The Romano-British cemeteries at Amesbury are of national importance - hundreds of burials have been revealed by Wessex Archaeology over the past twenty years that give a fascinating insight into the people who lived in the area in Roman times. The most well-known discovery is of a three ton limestone sarcophagus (currently in the foyer of Salisbury Museum) which contained the burial of a woman cradling a child in her arms; the finds associated with this burial include a pair of rare deer skin slippers than are over 1,800 years old.
Many of the other burials from the site were set aside in small memorial gardens or plots that may suggest people were buried in family groups. Information about about diet, disease and occupation can also be gathered from a detailed study of the remains - for example we know that only a small proportion of the population lived beyond the age of 35.
This talk is by Jackie McKinley from Wessex Archaeology, who is one of the foremost human bone specialists in the country and is well known from her appearances on Channel 4's Time team. This lecture is part of the Salisbury Museum ArchaeologyLectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm from September to April.