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Bronze age oak coffin graves archaeology and dendro dating

Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) were called in to perform controlled excavation and assessment of the items, which proved to be part of a 7th-9th century cemetery, the existence of which was previously unknown.The wooden remains included a number of oak coffins, each a tree trunk split to provide the lid and base, hollowed out to accept the body.

In November 2016, while preparing for construction of a conservation and fishing site at Great Rybergh in Norfolk as part of the flood defence system for the area, workmen discovered a quantity of waterlogged wooden remains.

When reporting radiocarbon dates please follow the instruction provided in Radiocarbon, https:// short, uncalibrated dates should be provided with laboratory code, e.g., ‘AAR-2889 2241±30 BP’ or ‘2241±30 BP (AAR-2889)’.

Large data sheets or illustrations will be grouped under section of ‘Plates’ at the end of the article.

Results also showed no evidence for the use of organic dyes, thereby supporting the hypothesis that no dyestuffs were used in Nordic Bronze Age textile production.

Only one similar item is known to exist in public or private collections anywhere in the world - the example in Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk, England; accompanied by a copy of the initial 63 page Archaeology (MOLA) works report.


  1. Société Préhistorique Française COMPTES RENDUS Bénédicte QUILLIEC 1 7 2010 1 9 2010 606 607 Bronze Age Oak-Coffin Graves Archaeology & Dendro.

  2. RANDSBORG K. CHRISTENSEN K. 2006 – Bronze Age Oak-Coffin Graves Archaeology & Dendro-dating, Acta archaeologica, vol. 77, suppl. 7 ; 246 pages, 59 figures.

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