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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 69  1955  page 5


at the highest possible level. The clearing of the grave fill was undertaken by two people; the more experienced working at the end expected to contain the skull and finishing off the more difficult areas of the chest and pelvis and the final cleaning down of the skeleton. Tools ranged from a trowel and hand shovel in the early stages to a camel hair brush and teaspoon in the later. The excavation of an inhumation grave likely to contain fragile and delicate finds calls for the most careful and patient work if the objects are not only to be removed intact but are to yield the maximum amount of evidence. Unless impracticable, all finds remained unmoved in the position in which they were found until the skeleton had been cleaned down and the last grave fill removed. The grave was then drawn and photographed, in detail where necessary; the area surrounding finds in a fragile state was then impregnated with Vinamul before lifting.

   Before excavating the graves were not discernible on the present land surface. There is a strong probability that at least one grave, No. 16, had been marked originally by a mound of chalk lumps without a ditch. Subsequently this had been scattered over the area around, making the identification of the neighbouring graves a troublesome task. The orientation of the graves was predominantly an east-west one with the head at the westerly end of the grave, except in the case of

 grave 2. On the southerly limits of the area excavated there was a tendency for the alignment of the graves to swing north west to south-east. The graves were arranged roughly in rows although a regular arrangement was invariably upset by an ill-aligned intrusion.
In one instance, a grave, No. 35, was inserted over another, No. 36. The depth of the graves from the present ground level varied considerably from 14 in. (grave 19) to 4 ft. 3 in. (grave 44).
   The position of the body in the grave was normally supine at full length, sometime with one or both hands across the pelvis. Grave 24, however, was that of a child buried in a crouched position (Pl. IIIb) and in graves 15, 33 and 42 the legs of the skeletons were contracted slightly. Some of the burials had a pillow of chalk lumps beneath the heads. Only one body was buried in a coffin (grave 44) although it is possible that the body in grave 5 had been buried on a plank. Three burials (graves 8, 28 and 40) had been disturbed above the knees at an unknown date.
   The condition of the skeletons varied from good to poor. Graves 24, 27, 35, 37, 38 and 42 were the burials of children and as far as can be ascertained 18 burials were those of men and 17 those of women. Neither skeleton nor teeth could be found in grave 16. A phosphate test on samples of the grave fill has indicated, however, that bones were

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