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Title: A social and anthropological analysis of conversion period and later Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire
Author: Buckberry, Joanne Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3507 4999
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2004
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The thesis will discuss the variety and types of cemeteries and burials used during the late Anglo-Saxon period. The survey of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire will reveal that many early Anglo-Saxon burial sites have been successfully identified archaeologically, but that relatively few late Anglo-Saxon cemeteries have been identified or excavated. It will show, contrary to previous interpretations, that many late Anglo-Saxon cemeteries were not located under medieval cemeteries adjacent to extant churches and will show that execution cemeteries dating to the late AngloSaxon period and isolated barrow burials attributed to Scandinavian settlers have been identified archaeologically. The present research will highlight the importance of searching for late Anglo-Saxon burial sites in the large numbers of undated burials recorded at Sites and Monuments Record offices and in the relevant literature. It will present a series of identification criteria for late Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and will reveal the results of a radiocarbon dating project that successfully dated five previously undated burial sites to the 7th to 11th centuries. The thesis will highlight the range and variation of burial rites used during the late Anglo-Saxon period, stressing that this was not, contrary to popular perception, a period of egalitarian burial practice. Indeed, it will show that high-status cemeteries contained a much wider variety of grave types and grave variations than lower-status cemeteries, and will reveal that there was more variation in the types and numbers of different funerary rites between cemeteries of different status than between rural and urban cemeteries. The thesis will stress the importance of comparing osteological and funerary evidence when investigating cemeteries, and will show that late Anglo-Saxon burial practice was not solely determined by the age or sex of the deceased. However, it will show that individuals were increasingly likely to be buried in more elaborate graves with increasing age, and will suggest that more elaborate burial practices were used for social display. This differs from the early Anglo-Saxon period, when sex and probably social status were considered when choosing burial rites. This reveals a fundamental change in the way in which social identity influenced the choice of burial practice throughout the Anglo-Saxon period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available