Death in the Iron Age of Eastern England: an interdisciplinary analysis of human remains from 800 BC to AD 60


This most useful, extensive analysis concerns Iron Age inhumed bones in eastern England. The burial types start in the late Bronze Age, with most people buried in settlements: ‘normal’ pit/ditch, crouched, and north–south orientated; disarticulated bones; and partially articulated remains. We have no idea why some people were buried and others excarnated, but excarnation was carefully managed. There are no differences in demography between males and females, in types of burial, orientation, age, or status, and very little evidence for social stratification in burials, which is typical across Britain. There is a very interesting discussion on the invisible dead in the Iron Age: suggestions are that excarnations were deposited in middens, then spread on to fields, or that they were deposited in watery places. In conclusion, this is a fascinating study with interesting assessment of the extensive data available online. Archaeologists in Britain are very lucky to have the BAR series.

Michael Legge
BAR, £60
ISBN 978-1407360232