Attitudes to Disposal of the Dead - Gazetteer Query Form

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Site name South Cadbury
Site number 13
Burial codes 5001 5004 5021 5023 5026 5028 5030 5035 5036 5042 5045 5051 5053 5063 5075 5085 5098 5104 5111 5112 5125 5127 5143 5153 5181 5200 1003 1004 1007 1009 1022 1024 1025 1028 1030 1035 1042 1047 1051 1053 1065 1075 1084 1092 1097 1098 1101 1104 1105 1108 1110 1112 1122 1128 1143 1151 1152 1153 1168 1181 1182 1183 1200
3500bc - 2500bc Settlement site, but little known about structural features. Pit P154 contained sherds from several bowls, complete flint arrow heads, waste flakes, ox ribs and other ox bones, part of a red deer antler, burnt hazel nut shells, and human skeletal material (lower jaw). It had been promptly refilled with clean clay. Pit C817 contained large fragments of human skull and red clay, and it had been dug and promptly refilled with clean clay. The excavator interpreted these as a form of offering to a deity or spirit.

RC: Pit P154 I-5970 2510 +/- 120, I-5972 2755 +/- 115
100bc-AD43 Under the immediately pre-Roman rampart on Site 1 of the Iron Age camp was a small pit dug into the late pre-Roman Iron Age rampart. It contained the tightly contracted body of a young adult male c19-21, on the back with legs above the chest. The hands were drawn up to the face. The body may have been bound, and was set head down. The excavator suggested that this may have been a dedicatory sacrifice.

Excavation of the south west entrance revealed fragmentary remains of 28 individuals of all ages including a child c4 scattered in the ultimate Iron Age entrance passage and covered by the collapsed debris of the latest pre-Roman walling. The bodies were in a very disjointed state possibly through animal disturbance, and only one ulna showed evidence of battle injury. These have been radiocarbon dated to cAD45-61.

Over 100 bronze brooches of mid-1st century AD forms were found scattered through the massacre level, and other objects included a range of native and Roman weapons - lances, spearheads, swords, javelins, arrow heads and shield bosses. There were also fragments of two jointed iron neck rings. [Avery suggests that the massacre did not take place until some time after the initial Conquest campaigns, perhaps at the time of the Boudiccan revolt, on grounds of pottery and artefact types found, for which there is some good evidence].

Skull fragments were found in the bank material, belonging to an adult.

In the earlier trial excavations (Gray 1913), the greater part of the calvarium of an adult human skull was found in fragments in four superimposed layers, near a chipped disc of 'late Celtic' pottery and 2.6m deep in the ditch (Cutting 4) below Romano-British levels.
Remains/Period Y5 Y1
County Somerset
Region SW
National grid square ST
X coordinate 628
Y coordinate 252
Bibliographic source Gray 1913a, Radford and Cox 1954-55, Alcock 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972a, 1972b, Selkirk 1970b, Kinnes 1979, Campbell, Baxter and Alcock 1979, Wilson 1981


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004