Element record MCC2940 - Early Iron Age cremation


Early Iron Age isolated cremation from Area 10.


Grid reference TL 99621 22850 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

In Area 10, two isolated cremations were excavated during the work in 2003 (the other is ELM1400). This cremation contained a single Early Iron Age sherd, a small quantity of unburnt animal bone (food offering in burial?), cremated human bone and a range of macrobotanical debris including hazelnut shells which have been dated with C14 dating to Cal BC 780-410.

The position of these two cremations raises questions about the existence of field boundaries within this period in Area 10. Both this and ELM1401 are close to later ditches and may support the interpretation that the field system in this area did indeed exist in the Early Iron Age, although the evidence is unclear.

In particular this cremation is interesting as it appears to have been deliberately dug in the corner of a field defined by Late Iron Age/Roman ditches. This would indicate that either the cremation is Early Iron Age and unrelated to the later field boundaries, or could be an Early Iron Age cremation that was placed near to contemporary field boundaries that are no longer in evidence (possibly because they have been recut so many times or because they consisted of hedges of which there is no archaeological evidence). For further evidence see GRP142. Another possible explanation is that the cremation in fact dates to the Late Iron Age/early Roman period and is contemporary to the ditches which it appears to have been deliberately placed by. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Brooks, Howard (CAT) and Masefield, Robert (RPS Group). 2005. The Colchester Garrison PFI project, Colchester Essex: a report on the 2002 excavation of Areas 2, 6, 10. CAT Report 292, pg 20.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Oct 22 2009 2:30PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.