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Synthesis, Chronology and "Late Roman" Cemeteries in Britain

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James GerrardORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


A stark division is usually drawn between late Roman and early medieval burials in Britain. This has allowed works of synthesis to create opposing datasets of osteological information. A close understanding of the period 300-600C.E. suggests that some graves, currently assigned to the late Roman period, may actually date to the fifth or sixth centuries C.E. Two recent case studies demonstrate this point and radiocarbon dating is advocated as a partial solution. Until radiocarbon dating is more widely deployed many ‘late Roman’ cemetery datasets may contain chronological ambiguities that diminish their significance in wider works of osteological synthesis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gerrard J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Archaeology

Year: 2015

Volume: 119

Issue: 4

Pages: 565-572

Print publication date: 22/09/2015

Online publication date: 22/09/2015

Acceptance date: 15/10/2014

Date deposited: 24/09/2015

ISSN (print): 0002-9114

ISSN (electronic): 1939-828X

Publisher: Archaeological Institute of America


DOI: 10.3764/aja.119.4.0565


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