Bicester Anglo-Saxon skeletons re-interred

The remains were all buried in one wicker coffin

Related Stories

Fifteen Anglo-Saxon skeletons unearthed in Oxfordshire last year have been re-interred in a church memorial garden.

A requiem mass was held on Saturday before a wicker coffin containing all the remains was buried at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, whose diocese covers Bicester, led the Roman Catholic ceremony.

The burial led to a disagreement with the church and local archaeologists, who wanted the bones put in a museum.

Anglo-Saxon skeleton The remains date from AD640 to 685

The skeletons, exhumed from what is thought to be an old Christian burial ground, were reinterred to respect the original burial rites.

James Lewis of Thames Valley Archaeological Services said: "As archaeologists we'd much rather they had gone into a museum, which would be available for future analysis.

"There are other ways of showing respect other than reburying."

The archaeologists' case went to the Ministry Of Justice but it was ruled the bones were not of national significance and so could be buried.

Speaking after the ceremony the Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, William Kenney, said of the Anglo-Saxon deceased: "These are the remains they have left on earth and they should be treated with dignity."

The remains inside the coffin have been buried in plastic bags in case archaeologists need access to them in future.

The skeletons are largely female and over the age of 35, with the remains of just one male discovered.

Isotope analysis revealed they were originally from the UK and had a lot of fish in their diet.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford

Weather

Oxford

Min. Night 14 °C

Features

  • John CurticeScotland decides

    Referendum race 'may have got tighter'


  • RihannaCloud caution

    After celebrity leaks, what can you do to safeguard your photos?


  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?


  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?


  • Rack of lambFavourite feast

    Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.