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Corinium Museum Butler's Field Collection

Version 2 2022-12-14, 12:41
Version 1 2022-12-09, 18:01
educational resource
posted on 2022-12-14, 12:41 authored by Woruldhord Project Team

Items from the Corinium Museum's collection of grave-goods from the Butler's Field excavations in Lechlade. Items from the Corinium Museum's collection of grave-goods from the Butler's Field excavations in Lechlade. Text From Gallery BUTLER’S FIELD : ANGLO-SAXON CEMETERY One of the largest and most important Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Upper Thames Valley was found at Butler’s Field, Lechlade in 1985. The site had been earmarked for housing and was excavated by Oxford Archaeological Unit. The objects buried with the people of Butler’s Field form the core of this gallery. The excavation uncovered at least half of the cemetery – 219 bodies in 199 graves. Twenty-nine pottery vessels containing cremated remains were also found close to the surface. It is likely that more cremations were originally present but centuries of ploughing have resulted in the pots being broken and their contents scattered. There were two phases of burial, one overlaying the other. The first phase lasted from about AD 450 to AD 600 and is characterised by graves orientated NE-SW. All the cremations and 138 of the graves can be assigned to this phase. The second phase dates to the 7th and early 8th centuries, the time when Christianity was becoming the dominant religion. The 57 graves that belong to this period are orientated NW-SE. Butler’s Field is the only Anglo-Saxon cemetery in the Thames Valley where burials of both phases, ‘pagan’ and ‘Christian’, occupy the same site. The grave of one woman was covered by a small mound or barrow, while other people were buried in wooden coffins. These people were clearly ‘special’ in some way. The cemetery is probably the wealthiest ever excavated in the upper Thames Valley and contained thousands of objects, some of which were rare or indeed unique within England, only some of which are able to be included here. The prehistoric remains comprised an early Bronze Age ring ditch, several cremations, a series of linear boundaries of late Bronze Age/early Iron Age date, a roundhouse, one 4-post structure amd a scatter of pits and post-holes. Roman activity was represented by several quarry pits, a large ditch orientated north-east to south-west, and several smaller ditches. 268p, 135 figs, 26 plates (The Thames Valley, volume 10, OUCA for Oxford Archaeological Unit, 1998)



5th-7th Century

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