The 1953 and 1954 excavations owe much of their success to the landowner,
Mr. Arthur Hall. The Kent Archaeological Society is indebted to Mr. Hall
for permission to excavate (involving the sacrifice of some 400 square
yards of wheat) and for the donation of the finds to the Collections of
the Society at the Maidstone Museum. In addition Mr. Hall did much of the
actual digging in the emergency excavation and in both the winter and the
summer he and Mrs. Hall provided the excavators with every facility which
they could muster.
Messrs. G. and P.G. Godden performed most of the heavy spade
work. Misses C.M. Curry, J.A. de Valon, A. Evans, Mrs. A. Warhurst and
Messrs. R. Clayson, R. Cope, E. Eyers, M. Macey , L. Reynolds, P. J.
Tester and B. de Stoop proved the nucleus of a willing and capable
excavation team, to the work of which many others contributed.
Surveying (in addition to much of the heavy work) was
undertaken by Messrs. A. Clarke, N. V. Quinnell, W. S. Thurlowe and W.C.
Woodhouse. The site plan (Fig. 1) was prepared by Mr. Clarke and drawn by
Mr. A. T. Chester of the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Fig. 2 was
prepared by Mr. E. W. Smith. Most of the line drawings have been done by
my wife who, throughout the excavations and preparation of the report has
been a source of constant help and encouragement.
The examination of the skeletal material has been undertaken by Dr. J.
Joseph, M.R.C.O.G., Reader in Anatomy at Guy’s Hospital Medical School
and the remarks on the skeletons in the grave inventory are based on his
reports. Other acknowledgements for help on technical matters are made
in the text.
The excavations were financed by the Kent Archaeological
Society and the Society of Antiquaries. Thanks are also due to the many
anonymous donors who have contributed to our collecting box ; to Messrs.
Haynes Bros., Ltd., of Maidstone, and the Aylesford Paper Mills Company
for donations in kind; to Messrs. Corbens, Ltd., of Maidstone, Mr. C. H.
Maggs of Lyminge, Maidstone Corporation and the Kent County Council for
the loan of tools and equipment; and to the Elham Rural District Council
and the Kent County Constabulary1
for various security and administrative arrangements.
That part of the cemetery which has been excavated lies on the highest
point (365 ft. above O.D.) of a chalk spur which intrudes north
eastwards into the bowl at the head of the Elham Valley. This spur
1. Thanks are due particularly to P.C. Wellington Boot, of
Elham, who by his interest and enthusiasm facilitated the smooth running
of the excavation and the establishment of good relations with the