An unexpected archaeological discovery has occurred at King’s College, which is part of Cambridge University, when a medieval cemetery appeared where student housing was built.
Workers came across tombs and remains dating back more than 1,500 years during the demolition of buildings in the area.
It was discovered last January. More than sixty graves have been found, nearly all between the years 400 and 650.
In addition, archaeologists have identified Iron Age materials and estimate that the cemetery’s extension could be much larger and would go beyond the boundaries of the area where student accommodations will be built.
In the tombs were found pieces of funerary equipment, among them bead necklaces, bronze pins, weapons, ceramics and glassware. We always knew there was a possibility of finding a cemetery, but we didn’t expect to find so many graves. What really surprised us was how well they survived under 20th century buildings.”said David Ingham, who is in charge of the excavations.
Bodies and objects buried at that time are usually found in small quantities or with barely surviving bones due to the acidity of the soil, but this cemetery offers a real opportunity to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of the people who lived in East Anglia after that. From the Roman era,” the archaeologist added.
Work continues at the site and the scientists plan to confirm the age of the found remains with carbon-14.
Caroline Judson, University Professor of Early Medieval History at Cambridge commented.