Wessex Archaeology has excavated a small Roman cemetery near Amesbury, Wiltshire. The burial ground is about 1,700 years old.
Most of the graves lay within square plots that were surrounded by fences and were oriented east-west. This makes the archaeologists think that the people buried in them may have been Christian, ready to rise up and Roman Coin found at the site, bearing the ch-rho symbol.meet their maker.
Project manager Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick commented 'the burial rite is quite different from a nearby cemetery excavated in the 1990s. Here, some of the people had coins buried with them. This was a common habit in Roman times to pay the ferryman take them to the other world. But some of the coins carry the Christian symbol, the chi-rho. These were on the coins when they were minted but we think that these coins were specially chosen for burial because of this.'
It is likely that the people lived in the nearby Roman village. 'The settlement is exactly the same date as the two cemeteries' Dr Fitzpatrick added 'so Christians and Pagans may have lived side by side in Roman times'.