The Dangerous Dead: The Early Medieval deviant burial at Southwell, Nottinghamshire in a wider context
MBArchaeology Local Heritage Series, Number 3, October 2012
In 1959 Charles Daniels discovered the skeletal remains of an Anglo-Saxon inhumation burial whilst undertaking excavations in preparation for a new school that was to be built on Church Street, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. This burial is one of close to two hundred and fifty that have since been unearthed at the Church Street site, but it is also unique. For what Daniels discovered was a deviant burial or, to paraphrase Dr. John Blair, one of the ‘dangerous dead’ (Blair, 2009), because the remains had been ritually staked, with iron nails piercing the shoulders, heart and ankles (Daniels, 1965), a practice that although so far unique to Southwell, is widespread in the early Anglo-Saxon period.