In the 1970s, excavations were carried out at the four cemeteries of Morning Thorpe, Bergh Apton, Spong Hill and Westgarth Gardens. Catalogues were published in East Anglian Archaeology but full discussion of the results was withheld, with the intention that catalogue publication would be followed by a single discussion of the four cemeteries. As a result of this publication policy, East Anglia is particularly well represented in national samples of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. The 500 or so inhumations from the four cemeteries form 15–20% of the total number of inhumation graves recorded in East Anglia since the 19th century and had produced the largest body of early Anglo-Saxon material from formal excavations until, in 1997, a large part of an inhumation cemetery was excavated at Lakenheath in Suffolk.
This report presents an analysis of the material culture and inhumation burial practice at the four cemeteries as a source of information on Anglo-Saxon social structure. For this purpose, a chronological framework has been created which allows for distinctions between developments over time and contemporary diversity in the material culture and burial practice at the four cemeteries. This required a selective grave-good analysis focussed on a typology of objects suitable for correspondence analysis, on external dating evidence for types of grave-goods, and on the use of material culture in Anglo-Saxon burial practice.
Kenneth Penn , Birte Brugmann with Karen Høilund Nielsen, 2007. 'Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Inhumation Burial: Morning Thorpe, Spong Hill, Bergh Apton and Westgarth Gardens', East Anglian Archaeology 119