Remains and Artefacts

Anglo-Saxon Burial Ground and Bronze Age Remains:

At the Anglo-Saxon Burial ground and other sites around the village, many artefacts have been found, often during excavations for housing as the village expanded its population.

An Article published in ” The Antiquaries Journal “, in April 1946, (see Sources below)listed in considerable detail the human remains discovered during the excavation at the burial ground on Lincoln Road, Ruskington.

Human remains

N.B.1. The source records that the ‘Ron Hossack’ named here was killed in action in 1942. However, as he was just 24 years old when he died, he would have been very young to carry out such ‘extensive excavations’ in 1935-7. (AB C/JX 334800 Ronald Alfred Hossack was k.i.a. on 24 November 1942 on his ship, S.S. Goolistan.)

N.B.2. The source above also names “Group Captain G M Knocker“. Guy Knocker had a long service with the RAF (formerly RFC) from 1916 – 1955, before becoming a noted archeologist (see Sources below).

At this site sleeve or wrist clasps were found in women’s graves. They were sewn on to sleeves that were slit at the wrist. They could be hooked together to act as a closure. The clasps mentioned at (2) above were found at the Saxon cemetery site and they are gilded copper alloy. [See illustration on the Museum site. ]

female remainsPeter Sawyer’s book, ‘Anglo-Saxon Lincolnshire’ – see ref. below – has an illustration of one of the finds found in the Anglo-Saxon Cemetery. The legend to the photo on page 41 says:

Grave 9 in the inhumation cemetery at Ruskington. A female over 50 years old with traces of osteo-arthritis was laid in the ‘crouched’ position common in this district.

The burial was associated with a bronze pin, a necklace of amber beads and a silvered bronze pendant, an iron buckle and a large vessel, broken in situ.”

Excavations at the Chestnut Retirement Home: at Ruskington in September 1994, undertaken by Pre-Construct Archaeology, of Silk Willoughby, uncovered a number of decorated ‘beakers‘ and their finding were reported in the local press. (see Sources below)

bronze-age-beakerNext to the beakers were the fragile remains of a human skeleton, probably a man. Only the skull and larger bones were present suggesting that the remains may have been moved from its original burial site.

[See picture right, published in local press.]

A spokesman at the time said: ” Beakers first appear in the archaeological record approximately 2,700 years B.C. and seem to have been used for at least 1,000 years. ……… a number of Bronze Age sites are known to exist in Ruskington, though most are on the west side of the village. The early cemetery beneath ‘The Chestnuts’ suggests that settlement in this period was quite dense.

It is hoped that the bones from the site will be radiocarbon dated so that a more precise date can be attached to the burials. 

Another ‘expert’ said that maybe the beakers were evidence that the dead were provided with alcoholic dinks to take with them into life beyond the grave.

Sources:

  • Mr. T. D. Kendrick (1946). An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Ruskington, Lincolnshire. The Antiquaries Journal, 26, pp 69-69. doi:10.1017/S0003581500018540.
  • Lincolnshire Museum has producedan Information Sheet entitled ‘ Anglo-Saxon Lincolnshire, 400-600 A.D. ‘ – Archaeological Series 27 – which details many of the more important artefacts found in Ruskington.
  • ‘Anglo-Saxon Lincolnshire’ – Peter Sawyer – Society of Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (1998) ISBN 0902668021. p.41.
  • ‘The Sleaford Standard’ – 1 September 1994
  • ‘Lincolnshire Echo’ – 2 September 1994
  • ‘Private Papers of Group Captain G. M. Knocker’ – Imperial War Museum Documents.15339
  • ‘An Appreciation of the late Group Captain G.M. Knocker’, Rigold, S., 1984. (East Anglian Archaeology 22, xi.)