Roman cemeteries

A large number of Roman period (1st to early 5th century AD) human remains have been excavated from the City and Greater London area.

The majority of the human remains represent inhumation and cremation burials from the formal extra-mural cemeteries, with some human remains (disarticulated and articulated deposits) encountered in intra-mural areas within the Roman settlement and boundary areas.

At present, the collections remain closed to external researchers due to continuing collaborative research projects which are exploring population mobility, diet, health and demography. These projects have been undertaken to provide new gallery content, and their results will be disseminated widely upon completion.

New data downloads by site, rather than cemetery area (e.g. Eastern Cemetery) will be made available in 2016 when recording of the samples has been completed.

Outcomes of our collaborative projects

Arthur, N.A., Gowland, R.L., and Redfern, R.C. 2016. Coming of age in Roman Britain: osteological evidence for pubertal timing. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159, 698-713.

Brettell RC, Schotsmans, EMJ, Walton Rogers P, Reifarth N, Redfern RC, Stern B, and Heron CP. 2015. ‘Choicest unguents’: molecular evidence for the use of resinous plant exudates in late Roman mortuary rites in Britain. Journal of Archaeological Science 53, 639-648

Gowland R and Redfern RC. 2011. Childhood health in the Roman World: perspectives from the Centre and Margin of the Empire. Childhood in the Past 3, 15-42.

Gowland R, Chamberlain A. and Redfern RC. 2014. On the brink of being: re-evaluating infanticide and infant burial in Roman Britain. Journal of Roman Archaeology 96.

Millard AR, Gröcke D, and Johnson L. 2013. Isotopic investigation of diet and mobility. In Ridgeway V, Leary K, and Sudds B. (eds). Roman burials in Southwark. Excavations at 52-56 Lant Street and 56 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1. Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited Monograph No 17, 65-70.

Powell, LA. 2015. Childhood health and care in Roman London: the isotopic and palaeopathological evidence. PhD Thesis, University of Durham.

Powell LA, Redfern RC, Millard AR, and Gröcke D. 2014. Infant feeding practices in Roman London: the isotopic evidence. Journal of Roman Archaeology 96, 89-110.

Redfern RC. Forthcoming. From soldiers to military communities in Roman London: a bioarchaeological perspective. In, Trends in Biological Anthropology. Proceedings of the York BABAO Conference 2013.

Redfern R, and Bonney H. 2014. Headhunting and amphitheatre combat in Roman London, England: new evidence for the Walbrook Valley. Journal of Archaeological Science 43, 214-226.

Redfern, R.C. and Gowland, R.L. 2012. A bioarchaeological perspective on the pre-adult stages of the life course: implications for care and the health of children in the Roman Empire. In, Harlow, M. and Larsson Lovén, L. (eds.), Families in the Roman and Late Antique World. London, Continuum Press, 111-140.

Redfern RC, Gowland R, and Powell L. 2013. La santé des enfants sous l’Empire romain. Les Dossiers D’Archéologie 356, 80-83

Shaw, H., Montgomery, J., Redfern, R., Gowland, R., and Evans, J. 2016. Identifying migrants in Roman London using lead and strontium stable isotopes. Journal of Archaeological Science 66, 57-68.

Cemeteries dated to the Roman period: