Rob Atkins
Archaeopress, £45
ISBN 978-1784918958
Review Edward Biddulph

This volume describes the results of some 20 years of investigation at a site near Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. The work revealed a pit alignment and cremation burial dating to the Bronze Age or Iron Age, a middle-to- late Iron Age settlement, two Roman-period settlements, and an early-to-mid- Saxon cemetery. Finds included 12 Iron Age coins, early Roman pottery from 14 kilns, a Roman casket burial, and a Saxon buckle with preserved textile.

The quantity and distribution of coins and brooches raises the possibility that the site served as a religious centre in the Iron Age and Roman period, which may in turn have encouraged the development of a market. Curiously, mixed rites characterise both the Roman and Saxon cemeteries. Among the Saxon graves is a decapitation burial. The rite is not unknown in the Saxon period, but is more typical of the late Roman period. I wondered what that suggested about the identity of the deceased, but the point is unfortunately not considered. Nevertheless, the report makes an excellent contribution to the understanding of Northamptonshire’s archaeology.

This review appeared in CA 343.

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