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Research seminar 4 February 2021 'The Anglo-Norman execution cemetery at Weyhill, Andover' with Sharon Clough (Cotswold Archaeology)


Around 30 Anglo-Saxon execution cemeteries have been excavated across the UK. They were studied by Andrew Reynolds initially as part of his PhD and further as part of research into deviant burial customs. He outlined the characteristics and typical location of these burial places for the socially deviant. It was thought that the separate burial of criminals started in the second half of the 7th century and stopped shortly after the Norman conquest in the 12th century.  The unexpected discovery of a large execution cemetery during routine excavations at a site in the area of Andover known as Weyhill, has led to a re-examination of these types of burials. In particular, an opportunity to examine the bones themselves for evidence of execution, the demography of those who were found guilty of crime and radiocarbon dates to understand the period of use of the site for the burials. The latter was particularly exciting, as it was demonstrated for the first time that the separate burial of criminals continued into the post-Norman period as late as the 14th century. 

The recording can be found here.

Date: 4 February 2021

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