Boscombe Down

The excavators mark the locations of the Roman burialsThe excavators mark the locations of the Roman burials Wessex Archaeology have conducted several excavations close to the Boscombe Down air base in Wiltshire.
 
The most recent work, during the spring of 2002, was the subject of part of Meridian TV’s first programme in its Past Finders series on archaeology.
 
Wessex Archaeology deployed a team of 12 archaeologists this year to excavate a small Roman cemetery dating back to around 300AD near the site of a Roman village.
 
The cemetery is on the site of a new school that developers Bloor Homes and Persimmon Homes are building as part of a large housing scheme.
 
Skeleton of a Christian, buried east-westSkeleton of a Christian, buried east-west The archaeologists discovered graves oriented east-west, a common occurrence among Christian burials. Another cemetery excavated nearby during the 1990s was for pagans (the dead had coins buried with them to pay the ferryman to take them to the next world).
 
It seems that Christians and pagans lived side by side in the Roman village and were buried in either of the two cemeteries, according to the religion.
 
While working on the site, the archaeologists came upon the remarkable Amesbury Archer Bronze Age grave.