Death Ways of the Durotriges: Dealing with the Dead in Late Iron Age and Early Roman Dorset
Start date: 10 September 2014
Since 2009, Bournemouth University has been investigating a site near Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, which features both a late Iron Age settlement and a Roman villa. Within the Iron Age occupation, a series of deposits containing human remains have been uncovered. Such deposits, which are rare for this period in Britain, shed considerable light into the burial practices and means of disposing of the dead before and during the early stages of Roman occupation. Some deposits have been found within disused storage pits, and appear to constitute, for the most part, formal burials. Another group of later, first century AD funerary deposits are associated with the abandonment of the settlement site and can be defined as being of the native Durotrigian culture, placed within shallow, oval graves. The present study focuses on the adolescent and adult deposits and brings together different kinds of data - grave goods, stratigraphy, taphonomy, osteology, etc. - to present a picture of differing treatments of the dead in southern Britain between the fourth century BC and the first century AD.