2012 Excavations

In 2012 the UCLAN and OAE collaboration, saw the addition of a team from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) whose aim was to manage the outreach elements of the project and to bring innovation to the presentation of archaeology to the public.

During this season the vault used to dispose of the human remains excavated 1994 was excavated to enable a comparison of the skeletal material from the whole site. This ensured their long term survival as important Anglo-Saxons, telling us much about their lives. The excavation of the burial vault revealed water damage and poor preservation because of the drainage within the brick lined pit. This discovery helped to focus outreach activities and generate discussion and debates amongst the community about the fate of archaeological human remains and how they are treated and regard.

Furthermore, another portion of the cemetery was excavated, and focused on the areas investigated in 1994 and between the 2010 and 2011 trenches. It discovered a further 30 burials, 1 cow burial and another horse burial – the cow is unique in Europe for this period, interestingly it was skinned before burial, and the horse had been beheaded, both part of dramatic funerary ceremonies which may seem gruesome to us today.

The outreach team had visits from over many different schools, scout and brownie groups and well as archaeological interest groups; it was a truly open access excavation and was our busiest year.