Element Group record MCC10089 - Undated inhumation burials, former Meeanee & Hyderabad Barracks (Site H), Colchester


31 undated inhumation burials, recorded during 2011 Site H excavation, in advance of the redevelopment of the former Meeanee & Hyderabad Barracks, Mersea Road.


Grid reference TL 9994 2436 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Site H contained 31 grave cuts, 17 with potential human remains and only one (HF26) with grave goods (a bronze ring, bronze armlet, and iron knife). The graves are not closely dated. The absence of coffin nails, hobnails and wood-stains so indicative of Roman burials in Colchester may indicate that an early Anglo-Saxon date is as valid as a later Roman date. The report (p.77) states, 'the graves are regularly aligned E-W, which perhaps indicates a Christian ritual'. Consequently, the report (p.80) dates them as being part of a late Roman cemetery, although it also states 'an early Anglo-Saxon date is as valid as a later Roman date'.<1>

An inhumation burial was also defined in the adjacent 2002 evaluation T10 (MCC2769), which is clearly part of the same burial group.

Apart from the graves in Site H, there were a number of pits and post-holes. HF36, on the southern edge of grave HF35 and pit HF24, central over grave HF25, may have been grave markers. Post-holes HF5 and HF7 were not well placed to have been grave markers, but serve no obvious function. None of these were dated, except HF24 which contained Roman pottery and CBM (probably all residual). Pits HF10 and HF41 were not of an obviously grave shape, and would be (superficially) of unknown function (in the context of a cemetery). However, given that the Roman pottery and CBM in the grave fills is probably all residual, it may be that pits HF30 and HF41, and post-holes HF5 and HF7 are part of a pre-cemetery phase.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Brooks, Howard. 2016. A Late Iron Age dyke, Roman and Anglo-Saxon burials, a Roman coin hoard, and a Civil War fort: Stage 1b archaeological evaluation and Stage 2 excavation at Colchester Garrison Alienated Land Area A1. CAT Report 628, pp.77-82.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 16 2016 1:01PM

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