During a metal detecting rally in October 2014 undertaken by a group called the Weekend Wanderers, a signal revealed parts of several iron and copper alloy objects, and when detectorists dug into the ground, they also found samian ware vessels. The finds suggested that a high-status Roman burial had been discovered.

Buckinghamshire County Council turned to OA to investigate. The excavation confirmed that the discovery was a burial, and over several days the finds were recovered and the feature recorded by OA staff, assisted by the detectorists and landowners.

The burial, dated to the 2nd century AD, consisted of wooden box, which contained a rich assemblage of two samian ware cups, two samian ware dishes, a pottery flagon, two glass vessels, a bronze jug with decorated handle, bronze patera, iron open lamp or lamp holder, two unidentified lead objects, and an urn holding the cremated remains of an individual, iron hobnails from a shoe, and an intaglio, probably of jasper, depicting the goddess Minerva on the left facing a smaller figure holding a wreath.

The burial lies at the western edge of the distribution of a group of relatively rare cremation burials found across south-eastern Britain that contain glass and bronze vessels and lighting equipment, and is an important addition to this body of evidence.

In calling in OA, Buckinghamshire County Council recognised the expertise of our field staff and burials department, who ensured that the burial was excavated quickly, but with adherence to the highest professional and ethical standards.


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