1994 Excavations

In 1993 the Parish council built the first playground in Oakington and it was during the construction of this that the first graves were found. In 1994 the South Cambridge District Council was able to make a small grant available to pay for the excavation of the area.

The excavations took place over two weeks in May 1994. Two prehistoric ditches were recorded within the excavation area and contained work flint that was thought to be Mesolithic or Neolithic in origin. The excavation of the cemetery revealed 25 graves with 26 skeletons being excavated. Half of the adult skeletons were unable to be assigned a sex due to unclear skeletal features. The stature of the three adult males provided a range of 6'-6'3” unusually large for the sixth century AD. The average female height was 5'5”. Defects of the skull and teeth suggest that the population suffered from nutritional stresses in childhood and included a condition known as enamel hypoplasia, lines on the teeth left when they were forming in the jaw occurring between the ages of 1-9 years.

A range of grave goods were identified within the graves; with some of the different brooch types showing signs of damage and use before burial. The majority of the graves had the same orientation (with the heads to the southwest) and there was no evidence for grave markers, which is not uncommon for this time period. The majority of skeletons were laid in the ‘supine' position (lying on their backs with their bodies fully extended), with their grave goods placed in the positions that they would have appeared in life.