Roman cemetery found in Enderby

Loughborough News

A small Roman rural cemetery containing six skeletons has been discovered at an archaeological dig in Enderby.
 
The human burials were found during an excavation at the new park and
ride site alongside Iron Age, Roman and medieval finds including
pottery, a denarius  – a type of Roman silver coin, and a number of
brooches.

Analysis of the skeletons, found close to the line of the former Fosse
Way Roman road, will now take place to identify the gender, age at
death, health and life style of the individuals they represent.

As the area has been cultivated since medieval times, the skeletons are in relatively poor condition

Five of the burials were found in shallow graves next to a pair of
ditches that may represent an earlier track or a long-lived land
boundary – a sixth grave was discovered on the edge of one of the
ditches. Evidence indicates the cemetery is likely to date from the
second or third century AD, whilst the track or boundary forms part of
an earlier field system.

The work, commissioned by the County Council and carried out by
University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), forms part of
the development of the new £9 million facility, due to open in autumn
2009.   

The records and finds, including the skeletons, will now be analysed by
ULAS. The results will help clarify and add to current interpretations
of the site and the wider area and will be included in a display at the
park and ride terminal building.

Ernie White,
Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This is a significant
discovery. Individual burials are more usually encountered but rural
cemeteries from the Roman period are not a common find.

“The findings are also intriguing as the presence of a cemetery also
suggests the nearby location of an as yet unidentified Roman settlement
site.

“If these remains had not been excavated as part of this scheme, it is
likely that the on-going effects of farming would have led to the finds
being lost.”

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