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In the Northern Cemetery of Roman London (Hardback)

Excavations at Spitalfields Market, London E1, 1991-2007

Ancient History > Roman Britain Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces > Roman Archaeology

Imprint: MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology)
Series: MoLAS Monograph
Pages: 236
Illustrations: 162
ISBN: 9781907586514
Published: 28th October 2020
Casemate UK Academic



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London’s Spitalfields Market was the location of one of the city’s largest archaeological excavations, carried out by MOLA between 1991 and 2007. This book presents the archaeological and bioarchaeological evidence for Roman activity here, to the north-east of the urban settlement and the site of a series of burial grounds on the east side of Ermine Street. Burial began here c AD 120 and continued into the 4th century AD. Excavation revealed a number of ditched enclosures, some used for the interment of 169 inhumations and five cremation burials, some for other purposes. Among the early burials men outnumbered women by five to one, but by the later 3rd and 4th centuries AD a more even sex ratio prevailed. Subadults were well represented, with one area apparently set aside for the burial of neonates and children. The cemetery attracted some particularly wealthy 4th-century AD burials, including at least two in stone sarcophagi, one of which contained an inner, decorated, lead coffin enclosing a young woman. She had been anointed with imported resins and buried in fine clothing, with unusual glassware and jet items. Some burial rites and grave goods are more familiar from Continental cemeteries, emphasising the cosmopolitan and mobile nature of London’s population.

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