The graves are thought to be broadly contemporary with each other, although the team are only at the very beginning of the investigative process.
ISBN 13: 9781859838082
This will include radiocarbon dating of each of the bodies to establish their date of burial and isotopic analysis of their bones and teeth, to help determine both their diet and hopefully to establish where they had lived in childhood. Detailed study of their skeletons will be able to tell, in addition to their sex and age, their stature, health and any visible medical conditions. Analysis of the gold and garnets in the cross will also reveal further details about its place of manufacture; garnets in this period were probably imported from the Black Sea or even further afield, from Asia.
Preserved textile on the iron knife and chain offers the possibility of reconstructing her burial costume. There is, though, a time through the second half of the 7 th century, where clearly Christian people were still making use of a limited range of goods within their burials, and these often carried explicitly Christian symbolism, such as the cross here.
Did she have a formal role in the church? The site is just behind the village church, which is first documented over years later. This is certainly something worth looking into. A small number of structures associated with the burials seem to represent part of a settlement that was in use at the same time. Analysis of the finds from these will help to determine the nature and function of that settlement; initial assessment of the pottery has suggested the presence of some high status imports, of a type usually only associated with high status ecclesiastical centres.
There may even be a possible link to the founding of the first monastery in Ely at around the same time.
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A cemetery found in Ely by the CAU in also contained a later 7 th -century burial of a year-old with a delicate gold cross pendant, who was thought to have been associated with the monastery. The parallels between this site and Trumpington are intriguing, and suggest a more interesting origin for the village than has previously been thought. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.
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