A Medieval Cemetery at Mill Lane, Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk


During construction of Ormesby bypass in east Norfolk, human bones were found by the contractors. Excavation revealed that these were not isolated burials. Sixty articulated burials were examined which, along with unstratified bones, represented at least forty-five adults and seventeen children. Radiocarbon determinations indicate a date range of 11th-14th centuries. Demographic, metrical, morphological, dental and pathological aspects of the population have been studied, and compared with contemporary Norfolk groups. Demographic analysis suggests a trend towards death in old age amongst the men and in young adult life for the women. Metrical analysis shows a similarity with medieval groups in Norfolk, and non-metric traits suggest a close affinity with people from a nearby Saxon cemetery and a medieval group from Norwich. Ormesby had four churches during the medieval period. The locations of three (St Margaret, St Michael and St Peter) were known prior to this excavation, and the location of the fourth (St Andrew) had been predicted. The burials were in none of these places. Archaeological evidence, along with aerial photographs, cartographic and documentary evidence allows an alternative location to be suggested for the church of St Andrew, adjacent to the burials.

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Sue Anderson, Heather Wallis
Paperback | 50 pages
205.74 x 289.56 x 2.54mm | 158.76g
Publication date
06 Jan 2013
Norfolk Museums Service, Archaeology & Environment Division
Publication City/Country
Braintree, United Kingdom
Illustrations note
17 illus