A mixed rite cemetery?

The first excavations in 1974 recovered only inhumations. This largely agrees with the evidence from the other Wiltshire cemeteries. However, in 2007, 13 cremation burials were excavated. It is debatable whether Collingbourne Ducis can be described as a true mixed-rite cemetery. As at the nearby cemetery of Pewsey, cremation is really only a minority practice. In Hampshire and the Upper Thames Valley cremation and inhumation burials are present in roughly equal numbers so the small number of cremation burials in Wiltshire is notable.
 
The predominance of inhumation over cremation in Wiltshire is interesting especially because cremation continued throughout the 6th century in the surrounding areas. Perhaps this was one way in which the Wiltshire Saxons signalled their difference from the other groups in Wessex. The close proximity of native British areas to the West should not be overlooked as their burial practices may have influenced those in Wiltshire.
 
The table below shows a number of well-excavated cemeteries in south Wiltshire that provide the regional background against which the Collingbourne Ducis cemetery can be assessed.
 
Cemetery
No. inhumation burials
No. cremation burials
Collingbourne Ducis
114
c.13
Charlton Plantation
46
1
Harnham Hill
79
0
Market Lavington
42
0
Petersfinger
71
0
Pewsey
106
4
Table 1: Numbers of inhumations and cremation burials in a sample of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in Wiltshire