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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1236: summary

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Archaeological monitoring at 2-3 Priory Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2PY: January-February 2018
by Laura Pooley and Dr Elliott Hicks
(with contributions from Julie Curl, Ben Holloway, Sarah Carter)

Date report completed: April 2018, revised July 2018
Location: 2-3 Priory Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2PY
Map reference(s): TM 00012 25004
File size: kb
Project type: Monitoring
Significance of the results:

Summary. Archaeological monitoring was carried out at 2-3 Priory Street, Colchester during the excavation of seven test-pits dug at the request of building control. The development site is located within the precinct of St Botolph's Priory, and inhumation burials have been previously been identified on the site.

The test-pits were excavated through modern layers which overlaid undated accumulation sealing a horizon of demolition/levelling. Two articulated burials were excavated, both females, 25-35 years old (Skeleton 1) and 17-25 years old (Skeleton 2). Samples taken from both skeletons produced radiocarbon dates of 1050-1290 AD and 1040-1270 AD respectively. A third articulated burial on the edge of one of the test-pits was left in situ and unexcavated. In addition, a quantity of disarticulated human bone was recovered from the test-pits (totalling 2974g) along with some animal bone (345g). It is estimated that the disarticulated human bone came from 6 or more individuals.

Evidence would suggest that the development site is located within a medieval lay cemetery associated with St Botolph's Priory or possibly an earlier church thought to predate the priory.