by Cleveland County Council Archaeology Section (now Tees
Archaeology), between 1984 -1985, revealed the full extent
of the cemetery. The archaeological evidence suggests that
the cemetery was in use for several generations, from around
550 AD to 620 AD.
site was found to contain 120 burials, nearly all of them
aligned north-south. The orientation of the graves indicated
that this was a Pagan cemetery (Christian graves are aligned
east-west). Pagans also believed in an afterlife and
placed objects in the grave that would come in useful along
with offerings of food and drink.
burials were of mixed age from infant to elderly and there
was an even balance of males and females.
of the burials were either lain out on their backs or crouched
on their sides. A small proportion were face down, as if they
had been simply thrown in the grave. Perhaps these people
were treated differently or even killed at the graveside as
a punishment for a crime or perhaps some form of taboo such