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The Burial of A Princess? The Later Seventh-Century Cemetery At Westfield Farm, Ely

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 August 2009

Sam Lucy
Sam Lucy, FSA, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK. E-mail:
Richard Newman
Richard Newman, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK. E-mail:
Natasha Dodwell
Natasha Dodwell, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK. E-mail:
Catherine Hills
Catherine Hills, FSA, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK. E-mail:
Michiel Dekker
Michiel Dekker, Institute for Geo- and Bioarchaeology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail:
Tamsin O’Connell
Tamsin O’Connell, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK. E-mail:
Ian Riddler
Ian Riddler, FSA, Tatra, Diddies Road, Stratton, Nr Bude, Cornwall EX23 9DW, UK. E-mail:
Penelope Walton Rogers
Penelope Walton Rogers, FSA, The Anglo-Saxon Laboratory, Marketing House, 8 Bootham Terrace, York YO30 7DH, UK. E-mail:


This paper reports on the excavation of a small, but high-status, later seventh-century Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Ely. Of fifteen graves, two were particularly well furnished, one of which was buried with a gold and silver necklace that included a cross pendant, as well as two complete glass palm cups and a composite comb, placed within a wooden padlocked casket. The paper reports on the skeletal and artefactual material (including isotopic analysis of the burials), and seeks to set the site in its wider social and historical context, arguing that this cemetery may well have been associated with the first monastery in Ely, founded by Etheldreda in ad 673.


Cette communication présente un rapport sur les fouilles effectuées à Ely dans un cimetière anglo-saxon, petit mais aristocratique, datant de la fin du septième siècle. Deux des quinze sépultures étaient particulièrement bien nanties, et l’un des morts avait été enterré avec un collier d’or et d’argent comportant une croix pendentif, ainsi que deux coupes de paume en verre entières et un peigne composé à l’intérieur d’un coffret en bois muni d’un cadenas. Cette communication présente un rapport sur le matériel osseux et les objets façonnés (y compris une analyse isotopique des sépultures) et s’efforce de situer le site dans son contexte social et historique plus large. Elle soutient que ce cimetière aurait bien pu être associé au premier monastère d’Ely, fondé par Etheldreda en l’an 673.


Diese Abhandlung berichtet von einer Ausgrabung in einem kleinen, aber hochrangigen angelsächsischen Friedhofs in Ely. Von den fünfzehn Gräbern waren zwei besonders gut ausgestattet, und einer der Verstorbenen wurde mit einer goldenen und silbernen Kette mit Kreuzanhänger bestattet, sowie zwei kompletten Glasbechern und einem Kamm, der sich in einer mit Vorhängeschloß versehenen hölzernen Schatulle befand. Es wird über die Skelette und Artefake berichtet (inklusive der Analyse von Isotopen der Bestattungen), und versucht den Ort in seinen sozialen und historischen Zusammenhang einzuordnen. Es wird argumentiert, daß dieser Friedhof mit dem ersten Kloster in Ely in Verbindung gebracht werden kann, daß ad 673 von Etheldreda gegründet wurde.

Original Article
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 2009

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