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Chapel Lane, Bingham, Nottinghamshire Archaeological Excavation Report

Allen, Martyn and McIntyre, Lauren and Biddulph, Edward and Booth, Paul and Cook, Sharon and Crann, Geraldine and Donnelly, Mike and Evans, Jane and Keys, Lynne and Meen, Julia and Nicholson, Rebecca and Poole, Cynthia and Scott, Ian and Shaffrey, Ruth and Sloane, Hilary and Wagner, Doris and Kilgour, Anne and Gane, Lucy and Rousseaux, Charles and Wachnik, Magdalena Chapel Lane, Bingham, Nottinghamshire Archaeological Excavation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between February and May 2018 Oxford Archaeology undertook an
excavation of a 1.66ha site at Chapel Lane, c 1.3km north-west of Bingham,
Nottinghamshire (NGR SK 696409). The excavation extended along the southeastern
side of the modern A46, which overlies the presumed line of the Fosse
Way Roman road, and was located about 750m south-west of the Roman
walled small town of Margidunum and c 400m south-east of Newton villa.
A complex of ditched enclosures was uncovered, extending for c 300m, that
represents the southern extent of the extramural roadside settlement
associated with the town. Only the rear parts of the enclosures lay within the
excavation area and so any buildings that may have been located on the road
frontage were not seen, but in addition to the boundary ditches, pits and wells
were excavated and an assemblage of domestic waste was recovered
including pottery, animal bone and smaller quantities of metal objects, tile,
and two quern stones. The settlement was established during the 2nd century
and occupation appears to have petered out during the second half of the 4th
century. Environmental evidence indicated that the settlement was primarily
engaged in agriculture, supplying goods to the market in Margidunum, with
the high proportion of cattle and horse bones perhaps associated with the
grazing of herds on the wetland pasture of the Bingham Basin.
The population of the settlement were represented by 54 skeletons in 52
graves (including two double burials) and a single urned cremation burial, all
located against the rear boundary of the roadside plots. Disarticulated
material from four grave backfills and from non-funerary features raises the
total assemblage to 65 individuals. The burial rites were strikingly consistent,
comprising extended, supine burials, usually without grave goods, 24 (45%)
within coffins and 16 (30%) provided with hobnailed footwear, indicating a
population that shared a common belief of what comprised an appropriate
form of burial and that exhibited little variation in status. No prone or
decapitated burials were found, and neonates and infants were also absent,
from which it is inferred that such young individuals were buried closer to
home within areas of domestic habitation. The results of strontium and
oxygen isotope analysis of nine individuals were consistent with a population
entirely of local origin. The recovery from a pit of a human femur with cut
marks that may be associated with deliberate dismemberment of the corpse,
radiocarbon dated to cal AD 80–225, provides a rare example of the
continuation into the Roman period of funerary traditions more typically
associated with the Iron Age.
A particularly unusual discovery was the remains of an adolescent (13–17
years), radiocarbon dated to cal AD 425–565, who had been buried in the top
of a disused Roman well. The individual exhibited infectious lesions consistent
with a diagnosis of leprosy, and represents one of the earliest instances of the disease in Britain. It is postulated that it was because of this condition, and
more significantly any visible disfigurement associated with it, that the
individual was excluded from contemporary burial grounds, but he/she was
nevertheless buried with due reverence and provided with a bowl of Anglo-
Saxon form as a grave good. Isotopic evidence indicated that this individual
was also of local origin.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Nottinghamshire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 11:37
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2021 11:37
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6158

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