Cemetery finds 1,800 years old

A Roman cemetery with 18 cremation burials has been unearthed at Bull’s Lodge quarry during work to prepare for a proposed extension. 

The ceramic pots containing the remains also hold jars and dishes that were probably for food, wine or other necessities needed in the afterlife, an initial report says. 

They were discovered when part of the site at Boreham near Chelmsford was being investigated by archaeologists ahead of a planning application for new sand and gravel extraction. 

Mark Atkinson, from UCL Archaeology South-East (ASE), says the finds date back more than 1,800 years to the late first or second centuries AD and may be “generations of a single family”. 

“The painstaking excavation is expected to provide new and valuable insights into funerary customs in early Roman Essex,” says Mark. 

Quarry foreman Luke Wade says the pots have been removed and are being analysed by the ASE team. 

“They will produce a final report as part of our planning application, which is likely to be considered by the county council in the summer,” says Luke.