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Westhampnett Iron Age Cemetery

Westhampnett grave group

Five excavations were undertaken in advance of the construction of the A27 bypass at Westhampnett in 1992. As a result of these excavations one of the most important sites in Europe for the study of Iron Age ritual and religion was discovered. This importance comes from a number of things including the cemetery's size - 161 graves were found, and the presence of numerous pyres (structures made of flammable material, usually wood, built to burn bodies during funeral rites), and the seemingly short time that the cemetery was in use. The pyres discovered at Westhampnett were the first Iron Age examples to have been found in Britain and allowed a unique insight into funerary rites at the time.

Other sites discovered as a result of the excavations include a Romano-British cremation cemetery with a further 36 burials and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery with 10 inhumation graves.

Radiocarbon dating the Westhampnett Iron Age cemetery

Westhampnett full excavations
Grave 20484 on display
Westhampnett grave group
Excavations at Westhampnett
Plan for grave 20089
Westhampnett pots being lifted
Westhampnett pots in situ