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Title: Life stress : a bio-cultural investigation into the later Anglo-Saxon population of the Black Gate Cemetery
Author: Mahoney Swales, Diana Louise
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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The Black Gate cemetery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne was established within the abandoned remains of a Roman fort (Pons Aelius) in the 8th century and was an active burial ground until the 12th century AD. The cemetery has yielded 663 articulated skeletons, making it one of the largest skeletal assemblages recovered from later Anglo-Saxon England. Aside from the cemetery there is no physical evidence for settlement in the area from the abandonment of Pons Aelius in 410 AD. until the first phase of construction of a Norman castle in 1080 AD. Documentary evidence indicates the presence of a monastery within the immediate locality of the cemetery; however, archaeological evidence for a monastic settlement at the site has yet to be identified. Consequently, the origin of the contributory population is uncertain. To determine the nature and origin of the Black Gate cemetery population a bio-cultural investigation was undertaken. Investigation into the relationship between health and the different demographic and social components of the assemblage, determined from burial form and variation, enabled a picture of the overall social and environmental impact on levels of physiological stress to be assessed. Indicators of stress were compared with thirteen sites of known context to determine if the health profile observed amongst the Black Gate population shared characteristics with urban, rural or monastic assemblages. A detailed picture of the health and funerary behaviour of the Black Gate cemetery was attained. However, the origin of this population remains inconclusive. This research emphasises the multi-factorial nature of physiological stress and that age, diet, cultural practices and status had a greater impact upon the skeleton than settlement type in the later Anglo-Saxon period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available