuries in England, in S. Semple & H. Williams (ed.) Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history: early medieval mortuary practices (Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history 14): 56-65. Oxford: University of Oxford, School of Archaeology.

GURNEY, D. (ed.) 2002. Archaeological finds in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology 44: 149-61.

HAKENBECK, S. 2007. Situational ethnicity and nested identities: new approaches to an old problem, in S. Semple & H. Williams (ed.) Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history: early medieval mortuary practices (Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history 14): 19-27. Oxford: University of Oxford, School of Archaeology.

HARMAN, M., G. LAMBRICK, D. MILES & T. ROWLEY. 1978. Roman burials around Dorchesteron-Thames. Oxoniensia 43: 1-16.

HARMAN, M., T. MOLLESON & J. PRICE. 1981. Burials, bodies and beheadings in Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. Bulletin of the British Museum British Museum, the national repository in London for treasures in science and art. Located in the Bloomsbury section of the city, it has departments of antiquities, prints and drawings, coins and medals, and ethnography.  of Natural History (geology) 35(3): 145-88.

HARKE, H. 1992 Changing symbols in a changing society: the Anglo-Saxon weapon burial rite in the seventh century, in M. Carver (ed.) The age of Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo (sŭt`ən h), archaeological site near Woodbridge, East Suffolk, E England, containing 11 barrows. Excavations here in 1938–39 revealed remains of a Saxon ship (c. : 149-65. Woodbridge: Boydell.

--1995. Weapon burials and knives, in D. Jennings & I. Scott (ed.) Two Oxfordshire Anglo-Saxon cemeteries: Berinsfield and Didcot (Thames Valley Landscapes Monograph 8): 67-75. Oxford: Published for the Oxford Archaeological Unit by Oxford University Committee for Archaeology.

--2007. Ethnicity, face and migration in mortuary archaeology: an attempt at a short answer, in S. Semple & H. Williams (ed.) Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history: early medieval mortuary practices (Anglo-Saxon studies in archaeology and history 14): 12-18. Oxford: University of Oxford, School of Archaeology.

HAWKES, S. 1986. The early Saxon period, in G. Briggs, J. Cook & T. Rowley (ed.) The archaeology of the Oxford region: 64-108. Oxford: Oxford University Department for External Studies.

HEARNE, C.M. & V. BIRBECK. 1999. A35 Tolpuddle to Puddletown bypass DBFO DBFO Design Build Finance Operate , Dorset, 1996-8: incorporating excavations at Tolpuddle Bali 1993 (Wessex Archaeology Wessex Archaeology is one of the largest private archaeological organisations operating in the United Kingdom, based near Salisbury in Wiltshire

Founded in 1974 as the Trust for Wessex Archaeology by members of the earlier Wessex Archaeological Committee, it took its present
 Report 15). Salisbury: Trust for Wessex Archaeology.

HEDGES, R.E.M., J.G. CLEMENT, C.D.L. THOMAS & T.C. O'CONNELL. 2007. Collagen turnover in the adult femoral femoral /fem·o·ral/ (fem´or-al) pertaining to the femur or to the thigh.

Of or relating to the femur or thigh.
 mid-shaft: modeled from anthropogenic an·thro·po·gen·ic  
1. Of or relating to anthropogenesis.

2. Caused by humans: anthropogenic degradation of the environment.
 radiocarbon tracer measurements. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133(2): 808-16.

HILLS, C.M. 2003. Origins of the English. London: Duckworth.

--2007. History and archaeology: the state of play in early medieval Europe. Antiquity 81: 191-200.

KIRK, J.R. & E.T. LEEDS. 1952-53. Three early Saxon graves from Dorchester, Oxon. Oxoniensia 17-18: 63-76.

PRIVAT, K., T.C. O'CONNELL & M.P. RICHARDS. 2002. Stable isotope analysis of human and faunal remains from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Berinsfield, Oxfordshire: dietary and social implications. Journal of Archaeological Science Archaeological science (also known as Archaeometry) is the application of scientific techniques and methodologies to archaeology.

Archaeological science can be divided into the following areas:
 29: 779-90.

RAHTZ, P., S. HIRST & S. WRIGHT. 2000. Cannington cemetery (Britannia monograph 17). London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (The Roman Society) was founded in 1910 as the sister society to the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

The Society is the leading organisation in the United Kingdom for those interested in the study of Rome and the


castrated male sheep usually 10 to 14 months old. Also used to describe an uncastrated male pig.
, K.A. HUGHEN, B. KROMER, G. MCCORMAC, S. MANNING, C. BRONK RAMSEY, R.W. REIMER, S. REMMELE, J.R. SOUTHON, M. STUIVER, S. TALAMO, F.W. TAYLOR, J. VAN DER DER - Distinguished Encoding Rules  PLICHT & C.E. WEYHENMEYER. 2004. IntCal04 terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 0-26 cal kyr BE Radiocarbon 46(3): 1029-58.

SAYER, D. 2007. Drei sudenglische Graberfelder aus angelsachsischer Zeit und ihre Organisation, in C. Grunewald & T. Capelle (ed.) Innere Strukturen von Siedlungen und Graberfeldern als Spiegel gesellschaftlicher Wirklichkeit?: Akten des 57. Internationalen Sachsensymposions vom 26 bis 30 August 2006 in Munster (Veroffentlichungen der Altertumskommission fur Westfalen, Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe 17): 79-88. Munster: Aschendorff.

SCULL, C. & A. BAYLISS. 1999. Radiocarbon dating and Anglo-Saxon graves, in U. von Freeden, U. Koch & A. Wieczorek (ed.) Valker ah Nord- und Ostsee und die Franken: Akten des 48. Sachsensymposiums in Mannheim voto 7 bis 11 September 1997 (Mannheimer Geschichtsbhtter. Beiheft 2. Neue Folge): 39-50. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt.

STUIVER, M., P.J. REIMER & R. REIMER. 2005. CALIB radiocarbon calibration. Available at accessed on 3 December 2008).

THOMAS, M., M. STUMPF & H. HARKE. 2006. Evidence for apartheid-like social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: 1-7.

WEALE, M., D. WEISS WEISS Workshop on Industrial Experience with Systems Software , R. JAGER, N. BRADMAN & M. THOMAS. 2002. Y chromosome evidence for Anglo-Saxon mass migration. Molecular Biology molecular biology, scientific study of the molecular basis of life processes, including cellular respiration, excretion, and reproduction. The term molecular biology was coined in 1938 by Warren Weaver, then director of the natural sciences program at the Rockefeller  and Evolution 19: 1008-21.

C.M. Hills & T.C. O'Connell *

* Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street Downing Street, Westminster, London, England. On the street are the British Foreign Office and, at No. 10, the residence of the first lord of the Treasury, who is usually (although not necessarily) the prime minister of Great Britain. , Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK
Table 1. Results of all samples analysed.

Sample details   Site              Phase     Sex     Age

Grave 20         Berinsfield         1        M      45+

Grave 64         Berinsfield         1        ?     1-1.5

Grave 1          Berinsfield        1/2       M     20-25

Grave 8          Berinsfield        1/2       F     25-30

Grave 35         Berinsfield         2        ?     11-12

Grave 73         Berinsfield         2        F     20-25

Grave 121        Berinsfield         2        M     adult

Grave 5          Berinsfield         2        F     20-25

Grave 6          Berinsfield         2        M     25-30

Grave 18         Berinsfield         2        F     17-23

F32/grave 32     Queenford Farm               M     35-40

F55/grave 55     Queenford Farm               M     25-30

F56/grave 56     Queenford Farm               F     20-25

F56/grave 56     Queenford Farm               F     20-25

F57/grave 57     Queenford Farm    F        20-25   rib

F36/grave 217    Queenford Farm               F     35-40

F44/grave 225    Queenford Farm               M     20-25

F120/grave 263   Queenford Farm               M      45+

F10/grave 196    Queenford Farm     late      F     20-25

F11/grave 197    Queenford Farm     late      F      40+

F106/grave 256   Queenford Farm    latest     M     20-24

Sample details   Bone type          Date code

Grave 20         rib                OxA-18186

Grave 64         skull frag

Grave 1          long bone          OxA-18187

Grave 8          rib                OxA-18188

Grave 35         rib                OxA-18189

Grave 73         rib                OxA-18214

Grave 121        rib

Grave 5          rib

Grave 6          rib

Grave 18         rib

F32/grave 32     rib              OxA-V-2217-49

F55/grave 55     rib              OxA-V-2217-50

F56/grave 56     rib              0~1-V-2217-51

F56/grave 56     rib              OxA-V-2217-52

F57/grave 57     OxA-V-2217-53   1708 [+ or -] 28

F36/grave 217         rib         OxA-V 2217-54

F44/grave 225         rib         OxA-V 2217-56

F120/grave 263        rib           OxA-17353

F10/grave 196         rib         OxA-V 2217-55

F11/grave 197         rib          OxA-V 2218-6

F106/grave 256        rib         OxA-V 2217-57

Sample details   [sup.14]C date yr BP     Calibrated date 1[sigma]

Grave 20           1565 [+ or -] 24      AD 435 (49.5%) AD 492
                                         AD 508 (9.3%) AD 519
                                         AD 528 (9.4%) AD 538

Grave 64                failed

Grave 1            1614 [+ or -] 25      AD 406 (32.2%) AD 440
                                         AD 486 (36.0%) AD 532

Grave 8            1635 [+ or -] 26      AD 385 (59.9%) AD 434
                                         AD 494 (6.4%) AD 506
                                         AD 522 (1.9%) AD 526

Grave 35           1583 [+ or -] 25      AD 430 (26.4%) AD 465
                                         AD 482 (41.8%) AD 533

Grave 73           1569 [+ or -] 29      AD 434 (47.8%) AD 493
                                         AD 506 (11.9%) AD 521
                                         AD 526 (8.5%) AD 537

Grave 121               failed

Grave 5                 failed

Grave 6                 failed

Grave 18                failed

F32/grave 32       1686 [+ or -] 29      AD 267 (2.6%) AD 271
                                         AD 336 (6S.6%) AD 406

F55/grave 55       1731 [+ or -] 29      AD 254 (68.2%) AD 344

F56/grave 56          1692 -F 28         AD 264 (6.7%) AD 274
                                         AD 334 (61.5%) AD 400

F56/grave 56          1683 ?- 28         AD 337 (68.2%) AD 408

F57/grave 57     AD 260 (16.9%) AD 282   AD 255 (95.4%) AD 405
                                         AD 324 (51.3%) AD 386

F36/grave 217      1711 [+ or -] 29      AD 260 (19.1%) AD 284
                                         AD 323 (49.1%) AD 385

F44/grave 225      1703 [+ or -] 28      AD 261 (14.2%) AD 280
                                         AD 326 (54.0%) AD 391

F120/grave 263     1710 [+ or -] 29      AD 260 (18.2%) AD 282
                                         AD 324 (50.0%) AD 385

F10/grave 196      1671 [+ or -] 28      AD 344 (68.2%) AD 414

F11/grave 197      1676 [+ or -] 26      AD 344 (68.2%) AD 409

F106/grave 256     1654 [+ or -] 29      AD 350 (12.6%) AD 368
                                         AD 380 (55.6%) AD 426

Sample details    Calibrated date 2[sigma]

Grave 20         AD 426 (95.4%) AD 552

Grave 64

Grave 1          AD 396 (95.4%) AD 535

Grave 8          AD 344 (76.0%) AD 466
                 AD 480 (19.4%) AD 534

Grave 35         AD 420 (95.4%) AD 540

Grave 73         AD 421 (95.4%) AD 556

Grave 121

Grave 5

Grave 6

Grave 18

F32/grave 32     AD 258 (16.8%) AD 298
                 AD 318 (78.6%) AD 420

F55/grave 55     AD 240 (95.4%) AD 390

F56/grave 56     AD 257 (20.0%) AD 300
                 AD 318 (75.4%) AD 416

F56/grave 56     AD 258 (14.3%) AD 296
                 AD 321 (81.1%) AD 421

F57/grave 57

F36/grave 217    AD 253 (95.4%) AD 402

F44/grave 225    AD 255 (95.4%) AD 410

F120/grave 263   AD 254 (95.4%) AD 404

F10/grave 196    AD 259 (9.0%) AD 295
                 AD 321 (86.4%) AD 429

F11/grave 197    AD 259 (8.6%) AD 284
                 AD 322 (86.8%) AD 425

F106/grave 256   AD 260 (3.4%) AD 282
                 AD 324 (85.9%) AD 440
                 AD 486 (6.0%) AD 531
COPYRIGHT 2009 Antiquity Publications, Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Research
Author:Hills, C.M.; O'Connell, T.C.
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Previous Article:Pre-Columbian geometric earthworks in the upper Purus: a complex society in western Amazonia.
Next Article:High prestige Royal Purple dyed textiles from the Bronze Age royal tomb at Qatna, Syria.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters