A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Roman Lead Coffin Unearthed in Northern England
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
GARFORTH, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that 1,600-year-old skeletal remains thought to have belonged to an aristocratic Roman woman have been found in a lead coffin in an ancient cemetery of about 60 burials in northern England. Initial analysis suggests the burials in the cemetery date to the later Roman and early Saxon eras, according to David Hunter of West Yorkshire Joint Services. Some of the graves held Saxon knives and pottery, and some of the dead may have held Christian beliefs. “The presence of two communities using the same burial site is highly unusual and whether their use of this graveyard overlapped or not will determine just how significant the find is,” Hunter said. The burials will be carbon dated, and chemical analysis of the bones will attempt to determine what the people ate and where they lived, he concluded. To read about another Roman burial in England, go to "Identifying the Unidentified."
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