About the Excavations

The Oakington Excavation is focused around the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Oakington, Cambridgeshire and has comprised of multiple phases including both research and commercial aspects. UCLan involvement at Oakington has concentrated in a five year training and research excavation, which is due for completion in 2014.

Oakington's historical background

Records show a large population in Oakington in 1086, with 276 people being recorded. During the Middle Ages the settlement areas were concentrated closer to the main roads and the church leaving the cemetery undisturbed – indeed, our own work has found that the 8th and 9th century ditches deliberately missed the earlier cemetery so 100 years or so after it went out of use they still remembered it was there and protected it.

In about the 13th century the parish recreation ground was ridge and furrow (these can still be seen in the adjacent fields) but unfortunately the Black Death hit the population hard and the village reduced in size and the fields became uncultivated meadow.

During the 1920s the land was changed into a nursery gardens and the deep ploughing and digging disturbed several graves, revealing the location of the Early Anglo Saxon cemetery. In 1926, three graves were uncovered south-west of the church. The land was later purchased to become the site of the village recreation centre and there were no more disturbances until 1993.

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