Members of the Society for Medieval Archaeology (SMA) visited the offices of Oxford Archaeology South for a special event to examine some of the remarkable material from major excavations at Stoke Quay in Ipswich, undertaken by OA and PCA, and to meet the team analysing the many burials from the site.
In 2012, excavations at Stoke Quay revealed the complete cemetery of the 'lost' church of St Augustine, as well as a number of Saxon barrow burials associated with the middle Saxon emporium. Evidence suggests that the St Augustine's cemetery originated in the 10th century and remained in use until the 15th.
Over 1100 burials were excavated and are now being fully analysed by OA's Heritage Burial Services department. Analysis has so far revealed an individual from a 'clench bolt' burial with leprosy, a high prevalence of healed trauma with evidence for disability, and a rare and unexplained case of sharp force modification from the nave of the church. Future work will focus on urban health, nutrition, morbidity, demography and population mobility.
The SMA event, which was organised by Helena Hamerow of the University of Oxford (and Trustee of OA) and Louise Loe, head of Heritage Burial Services, proved to be very popular. The limited places were filled up within 48 hours of the event being advertised.