In an astonishing discovery, an early medieval graveyard has been found beneath student accommodation at Cambridge University and is being described as “one of the most exciting finds of Anglo-Saxon archaeology since the 19th century”. The cemetery contains more than 60 graves, which came into notice after demolishing a group of buildings from the 1930s. According to the reports by the Guardian, there are around 200 items in the grave, ranging from bronze brooches, bead necklaces, swords, short blades to pottery glass and flasks.
A teacher of medieval history at King’s College, Dr Caroline Goodson said that the remains were remarkably “well preserved”. She also revealed that the soil has not decomposed the bones. This will help the archaeologists to apply very modern scientific techniques and reveal the diet as well as the DNA of the dead. This will further help in analysing the migration and family relationships.
As per Goodson, people living in Cambridgeshire were a mix of descendants from earlier Roman populations and recent migrants to Britain. She says that these people are no longer living as Romans as their lifestyles have changed. Archaeologists have not found any “strong evidence” so far that could tell that people living in the 6th century were still choosing to bury their dead. Goodson also seems curious to find out if anyone in the cemetery died of the Justinianic plague. It was a pandemic that occurred around the 540s. She said that she is really interested to find out whether it was in Cambridge as well and how that relates to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.