An investigation into cranial trauma from the Anglo Saxon cemetery at Sedgeford, Norfolk, UK
Stillwell, Ben (Bournemouth University)
Published Online by the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project, Undergraduate dissertation (2002)
This paper aimed to evaluate the extent, nature and causation of cranial traumatic injury on the skeletal remains from the archaeological excavations at Sedgeford, Norfolk.
The skeletal material examined came from excavations carried out by Dr. Jewell of Cambridge University in 1957 and from six seasons of excavation carried out by the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project since 1996.
The 134 crania that are examined in this paper come from the individuals buried between 662AD to 881AD as part of a Christian Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The investigation revealed that twelve of the 134 crania examined had cranial trauma injuries, many of which occurred at, or around the time of death. The trauma identified was caused by sharp-edged weapons, and some of the victims of these attacks met violent deaths. The nature of these injuries has allowed the author to hypothesise as to the cause of death, the weapons that may have been used in the attack, and place the traumatised individuals within the context of 7th to 9th century Anglian society.