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Death in the Iron Age of Eastern England

An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Human Remains from 800 BC – AD 60

Michael Legge
Publication Year:
248 pages
BAR number:


Death in the Iron Age of Eastern England explores the treatment of the non-cremated dead from 800BC - c.AD60 in what is now eastern England. The research presented identifies large-scale patterns in post-mortem treatment, furthering existing debates around excarnation practices, inhumation traditions and the ‘invisible dead’. The region has seen comparatively little in-depth study in recent years, while the quantity of excavated material has increased exponentially due to the rise of development-led archaeology. This book gathers and presents the known data to shed light on an under-researched part of Iron Age Britain through the study of complete inhumations, partial skeletal remains and disarticulated human bones. The data is interpreted via integrated methodological approaches that combine contextual archaeology, osteology and bone taphonomy to better understand post-mortem processes, regional variation and the role of the dead in Iron Age societies.

Michael Legge is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of York. He completed his PhD at Cardiff University in 2021 and has also worked as a field archaeologist for commercial units across the UK. His research interests include funerary practices of all periods, identity, and non-normative treatment.

‘The work is original throughout. Although the topic is attracting ever more attention, there is no other publication that offers such an in-depth analysis of all Iron Age inhumations, articulated bone groups and disarticulated remains attested in a region that has traditionally not been the focus of large-scale investigations.’ Dr Greta Anthoons, Independent Researcher

‘Legge’s study is important to the overall understanding of Iron Age studies. The research data is a significant contribution to funerary studies in Eastern England during this period.’ Dr. Nicole Roth, former Lecturer at Northern Kentucky University

Introduction (S678_Legge_9781407360232_-_introduction.pdf, 1,100 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (B678_Legge_9781407360232_-_contents.pdf, 250 Kb) [Download]