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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Anglo-Saxon Graves Discovered at Ramsgate.
by Peter Cullen.

Workmen carrying out pipe-laying operations earlier in the year for the Thanet Water Board cut through a number of graves on land bordering the Ramsgate-Canterbury railway-line. The exact site lay close to the junction of the A253 and A256 roads.

In all seven graves were encountered and these may relate to others found during the construction of the main-line many years ago. An extensive cemetery may now be indicated.

It was only possible to undertake a brief examination of the site, but the graves appeared to be aligned east-west. They were irregularly spaced varying from four to fifteen feet apart. Each grave had been dug to a depth of about four feet cutting down into natural chalk.

At least three graves produced grave-goods. These included three iron spear-heads, one leaf-shape some eleven inches in length. Its socketed end contained traces of a wooden shaft. Another iron object some 22 inches in length was also recovered and an uncertain object of bone and bronze. A human skull, recovered almost complete appeared to show signs of injury, possibly by a sword, above the left ear.

The site appears to be that of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery perhaps dating from the sixth century AD.

The finds have been taken for treatment to the Royal Museum at Canterbury. It is hoped that they may be acquired by the Ramsgate Museum, housed in the Public Library. Mr Busson, who is the curator and also Assistant Librarian, is to approach both the Thanet Water Board and British Rail to see if this can be arranged.

I should like to thank Mr Busson for his help in compiling this short report and for supplementing notes taken in the field.

Editor: The finds are being studied by Mrs Sonia Hawkes and Miss Louise Millard, curator of Canterbury Museum, with a view to publishing a detailed report at some future date.

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