What remains: Improper burials tell a story of social change in medieval Britain

What remains: Improper burials tell a story of social change in medieval Britain

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

What remains: Improper burials tell a story of social change in medieval Britain

By Robin Fleming

Boston College Magazine, (Summer 2011)

Introduction: While investigating Stonehenge in the late 1920s, archaeologists came across a body buried at the center of the complex. They assumed that it dated, like the megaliths themselves, to the Neolithic period, but radiocarbon dating showed that it most probably dated to the eighth century. The remains were of a short adult male about 30 years of age. He had something called Schmorl’s nodes on his vertebrae, a lesion common in people who performed hard, physical labor as children. The muscle insertions for his upper limbs suggest that he was powerfully built and provide further evidence that this was a man who had done back-breaking work. He had periostitis, too, marked by plaque on the outer surface of his bones, so he suffered from some kind of chronic, low-grade infection. In sum, we have a small, muscled, not very healthy man, who worked hard most of his life. He died, however, neither from disease nor from exhaustion, but because he had been decapitated with a single sword blow from behind. He was probably kneeling when it happened: It looks like an execution.

This man’s burial was clearly an anomaly, not least because it was carried out at the center of perhaps the most uncanny site in Britain. It deviated from standard burial customs in other ways. The vast majority of people in eighth-century Britain were buried with their kith and kin, in well-dug graves, and they were placed in the ground with care. Our man lay alone in this eerie landscape, having been dumped into an indecently shallow, horrifyingly short hole in the ground. His ribs may have been broken post mortem, when his corpse was stuffed into its inadequate grave. The burial, moreover, took place in a kind of no man’s land.

Watch the video: What Was Feudal System - middle ages feudal system story for kids (June 2022).


  1. Alonzo

    I think, that you are not right. I am assured. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

  2. Toshakar

    I think you will allow the mistake. Enter we'll discuss. Write to me in PM, we will handle it.

  3. Doujas

    The authoritative point of view, curiously..

  4. Windham

    Now riding will become safe and pleasant entertainment for you.

  5. Culver

    I have thought and removed this question

Write a message