Layout and development

It seems that, as Heinrich Härke suggested, Collingbourne Ducis is an example of a ‘monocentric' cemetery. That is to say burials radiated out from an early 'core', resulting in the establishment of several ‘satellite' clusters, each being used during the later 5th and 6th centuries. At Collingbourne Ducis the early core is in the western part of the excavation area. Cremation burials are found throughout the excavation area, although a group was located close to the four post structure. The area around them lacks inhumations and this may have been an area set aside for this rite in a manner similar to the way the two rites were organised at Portway East, Andover.
Cemetery plan 
Collingbourne Ducis: plan of cemetery. Click to enlarge.
 
The latest burials are situated on the eastern extremity of the burial ground. Interestingly, they are separated from the main part of the cemetery by a coombe (a small valley). Should these burials be thought of as a separate cemetery? Is there a spatial separation similar to that recognised elsewhere, for example at Sheffield's Hill (Lincolnshire)? Perhaps the changes in burial practice (and also ideology) that took place during the later 6th and 7th centuries required a new resting place for the dead. The coombe would have marked out the separateness of the new cemetery. It is significant that cremation burials are found in both areas, suggesting that this rite outlived the 6th century. Although evidence for this is rare, parallels for ‘late' cremation burial can be found at St Mary's Stadium (Southampton) and Apple Down.
 
It is currently planned to publish the results of the excavations at Collingbourne Ducis as a Archaeology monograph. The excavation, analysis and publication are all funded by Sarsen Housing Association.