Excavating one of the burials Rune-inscribed lead strip A guided tour of the site

6th September 2012:

A team from Oxford Archaeology, in partnership with Pre-Construct Archaeology, has so far uncovered some 300 burials dating to the late Saxon and medieval periods from a site in Ipswich. The work was procured by Ramboll on behalf of ISG who are developing the site for Genesis Housing Association.

Ipswich was an important Saxon town and trading centre, and excavation at the site, located by the river on Great Whip Street, Stoke Quay, has revealed extensive Middle-Late Saxon occupation remains, including a lead strip inscribed with runic script, as well as the lost church and cemetery of St Augustine's.

Detailed analysis of the burials will begin after the end of the excavation, but preliminary examination suggests that although individuals across the age spectrum were buried in the cemetery, the population was dominated by the very young and very old. In addition, cases of leprosy and syphilis have been detected, while the absence of jewellery or other artefacts, even shroud pins, suggests that the graveyard was a ‘paupers’ cemetery’.

A well-attended open day was held on Saturday 25th August when guided tours, information display panels, and archaeology-themed children’s activities were provided by OA-PCA for the public.