York is no exception to the rule that in urban areas Roman cemeteries normally lay along the main
approach roads. The cemeteries within the present City boundary (see Map at end of book) are accordingly
described in regions related to the approach roads to the fortress, as listed above (see pp. 1–3). The
entries begin with the region to the S.E. and proceed anti-clockwise round the fortress and colonia. The
section ends with technical notes on the cloths and cloth impressions from burials coated with gypsum and
on the skeletons from the Trentholme Drive Cemetery (see pp. 108–10). References in the text to YMH
are, unless otherwise stated, to the 1891 edition of the Yorkshire Museum Handbook. Raine YPL refers
to Canon James Raine's notes preserved in the York Public Library under given dates; similarly, Hargrove
YM refers to W. Hargrove's MS. notes in the Yorkshire Museum. Glass and jet artefacts from York,
mostly but not all from Burials, are treated more fully below in separate sections at pp. 136 and 141.
Burials: Key-plan of Regions and Roads.
I. S. E. Region: Roads 1, 2
This is a region of small cemeteries and scattered burials.
(a) Castle Yard Cemetery:
A late-Roman inhumation cemetery occupies the
broader end of the spit of land contained by the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse. It is bounded on the
N.W. by the Roman civil buildings in the Castlegate
area and is traversed by Road 2. Two inscribed sarcophagi from here show evidence of re-use and were perhaps derived from an earlier cemetery on the same site.
Both refer to centurions, as if the ground might originally have belonged to a burial club of the centurionate.
A small decorative head from the corner of a tomb or
precinct (see Inscriptions etc. No. 130; Raine YPL,
31 May 1879, 18) was found in 1879 built into a wall
behind the present St. George's Cinema in Castlegate,
just N. of Castle Yard. The first four individual burials
here listed were found in 1956 when a deep drain was
laid across Castle Yard from the area in front of Clifford's Tower to the N. end of the Castle Museum, at a
point about 100 ft. W. of the latter (YAJ, XXXIX
(1958), 400 ff.).
(i) Coffin, of lead, orientated N.W. to S.E., 4 ft. long by
9 ins. high by 1 ft. wide, made of a single sheet of metal and
covered by a plain lid. The bottom lay 8¾ ft. below modern
ground-level. It contained the skeletal remains of a child of
about seven years, within a thin coating of gypsum held in
place by linen wrappings of which fragments survive.
(ii) Coffin, of stone, inscribed and carved (see Inscriptions
etc., No. 107), lying to N.E. of (i) at the same level and parallel
and symmetrical with it. It had originally been provided by a
centurion of the Vlth Legion for his wife Julia Victorina; but
it contained the skeleton of a man at least thirty-five or forty
years old laid on a bed of gravel and covered with gypsum.
Originally, too, a coffin so finely carved and inscribed would
have been placed in a tomb-chamber; fragments of tegulae,
wall-plaster and building-stones found in an adjoining grave
may have belonged to such a structure. But in its secondary
use it was buried completely below Roman ground-level.
The date of this re-use is uncertain, the sole indication being a
sherd of rouletted Castor ware found in the filling of the
Burials. Pottery: I Region, (b) Fishergate. Quarter full size.
(iii) Grave, plank-lined, at right angles to (ii) and 10 ft. to
N.E., containing skeletal remains of a man of twenty-five or
thirty. The grave, 5⅓ ft. long, was too short for the body, and
the head and shoulders had been pressed into a raised position.
(iv) Coffin, of wood, containing the skeleton of a young
woman. It had been cut through by burial (iii) and lay immediately to S.W. and in line with it. Three bronze and two
bone bracelets were tied on the right shoulder of the body by a
leather thong and beneath the same shoulder was the base of a
Castor ware beaker.
(v) Coffin, of stone, inscribed (see Inscriptions etc., No. 104),
provided for Aurelius Super, centurion of the Vlth Legion, by
his wife, and found in 1835. It lay a little to N. of the point
where Julia Victorina's coffin (see (ii) above) was subsequently
discovered and was orientated with the head to the N.N.W.
The skeleton was that of a man 5 ft. 10 ins. tall. The depth of
discovery, 7 ft. to 8 ft. below modern ground-level, suggests
that this coffin may also have been reused (YMH, 52; J. J.
Sheahan and T. Whellan, York and the E. Riding, I (1855), 305;
C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum, 110; W. Hargrove, New Guide . . .
York (1838), 57; Gents. Mag. (1836), pt. I, 82).
(vi) Coffin, of stone, uninscribed, now in the Multangular
Tower, was found within a few feet of the foregoing. This
contained a smaller skeleton than (v) and the two burials may
be of man and wife (YMH, 53; other refs. as for (v) above).
There is evidence of other burials in addition to those listed
above. In 1824 (Yorkshire Gazette, 1 May 1824) and again in
1902 (YPSR (1902), 72) the motte carrying Clifford's Tower
was observed to contain abundant human bones, probably
thrown up when the ditch was excavated (fn. 1) . Skulls and other
skeletal remains also came to light when Aurelius Super's
coffin (v) was found in 1835 (W. Hargrove, New Guide . . . York
(1838), 55). Abundant pottery and sherds are said to have been
found in the area. The small perfume flask now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 2352) was found at the Castle in 1885.
(b) Fishergate Cemetery:
A small cremation cemetery of 1st to 2nd-century
date, to W. of Road 1. It lay on the E. side of Fishergate,
mainly on the site of the Northern Command Headquarters building, between Winterscale and Melbourne
Streets, and extended northwards to the junction of
Fawcett Street and Fishergate. Vessels from this cemetery
are in the Yorkshire Museum, under the numbers here
quoted (Fig. 54):—
H. 50, a pear-shaped jar of light red ware with flat reeded
collar, 1st-century type (cf. J. Curle, Newstead (1911), 245,
fig. 23); found containing a cremation in 1929 at Fishergate
Council School (N.G. 60785104) (JRS, XIX (1929), 186);
H. 148, a dark grey rustic jar, found in 1877;
H. 826, a large biconical jar of hard grey ware, the neck scored
with parallel horizontal lines, found in 1877;
H. 2359, a large wide-necked jar of red fabric with three
shoulder grooves, found in 1877;
H. 2147, a small perfume flask, found in 1876. A number of
partly fused small glass vessels were found in one of the jars
(YMH, 104, k).
The foregoing are all from the site of the Northern Command Headquarters building, and are the only identifiable
survivors of a larger number of vessels, some of which contained cremations (YMH, 104; YPSR (1879), 27; Raine YPL,
April 1879, 17). There should be added:—
H. 2341, a small cooking pot of grey-black fabric, with acuteangled lattice scoring, 2nd-century type, found in the roadway at the junction of Fishergate and Fawcett Street; also
H. 2342, a large wide-mouthed jar with silver grey surface,
found in Fishergate, 1894.
Evidence for later burials in the area includes the fine female
portrait-head in stone, with 3rd-century hair style, from a
funerary statue (see Inscriptions etc., No. 113), found in
Fishergate, 1882. An unpublished brick tomb from Grange
Garth, found in 1897, is now reconstructed in the Yorkshire
Museum as a rectangular cist, 7 ft. 4 ins. long, 1 ft. 5 ins. high,
and 2 ft. 6 ins. wide, built of six courses of Roman bricks with
a lid of roofing tiles (tegulae) set in mortar, flange downwards.
The following vessels, also in the Yorkshire Museum, are
probably from graves in this locality:—
H. 872, a pedestal beaker of fairly thick hard red ware with
frill below the lip, found in 1880, either under the Northern
Command Headquarters building or near Fulford Barracks;
H. 2132, a large face vase (Plate 29) of thick red fabric, modelled
as a female head, found in 1888 in York Cemetery (YMH, 116).
H. 2134, a small light-red face vase, modelled as a female
head, found in 1855 in Fishergate;
The following items in the Yorkshire Museum come from
H. 174, a small carnelian intaglio, from Fishergate;
H. 859, a pipe-clay bust (Plate 31) 5 ins. tall, of a bald-headed
man, found in 1890 near Fishergate Postern (YMH, 117). This
is imported from the Rhineland (cf. Germania Romana, V,
taf. 11, 3);
H. 863, a fragmentary pipe-clay figurine of Venus, from
In this area the burials are isolated.
Fig. 55. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: I Region, (c) Walmgate-Fossgate.
(i) Coffin, of lead, found in 1892 under the street in Walmgate, containing a female skeleton, seven necklaces, sixteen pins,
three glass bottles and two coins, Three jet necklaces, one with
a pendant medallion of a Gorgon (Plate 68), four jet pins, a
bone pin and two clear glass bottles with long necks (H. 321. 7,
H. 321. 8. Plate 67) are now in the Yorkshire Museum (H.
321. 1–16); see Glass and Jets, pp. 140b, 142a, 143a, b. One
coin is identifiable as of Septimius Severus, c. A.D. 200 (YPSR
(1892), 7; J. Raine, Simplicia Florentina (1901), pl. opp. 38).
(ii) Coffin, of stone, lidless, found in the backyard of the
Crown Inn, Walmgate, in 1827; contents unrecorded (York
Courant, 20 Oct. 1827).
The following finds now in the Yorkshire Museum are
probably from graves (Fig. 55):—
H. 155, Rhenish motto beaker (Plate 35), with white slip
inscription NOLITE SITIRE, 'Don't thirst', between two
bands of rouletting (see Inscriptions etc., No. 151). Found in
1914, in Piccadilly, near the river Foss, 20 ft. deep;
H. 190, a two-handled red flagon, with buff core and cream
slip, found in 1926 in Fossgate, 3rd-century type.
(d) Lawrence Street:
A tombstone, with relief carving (see Inscriptions
etc., No. 101) illustrated by F. Drake (Eboracum, pl. VIII,
fig. 9), built into St. Lawrence's churchyard-wall in the
18th century, may have come from a nearby burial.
Tile tomb, N. of the line of Road 2 (N.G. 61265177), built
with six large tiles, stamped LEG VI VI, covering a skeleton
accompanied by a vessel described as Samian; found in 1906,
on premises then belonging to Shafto's Brickworks, in James
Street (York Herald, 26 Feb. 1906).
Burials: Key-plan of Regions and Roads
II. N.E. Region: Roads 3, 4
This area has so far yielded two roadside cremation cemeteries of the early 2nd century, followed by
isolated inhumations. A small inhumation cemetery lay well N.W. of Road 4, almost due N. of the
(a) Heworth Green:
A small cremation cemetery, just N. of Heworth
Grange (N.G. 61205270; 25 in. O.S., Sheet CLXXIV. 7)
was disturbed in 1878 during construction of the Foss
Islands branch railway (Raine YPL, August 1878, 16).
(i) Jars, four, from here are in the Yorkshire Museum
(YMH, 115) (Fig. 56):—
H. 149, a rustic ware jar of hard light-grey fabric, still containing cremated bones and of the late 1st or early 2nd century;
H. 824, a plain jar of smooth silver-grey fabric, of early
H. 2149, a small jar of self-coloured orange-pink fabric;
H. 2358, a pear-shaped beaker, of thin red ware, with three
large vertical indentations in the body.
(ii) Coffin, of stone, found about 33 yds. N. of this cemetery,
was left in the ground (Raine YPL, 31 May 1879, 18).
A small cremation cemetery, about 300 yds. S. of
that at Heworth Green, on the old windmill site at the
junction of Glen Road and Harcourt Street, was disturbed in 1926.
Burials. Pottery: II Region, (a) Heworth Green and (b) Heworth. Quarter full size.
Two vessels from here are now in the Yorkshire
Museum (Fig. 56):—
H. 2348, a carinated red bowl, badly fired, with reeded rim, of
the late 1st or early 2nd century;
H. 2362, a single-handled flagon with long narrow neck in fine
hard cream fabric with traces of red colouring, 2nd-century.
(c) Clarence Street:
A small inhumation cemetery, in a field near the
junction of Wigginton and Haxby Roads, comprising
about a dozen burials accompanied by Roman pottery,
was disturbed in 1833 (W. Hargrove, New Guide . . .
York (1838), 51). A stone coffin with skeleton was found
on the W. side of Clarence Street in 1839 (Yorkshireman,
19 Oct. 1839).
(d) Peaseholme Green-Layerthorpe:
Isolated inhumations, in the area between Roads 2
(i) Skeleton of a young adult, found in 1852, 5 ft. below
ground-level, in an orchard near Peaseholme Green. With it
was a bronze figurine of Hercules represented with club, slain
serpent, and apple of the Hesperides (Gordon Home, Roman
York (1924), pl. opp. 130; BAA Journ., IX (1854), 88; T.
Bateman, Catalogue of Antiquities . . . Bateman (1855), items
E.1, 194, and R.1, 23; YMH, 131).
(ii) Tile tomb, found a few years before 1806 near
Layerthorpe postern, of IXth Legion tiles (W. Camden,
Britannia (ed. R. Gough, 1806), III, 304).
(iii) Coffin, of lead, 4 ft. 10 ins. long by 11 ins. broad, in the
Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 151; YPSR (1855), 9). It was
found 7 ft. below ground-level in a brickyard, now a light industrial site, E. of Foss Islands Road and S. of Layerthorpe (N.G.
610520), and enclosed a wooden coffin containing a skeleton.
(iv) Coffin, of stone, found near the site of (iii) (YPSR (1855),
9). Other unspecified Roman objects and pottery were found
near both (iii) and (iv), including a squat two-handled flagon
of red ware now in the Yorkshire Museum (1954. 3. 4).
(e) Monkgate and Lord Mayor's Walk:
(i) Inhumation, found before 1842 in excavating a cellar
outside the wall, N.W. of Monk Bar; with it were fragments
of pottery, a jet finger-ring and a circular copper perfume box,
3/8 in. deep, with inlaid and enamelled lid (C. Wellbeloved,
Eburacum (1842), 131, pl. XVII, fig. 1).
(ii) Coffins, two, of stone, found in 1855 during drainage
operations in Monkgate, near Lord Mayor's Walk (J. J.
Sheahan and T. Whellan, York and the E. Riding, I (1855), 310).
(iii) Inhumation, without grave goods, found in 1806 in
digging house foundations outside Monk Bar (York Courant,
29 Sept. 1806).
The Roman pottery found in the area between Lord
Mayor's Walk and Huntingdon Road and in Monkgate itself
(now in the Yorkshire and Sheffield Museums) is not necessarily sepulchral.
Burials: Key-plan of Regions and Roads
III. N.W. Region: Roads 5, 6, 7
This region contained at least two large cemeteries, as well as isolated burials showing some attempt at
grouping. Early cremations alongside Roads 6–7, including one close to the N.W. gate of the fortress
(Exhibition Square) and another almost 1 m. outside it (Rawcliffe Lane), developed into a cremation and
inhumation cemetery extending north-eastwards from S.W. of Road 5 to Bootham and north-westwards
at least to The Avenue, Clifton. In the Clifton area there were late 3rd-century cremations. Excepting one
tombstone, funerary inscriptions and sculpture have not been found, but tomb fragments used in rebuilding the N.W. gate of the fortress presumably came from this area (see Inscriptions etc. Nos. 122, 126,
(a) Exhibition Square:
A quantity of pottery, including Flavian Samian, was
found on the site of the Art Gallery and at the S.E. end
of Bootham, but the only certain ossuary is a late 1st or
early 2nd-century orange carinated bowl, H. 2102 in the
Yorkshire Museum (Fig. 57), from the Art Gallery site,
retaining traces of the cremation it once contained.
(b) St. Mary's-Bootham Terrace:
A 3rd to 4th-century inhumation cemetery was disturbed in the 19th century in building the YorkScarborough railway and local residential property.
(i) Grave group, found in 1887 in the back lane S.E. of St.
Mary's, now in the Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 148, q), comprising:—
H. 319.1, a storage jar (Fig. 57) with countersunk handles, of
creamy grey fabric with black surface in alternate burnished
and unburnished horizontal bands including a band of rubbed
cheveron ornament with a series of rubbed hatchings at a slant
below. This contained H. 319.2–3, the bases of two bowls of
common green glass, H. 319.4–5, two jet bangles, and H. 319.6,
a fragment of a third.
(ii) Coffins, two, of stone, marked on the O.S. 1/500 map as
'stone cists' (N.G. 59805239, 59785242) were found in 1885
N.W. of St. Mary's and near the railway respectively; one is
presumably the large Roman coffin now in the garden of St.
(iii) Grave group (Plates 31, 70), found in 1845 in excavating
for the railway in Bootham, now in Sheffield Museum, comprising:—
J. 93. 1017, a small Castor ware beaker (Fig. 57) with cornice
rim, of orange buff fabric with brown colour-coating. This
contained J. 93.735, a jet bear, 7/8 ins. by 5/8 ins., pierced for suspension between fore and hind legs; J. 93.736, a segmental jet
bead with double perforation, and a small bronze follis of
Constantine, London mint mark, date A.D. 312–15. (E.
Howarth, Catalogue of Bateman Antiquities (1899), 205 and 228;
BAA Journ., VIII (1853), 160; Ant. Journ., XXVIII (1948), 174;
see Jets, pp. 142b, 143a.
(iv) Vessels, two, found in the same excavations as, and
within forty-eight hours of, the foregoing discovery, are now
in Sheffield Museum (Fig. 57): J. 93.1029, a cooking pot, of
the late 3rd or early 4th century, with black fumed surface,
burnished, and obtuse-angled rubbed lattice decoration;
J. 93.1030, a tall Castor ware indented beaker of buff fabric
with brown colour-coating, with scalloping between the
indentations, most of the neck and rim missing (Sheffield
Public Museum, Catalogue of Bateman Antiquities (1899), 207).
Fig. 57. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: III Region, (a) and (b), i, iii, iv.
(v) Coffin and grave goods, found in 1901 at the N. end of
Sycamore Terrace, about 2 ft. from the S. boundary wall of
Love Lane (N.G. 59685236). The stone coffin, with a ridged
lid, already broken into three pieces when found, contained
the skeleton of a woman 5 ft. 4 ins. tall lying on her back. The
grave goods, H. 5–12 (Plate 67. Fig. 58), consisted of a dark
blue glass flagon with applied threads on the neck, an openwork inscription in bone, SOROR AVE VIVAS IN DEO
'Hail sister, may you live in God!' (see Inscriptions etc., No.
150), two jet bangles, a bracelet of blue glass beads, fragments
of five bone bracelets, silver and bronze lockets, two yellow
glass ear-drops, two marbled glass beads, and a small round
glass mirror (York Herald, 15 Aug. 1901; Yorkshire Gazette,
15 Aug., 16 Nov. 1901; YPSR (1901), 11, 104, pl. VII); see
Glass and Jets, pp. 140b, 141a, 144a. This burial is often
described as Christian.
(vi) Burials, two, were found near together, at a depth of
6 ft., in Bootham itself in 1851. The skull of the first, a young
person, and two bronze armlets (J. 93.951 and J. 93.653) are in
Sheffield Public Museum (Catalogue of Bateman Antiquities
(1899), 168 and 198). The skull of the second, an aged person,
once in T. Bateman's museum at Bakewell, is now lost (T.
Bateman, Catalogue of Antiquities (1855), R.1.14).
Second-century pottery from Bootham Terrace, given to
the Yorkshire Museum by Dr. Gibson in the 19th century, is
not here included since there is no proof that it is sepulchral,
though the numerous complete pots are suggestive. The
Flavian-Antonine pottery, found in 1931 during alterations
behind White House, Clifton, a little further N.W. (N.G.
59725261), was thought to indicate occupation (YAJ, XXXI
(1934), 77). But previous finds here included later pieces and,
among whole pots, the Rhenish beaker inscribed AXSASI
(see pp. 65b, 135a) and another colour-coated beaker with
white slip decoration now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 2092).
(c) Burton Stone Lane:
A group of cremations in 2nd-century pottery (Fig.
59) was found in the 19th century near the junction of
the Lane with Clifton, near and N.E. of Road 7.
Of pieces given to the Museum in 1844 (YPSR (1844), 30)
only H. 2351, a nest of three intercommunicating jars in orange
fabric, is identifiable. Two of three cinerary urns found in
1858 (YPSR (1858), 26) are of the earlier 2nd century: H. 2357,
of gritty self-coloured fabric, and H. 2361, a two-handled jar,
of hard buff fabric with internal ledge for a lid. To the same
period belong the urn and ashes found in 1878 and the two
large urns found in 1879 (Raine YPL, Oct. 1878, April 1879,
16, 17); these are respectively H. 2338, H. 2336, both of coarse
grey fabric, and H.2339, of grey-black fabric.
(d) Clifton Fields:
An extensive cremation and inhumation cemetery
was discovered in the late 17th and early 18th centuries
in clay pits, for brick and tile works then situated S.W.
of St. Peter's School, recognisable in fields to S.W. of
the footpath (25 ins. O.S. Sheet CLXXIV. 6, fields 208,
226, 227, 229) between Queen Anne Grammar School
and Westminster Road. The area is limited on the N.E.
by Road 5, beyond which, in land occupied by playingfields and untouched by building-development, no
discoveries are recorded.
This site was first mentioned in 1681 by Dr. Martin Lister
(Royal Society, Phil. Colls., IV, 87), who was more concerned
to distinguish between different types of pottery than to describe individual finds from individual sites. More important
accounts are by R. Thoresby and F. Drake. The site was
prolific—'urns . . . are, when they dig, still daily discovered . . .'
(F. Drake, Eboracum, 65)—including both inhumations and
cremations. Vague descriptions are given of some of the more
important individual finds: a face vase was described and
illustrated in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal
Society (XV (1685), 1017, fig. 2) and illustrated by F. Drake
(Eboracum (1736), pl. VIII, fig. 20).
Burials. Grave Group from Sycamore Terrace, see III Region, (b), v. Half full size.
In 1692 the York schoolmaster, N. Hodgson, writing to Dr.
Gale, described urns, small glass 'ampullae' and a hoard of
'above 100 copper coins' (Surtees Society Pubns., LXXX
(1885), 284, 287). Some of the urns had potters' stamps and
seventy-five of the coins were of Constantine I, the latest
being of Magnentius. In 1696 a brick tomb was found, large
enough to accommodate three or four corpses (R. Thoresby,
Musaeum Thoresbyanum, 2nd ed. by T. D. Whitaker (1816),
Catalogue of Natural and Artificial Rarities, III), but of contents
only a bracelet 'of copper wreathed . . . being eight inches in
circumference' and three beads are recorded (ibid., 108, and
F. Drake, Eboracum, 65, pl. VIII, figs. 23–6). In 1697 were
found two cremations, pottery, including a flagon, and terracotta waterpipes (but see p. 65n) (R. Thoresby, Royal Society,
Phil. Trans. XIX (1695–7), 738); in 1698 a 'coffin' made of
tegulae was found (R. Thoresby, ibid., XX (1698), 310, and
Musaeum Thoresbyanum, 2nd ed., Catalogue etc., 110).
In 1701 a lead coffin was found (ibid., 110) and in 1702
another, 7 ft. long and 9 ft. below ground containing a skeleton
and enclosed in an outer casing made of oak planks 2½ ins.
thick nailed together (Royal Society, Phil. Trans., XXIV
(1704–5), 1864; Diary of Ralph Thoresby (ed. J. Hunter, 1830),
I, 365). In 1712 R. Thoresby (Musaeum Thoresbyanum, 2nd ed.,
Catalogue etc., 110) described fourteen or sixteen small red
urns surrounding a large one containing cremations, and three
other urns also containing cremations. F. Drake (Eboracum, 55)
describes 'graves for urns, square spots in the earth, the bottom
covered with white sand on which the urns were placed, inverted, three, four, or more together', and two stone uninscribed sarcophagi 'lately discovered' (ibid. 55, 65). He also
illustrates a jet bangle and pottery (ibid., Appendix, add. pl.
between xiii and xiv, figs. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11).
(e) The Avenue, Clifton:
Inhumations and cremations are recorded from The
Avenue and the area to the S.E., but only the pottery
last described below is now identifiable.
In 1813 two uninscribed stone coffins, with blank inscription-panels, were found close together near the present St. Olave's
School (N.G. 595527), each containing a skeleton with feet to
the E. (York Courant, 5 April 1813; W. Hargrove, History of
York (1818), I, 288). Another coffin, which stood on the
S.W. side of Clifton, has now disappeared (YPS Comms. for
In 1881, finds made in a field next to St. Olave's School were
described by Canon James Raine (Raine YPL, Oct. to Dec.
1881, 27–9). They included three skulls and seven cinerary
urns, of which two were associated with smaller vessels, while
another contained a fragment of a glass vessel. None is now
identifiable in the Yorkshire Museum.
In the same area (N.G. 594527; 25 ins. O.S., Sheet CLXXV.
6) two complete cinerary urns and fragments of others, a
Rhenish beaker and a Castor ware beaker were found in 1927
(JRS, XVII (1927), 190; YPSR (1927), 34, (1928), 34). Those
now in the Yorkshire Museum are (Fig. 60):—
H. 2344, cooking pot in fumed ware, of grey-black fabric with
an obtuse-angled lattice scoring, late 3rd to 4th-century type;
H. 2345, jar with internal ledge for a lid, of light grey fabric,
late 3rd to 4th-century type;
Burials. Pottery: III Region,
(c) Burton Stone Lane.
Quarter full size.
H. 2195, tall narrow beaker of buff fabric with black colourcoating and white slip scroll decoration;
H. 2196, squat fluted beaker of thin reddish fabric with shining
black colour-coating, 3rd-century type.
In 1720 'in the grounds of widow Giles near Clifton'
were found a lead coffin containing a skeleton and
another coffin covered with lead; while in 1729 several
urns containing cremations were found in the same
general area (T. Gent, History of York (1730), addenda, 5).
Burials. Pottery: III Region, (e) The Avenue. Quarter full size.
A glass jar (Fig. 89) of ice-green colour with lid, containing
cremated bones, found in Clifton in 1871 is now in the
Yorkshire Museum (1948.3.1) (YPS Trans. (1947–8), 28); see
Glass, p. 136b. In the Museum are also several whole pots,
mainly colour-coated beakers, that may have come from local
burials; of these may be noted H. 153, a motto beaker (Plate
35) of reddish fabric, with shining black colour-coating and
the motto DA MI(HI), 'Give it me', in applied white slip (see
Inscriptions etc., No. 151), H. 2355, a tazza of pale red fabric,
and H. 2360, a screw-necked flagon, 2nd-century.
Burials. Pottery: III Region, (g) Rawcliffe Lane. Quarter full size.
(g) Rawcliffe Lane:
In Rawcliffe Lane (N.G. 59055342; 6 ins. O.S. Sheet
S.E. 55 S.E.) near the presumed line of Road 7, the
tombstone of Flavius Flavinus, centurion of the VIth
Legion (see Inscriptions etc., No. 78), was found in 1927
(YPSR (1927), 24).
Near and N.W. of the junction of Rawcliffe Lane with
Shipton Road a group of three vessels (Fig. 61), datable to
about the second quarter of the 2nd century, was found in
1932. They are now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 2363.1–3),
comprising the cinerary urn, which is a jar in coarse grey ware,
and two single-handled screw-necked flagons in orange ware
(YAJ, XXXI (1934), 77; YPSR (1932), 37).
IV. S.W. Region: Roads 8, 9, 10, 11
for The Railway Station Cemetery see below Areas (a)–(h), and (i).
for The Mount Cemetery etc. see (j)–(q).
It is this region, outside the colonia, that contains the greatest concentrations of burials, the most notable
in two great cemeteries, on the Railway Station site and on The Mount (Figs. 62, 70). The first was
revealed and destroyed when the Railway Station and its ancillary buildings, the coal depots, goods station
and engine sheds, and the Royal Station Hotel were under construction in 1870–77, though numerous
previous discoveries had been made in the area. (fn. 2) The second was disclosed mainly during building redevelopment about the middle of the same century. In listing the burials topographically the arrangement
here adopted is to deal first with the Railway Station Cemetery, served by Roads 8 and 10, in eight areas,
the position of many burials being only approximately known; second, with The Mount Cemetery, and
other groups or scattered burials along Roads 9, 10 and 11, entered wherever possible under the names of
their localities. Inside the mediaeval City Wall Road 10 has been used as a dividing line between the two.
The Railway Station Cemetery: The construction
of the railway buildings and their approaches radically
altered the topography of the area, obscuring the basic
physical structure and removing the landmarks to which
discoveries were related. The O.S. maps of 1853, which
mark many obliterated features, can, however, be used
to establish the position of landmarks mentioned in
accounts contemporary with the discoveries.
Burials: Key-plan of Regions and Roads
The cemetery occupied a ridged spur, about 50 ft.
above O.D., running from S. to N. between the Ouse
and Holgate Beck and ending in Cuckoo Hill, the cause
of the Ouse meander S. of Acomb Landing. It is described by J. Raine as 'somewhat elevated' (YPS Comms.
(1875), 5) or the 'hill near the goods station' (YMH, 71).
The 1853 edition of the 6 ins. O.S. map (Sheet 174)
shows the ridge covered mainly by fields on both sides
of Thief Lane, the predecessor of the modern Leeman
Road. The Roman Road 8, which was only 12 ft. wide,
may have followed much the same line, and may in the
same way have served only the spur between beck and
river. Road 9, the main Roman road to Aldborough
which, like the modern Boroughbridge road, used the
higher ridge to S.W. of Holgate Beck, may have
attracted the burials south-westward; but this group is
just as appropriately linked with burials along Road 9
and is treated with them (pp. 94b, 97a,b, 100b, 101a).
The material from the cemetery is almost all derived
from the railway works of 1839–41, 1845, and 1870–7.
The earliest of these were the building, within the
mediaeval Wall, of the Old Station, situated some
100 yds. due E. of the present Station, and the prolongation thereto of the York and North Midland Railway
from its earlier temporary terminus, N. W. of Blossom
Street. In 1840 goods lines were constructed, athwart
the middle of the present Station, linking the York,
Newcastle and Berwick Railway to a riverside coal
depot; while in 1845 the York and Scarborough Railway was cut right across the ridge, W. of the present
Station. Finally, between 1870 and 1877 the S.E. end of
the ridge, between the present Engine sheds and the
City Wall, was mostly levelled in building the present
Railway Station and its adjuncts. It is still perpetuated
by a rise in Leeman Road.
The cemetery is defined by James Raine (YPS Comms.
(1876), 3) as extending in width from the river to the old
railway lines, now the goods line between the Waggon
Works and the Carriage Works, and in length the
greater part of a mile from the City Wall. But graves
have been discovered beyond this distance. In terms of
present-day topography the main area may be defined
more accurately as including Station Road S.W. of the
Cholera Burial Ground, the railway lines immediately
S.W. of Queen Street bridge as far as the Railway
Museum, the Railway Station, the Royal Station Hotel
and part of its garden, the approach lines N. of the main
line as far as the engine shed and Scarborough Bridge
and the lines between the Railway Station on the E. and
Cinder Lane on the W. Burials also occur within the mediaeval walls, but none has been found in the low-lying
land between the Cholera Burial Ground and the river.
In terms of Roman topography the cemetery occupied both sides of Road 8, beginning close to the N.W.
side of Road 10, where it was later covered by the
built-up area of the colonia. The best tombs lay along
Road 8 and on the riverward slope to N. of it, overlooking the Ouse. They are represented by the coffins of
the decurion Flavius Bellator, (see Inscriptions etc.,
No. 105), of Julia Fortunata, wife of the sevir Verecundius Diogenes (ibid., No. 106), and the large sepulchral
candelabrum (ibid., No. 137). As for date, a beginning at
least as early as the 2nd century is attested by the fact that
pottery from this cemetery includes rustic ware, while
its use well into the 4th century is certified not only by
Crambeck ware and 4th-century cooking pots, but also
by associated coins.
Both cremations and inhumations are recorded, if
insufficiently for close dating of the two rites. A cooking
pot from here, known to have contained a cremation, is,
however, not earlier than the late 3rd century, and was
associated with a motto beaker in Castor ware and a
small glass bottle (p. 91a). On the other hand, an inhumation from the Old Station, within the later builtup area of the colonia, was associated with a coin of
Hadrian. As at Trentholme Drive (q.v.), there must have
been a considerable period of time when both rites were
in use. Cremation was dying out by the end of the 3rd
century, inhumation probably becoming common after
the middle of the 2nd century. J. Raine (YPS Comms.
(1876), 3–4) observed that part of the cemetery contained only cremations, terminating on a line so straight
that it must have represented an original boundary,
though no remains of a stone wall were apparent; the
area in question ran 'N. for about a quarter of a mile
from a point a little to the N. of Mr. Close's late house.'
The site of this mansion (6 in. O.S. (1853), Sheet 174) is
now occupied by the E. side of the parcels office, at the
N. end of the present Queen Street Bridge. Raine,
however, may not be using the cardinal point strictly,
and in fact uses N. for N.W. in the same article and
describes burials as between the E. side of the cremation
cemetery and the river, when the river in fact lies to
N.E. The area must have embraced the W. part of the
present Railway Station and extended N.W. over much
of the cutting for the old Scarborough Railway. Finds
made during the excavation of the cutting included
cremations of the middle and later 2nd century. J. Raine
stated that this cremation cemetery was in use under
Trajan and Hadrian, presumably basing this dating upon
coins. Towards the river, outside the area devoted to
cremations, both cremations and inhumations lay close
together though not overcrowded, and this composed
much the largest part of the cemetery, orientation and
distribution of the graves suggesting to Raine (loc. cit.,
5) that they had been laid out in walks or in family
groups. The graves were sometimes marked by small
blocks of sandstone above the surface at their head or
foot or occasionally by small cairns or heaps of cobbles.
The burials were usually orientated to face S. or E. at a
depth of 5 ft. or 6 ft. below the 19th-century surface,
which lay 1½ ft. to 2 ft. above the old Roman ground
surface. Approximately fifty heavy stone sarcophagi
were found in the railway excavations as a whole, many
containing wood or lead coffins. There were also brickbuilt tombs, of which one had a barrel-vaulted roof, and
tombs built of upright slabs of stone, and sometimes
divided internally to take more than one body, or
tombs comprising a protective roof of tilted tegulae
balanced against one another. Lead coffins usually had
an outer coffin of wood or stone. Simpler burials were
often in wooden coffins, traceable by the nails; but
sometimes the postures of the bodies rendered a coffin
unlikely; occasionally a burial was bolt upright, and
there are references to crouched burials.
In coffined burials gypsum was often poured over the
body, sometimes preserving a cast of it. In two examples
the whole head of hair was preserved. Fragments of
cloth often survive adhering to the gypsum. With the
body were buried articles of personal adornment, rings,
ear-rings, hair pins, necklaces, armlets, anklets, brooches
and dress fasteners. These usually bedecked the body,
but were sometimes put in the grave separately, with or
without a container. Phials of perfume, flagons or cups
with drink, and pots containing food were added to the
grave furniture. One woman was buried with her
parasol, another with her fan. Occasionally the burial of
a whole horse is recorded in apparent association with a
human corpse, but a clear association is not attested and
the horse skeletons may be intrusive. Cremations were
usually contained in pottery jars, but lead containers
are also found, sometimes protected by tile tombs. The
very small stone coffins may have been ash-chests for
cremations rather than for infant burials.
Raine considered that this cemetery was of lower
social status than that on The Mount. But it included the
tomb with the monumental candelabrum (see Inscriptions etc., No. 137), the coffin of a decurion (ibid., No.
105), that of a sevir's wife (ibid., No. 106) and probably
also that of the sevir himself (ibid., No. 110). Yet in
proportion to its area, this cemetery does not seem to
have produced the same quantity of carved tombstones
as yielded by The Mount. Again, 'on the outskirts' of
the cemetery, Raine (loc. cit., 7) describes 'two putei or
pits used for the burial of slaves or people of mean
repute', contiguous and from 10 ft. to 12 ft. deep, 15 ft.
to 20 ft. wide and 30 ft. long. Corpses had been thrown
into them in large numbers without order or respect,
the feet often higher than the head, and a thin layer of
earth was thrown over each corpse until a certain distance from the surface was reached. The Roman date
was attested by potsherds found amongst the bodies.
The list of burials gives the impression that the cemetery
contained a majority of child and female burials. If a
complete record of all burials had been kept, it would
probably have redressed the balance; indeed, one
group of skulls (p. 84b), analysed by L. H. Dudley
Buxton in 1935, gave a ratio of three males to one
female (JRS, XXV (1935), 47–8). In fact, only those
burials which were distinctive won a specific record, and
women, more adorned in life than men, carried more
trinkets with them to the grave. Children's burials were
also easy to recognise and appealed to Victorian sentiment; again, parents may well have spent more upon a
burial than heirs were likely to do, particularly if their
children had survived beyond infancy.
The area here treated is that N.W. of Road 10, inside
the City Wall and including the rampart mound (Fig.
62). It has already been noted that in the Old Station
area the mound of the mediaeval wall contains remains
of an earlier defensive wall. There are strong reasons for
thinking that this was the Roman town wall (Monument 16a-c). Buildings come very close up behind it
(Monuments 34d, e, g), while burials begin immediately
outside it. One burial was found in position actually
below the outer edge of the mediaeval mound, and
other skeletons have formed part of the upcast from the
moat. Burials have, however, also been found within
the line of this wall, but the record is very defective. No
clear topographical or stratigraphical relationship between buildings and burials was defined, and there is an
additional possibility of confusion between Roman
burials and those associated with the mediaeval Friary
that occupied the site. Yet some of these burials are
clearly Roman, and would seem to be orderly burials in
a cemetery rather than stray illegal burials inside the
town walls. A reasonable explanation is that an expanding town encroached on an existing cemetery. S.W. of
the Old Station there is less evidence for both buildings
and burials. The possibility that the Roman town
defences may have turned S.E. within the line of the
mediaeval wall has been noted (Monument 16d), and a
brick tomb containing a burial in gypsum was apparently found between this line and the back of the
mediaeval wall. References to skeletons unaccompanied
by grave goods are omitted because of the likelihood of
confusion with mediaeval burials; for example, twenty-seven such burials fairly close to Toft Green and well
within the walls may represent the Friary cemetery.
(i) Inhumation, child, coated in gypsum, contained in a
wooden inner coffin, and an outer lead coffin, 2¾ ft. by 11 ins.
by 1 ft., now in the Yorkshire Museum. Found at the Old
Station (C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum, 112; YMH, 114).
(ii) Inhumation, adult, in a lead coffin, 6 ft. 7 ins. long, made
of a single sheet of lead, with sides bent up and over the corpse
and the end rolled over the skull. Now in the Yorkshire
Museum. Found not far from the 'Mulberry Tree', that is, in a
general area containing Monuments 34 (a-c) (Hargrove YM,
Feb. 1840; C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum, 112; YMH, 65).
(iii) Inhumation and part of a lead coffin, found near but
dissociated from the small N.W. room of Monument 34(b)
(York Courant, 4 April, 1839).
(iv) Cremations, two, in urns, centrally placed 'in a cavity'
with a silver pin beside them. One urn was pierced by a hole;
one contained an indecipherable coin. The cavity presumably
represented a wooden container. Found 'at the Western
extremity of Backhouse's Gardens', that is, about 100 ft. S.W.
of Monument 34 (d) (Hargrove YM, 3 March 1840).
(v) Inhumation, in a tomb built of tiles set on edge on a small
floor made of broken tiles in lime mortar. Found under the tail
of the mediaeval rampart, N.E. of the N. railway arch cut
through the rampart (Hargrove YM, 23 March 1840).
(vi) Inhumation, with three or four bone pins and a coin of
Hadrian, contiguous to the remains of a hypocaust. Found in
1846 near or actually under the tail of the mediaeval rampart
in making a new railway platform, that is, not far N.E. of
Monument 34 (e) (BAA Journ., III (1848), 55).
(vii) Inhumation, in a stone coffin containing a plain bronze
finger-ring, which is now in Sheffield Museum (J. 93.651).
Found close to the City Wall in making the old Station (E.
Howarth, Catalogue of Bateman Antiquities (1899), 197).
(viii) Inhumation, in a brick tomb with flagged floor and
walls 2 ft. high to the springing of a vaulted roof. The body,
encased in gypsum, had been contained in a wooden coffin
5 ft. 10 ins. long. The skeleton had a bronze bracelet on each
arm, and a silver ring on a finger. Near the thighs were two or
three Roman coins, otherwise unspecified, probably once
contained in a purse. Found very near the former House of
Correction S.W. of the Old Station, within the mediaeval
Wall at a depth suggesting that it was beneath the tail of the
rampart, and in a sequence implying that it lay S.E. of the
walling of Monument 16 (d) (Hargrove YM, 22 May 1840).
In levelling the rampart mound when making the more
northerly arch for the railway to enter the Old Station in
1839, many skeletons of humans, horses and animals were
found embodied in the rampart, having presumably been
thrown up with the upcast from the moat. But there seem to
have been burials in situ also, since the skeletons of a man and
horse buried together were also found (Yorkshireman, 19 Jan.
1839; York Courant, 21 Feb. 1839). Two fragments of tombstones (see Inscriptions etc., Nos. 85, 129) were built into a
buttress of the mediaeval wall near this archway, and it is
possible that the very large blocks of gritstone incorporated
in the angle of the mediaeval wall S. of the railway arches
represent fragments of other tombs. The S. arch was constructed in 1845–6 and grave goods then found include a
bronze lamp handle, a bone comb, pins, fibulae, and a bronze
ring, now in Sheffield Museum (Nos. J. 93 series, 605, 640, 659,
662). An inhumation was found in situ at the base of the
mediaeval mound in front of the wall in 1959, 50 ft. N.E. of
the N. archway, when a cable tunnel was bored through the
mound. A rubble feature was also found 8 ft. to 10 ft. in front
of the skeleton, at a slightly lower level. (Information from
The area includes the York and North Midland Railway (Fig. 62). This railway was extended in 1840 from a
temporary terminus to the Old Station. This line of
track is represented by the present tracks from just N. of
the Railway Museum to the N. railway arch through
the CityWall. (N.G. 59435144 to 59685161). Here the
discoveries seem to have been made nearer the City
Wall than the Railway Museum.
(i) Inhumation, in a stone coffin 6 ft. 10 ins. long and 4 ft.
high with a lid of which the ridge was 2 ft. below the surface.
With the skeleton was a Roman coin, otherwise unspecified,
and three jet pins, one with cantharus head. Roman 'urns' and
coins were also found near the coffin (Hargrove YM, 5 June
(ii) Inhumation, coated with gypsum and accompanied by a
cremation, in a lead coffin. The cremation was in a lead
container, which in decay had broken in two pieces lying by
the head and one side of the skeleton respectively. There were
also four glass flasks (Plate 67. Figs. 63, 90), placed mouth to
mouth in two pairs, now H.G. 146. 1–4 in the Yorkshire
Museum (YMH, 102, item b); see Glass, p. 140b. The lead
coffin, which was destroyed, was 1 in. thick and weighed
542 pounds. The lead container, in fragmentary state, is now in
the Yorkshire Museum (H. 1059): the remains comprise a
cylindrical body 5 ins. high and 6 ins. in diameter and a
narrow neck, the shoulders being missing (YMH, 146, item b).
Near the coffin were found a number of 'urns' of various sizes
and shapes, one containing the bones of a bird. (Hargrove
YM, 7 July 1840; C. Roach Smith, Collectanea Antiqua, VII,
Fig. 63. Glass Flasks. (After C. Roach Smith)
(iii) Cremations, recorded as urns containing burnt bones;
one small vessel was placed, inverted, in the mouth of a larger
one, each full of burnt bones (Hargrove YM, 28 July 1840).
(iv) Tile tomb, built of six tegulae with IX Legion stamps
tilted against one another, with imbrices on the ridge and a
tegula at each end, is described by Hargrove (ibid.). This may
be the same as that described in Hargrove's newspaper as in his
collection and found, containing a cremation burial, a little
earlier than 1843, but with eight tegulae, three on each side
(York Courant, 20 July 1843).
Raine, however, specifies a tile tomb from the Hargrove
collection, found at the time and place described in the MS.
notes, but built with twelve tiles (YMH, 66). This (Plate 28)
is set up in the Yorkshire Museum but has ten tegulae, four on
each side and one at each end, all stamped LEG IX HISP. At
least two separate tombs would thus appear to have been discovered and have been conflated into one, or else tiles have been
added to or subtracted from a single original tomb both in the
accounts and in the Museum.
(v) Inhumations, in two groups, each comprising several
large stone coffins, are referred to by W. Hargrove in the
Yorkshire Museum MS. on 28 July 1840 and at the 'close of
August' 1840. The first group consisted of simple inhumations,
the second group of gypsum-coated burials. Near the second
group lay a lead coffin, 3 ft. long by 11 ins. wide, containing the
gypsum-coated skeleton of a child, now in the Yorkshire
Museum (YMH, 105); also another stone coffin, with a lid
fixed by iron clamps still in position, which again contained a
gypsum burial, and three inhumations in a common tomb,
built of upright flagstones, with flagstone base and lid.
(vi) Inhumation, in a tile tomb, measuring externally 8½ ft.
by 4½ ft., with walls of tile 11 ins. thick, finished off with an
internal string-course and barrel vault of tiles 7 ins. square, set
on edge. The structure was set in a sand-filled grave, with the
extrados 6 ft. below the modern surface. The tomb held a
female body, on whose head auburn hair in ringlets survived,
contained in a gypsum-filled wooden coffin of which nails and
fragments of wood remained (Hargrove YM, 31 Aug. 1840;
YPS Comms. (1875), 7).
(vii) Inhumation, in which lay, near the skull, 'a number of
large rings linked together so as to form a short chain. Some of
them were delicately marked at the edge and thicker than the
rest.' No coffin was observed (Hargrove YM, 'Close of
(viii) Inhumations, in communal graves lined with upright
slabs and planned with 'divisions for each body', each skeleton
coated with gypsum and so presumably once contained in a
wooden coffin. Others in stone coffins were also found close by:
one, with gypsum coating, on the same day, the rest, without
gypsum, a few days later. (Hargrove YM, 2 Oct. 1840.)
(ix) Inhumation, in a stone coffin, with gypsum spread over
the skeleton but not forming a case. In the coffin were nine
round-headed jet pins, 1¾ ins. to 4¼ ins. long, a bracelet of
twelve jet beads, a jet finger-ring with chip-carved bezel, a
bone needle 6¾ ins. long, a curved ivory pin 8 ins. long, and a
faceted jet bangle (Plate 70); see Jets, pp. 143a-4b All are now
in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 106; YMH, 126). An 'urn'
found outside the coffin contained the bones of a bird (Hargrove YM, 10 Oct. 1840).
(x) Inhumations, in stone coffins, gypsum-coated, were
found in the spring of 1841 on the Newcastle and Berwick
railway, just outside the City Wall, probably near the junction
with the York and North Midland railway, and thus close to
the burials already described. Wellbeloved considered that an
earlier find of similar burials 'extra muros' in 1760 was from
this area (C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum, 109).
This area includes a small part of Station Road, the
Royal Station Hotel and its S.W. forecourt and part of
the hotel garden (Fig. 62). The position of Road 8, discovered in 1874, has already been described (p. 3a).
Immediately alongside it were many burials, beginning
from the outer lip of the city moat. Many skeletons and
'urns' were noted and J. Raine refers also to the discovery of bracelets, a glass bottle and a fine fibula
(Raine YPL, Sept. 1874, 8). From the N.E. side of the
road came many stone cippi marking graves and also the
inscribed tombstone of [Mon]obassaeus Julius (see
Inscriptions etc., No. 83) and a sculptured capital (ibid.,
No. 134). Other finds, from the hotel garden, include
the crude stone head (ibid., No. 118), fragments of an
elaborate inscription and the carved bolster etc. from an
altar-tomb (ibid., No. 131).
(i) Grave-group, the only identifiable one from this area in
the Yorkshire Museum (H. 307), comprises two bronze bracelets for a child, one with hook and eye fastening, the other with
overlapping ends, together with a coin of Constantine (YMH,
(ii) Cooking pot, H. 2083 in the Yorkshire Museum, of the
late 3rd or early 4th century, from the moat of the City Wall.
(iii) Coffins, four, were found in 1877 in the Royal Station
Hotel grounds, immediately in front of the hotel. These and
(iv) were evenly spaced and parallel, on a line approximately
S.W. to N.E., except for the middle coffin, which lay N.E. of
the others. One had its lid sealed with a red cement and contained a good gypsum cast now in the Yorkshire Museum
(YMH, 117; Raine YPL, Oct., Dec. 1877, 15). The remaining three contained gypsum burials but one was lidless and
had been opened before.
(iv) Coffin, of stone, was found 20 yds. to 30 yds. N.E. from
the Roman road, in 1874, at the corner of the cemetery next to
Mr. Close's house (Raine YPL, 28 Nov. 1874, opp. 9, 15).
This cemetery was the Cholera Burial Ground, now reduced in
size, and the description would put the place of the discovery
under Station Road, opposite the entrance to the Royal
Station Hotel grounds. The coffin, sealed with red cement, was
filled with gypsum affording a good impression of a female
body, resting upon a raised strip at the edge, which Raine
interpreted as the bier on which it had rested. The grave goods,
H. 103 in the Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 127, item n), consist
of two simple jet anklets, 2¾ ins. and 3 ins. in diameter, from
below each foot of the corpse. On the right wrist were a
faceted jet bangle and a bone armlet fashioned out of separate
pieces of bone joined with ribbed silver sheaths riveted where
the bone was thick enough; originally it was probably spiral,
or there are fragments of more than one bracelet. A small
green glass flask, H. 103.1 (Fig. 89) stood above the head at
the top of the coffin; see Glass, p. 141a. The ivory parasol-ribs
(Arch. Journ., CIII (1946), 79), also in the Yorkshire Museum,
which have traces of silver sheaths at their base, may have
come from this coffin, though Raine lists them separately
(YMH, 129, item j, but see YMH (1875), 142, item d). S.E. of
this coffin a child's skeleton was found coated in gypsum
without trace of a coffin.
(v) Coffin, of lead, found near the hotel entrance (Raine
YPL, 1881, 24), a large cinerary urn covered with a stone
(YMH, 119), and a glass unguent bottle (H.G. 231. Fig. 89),
see Glass, p. 137a, were other finds from the hotel garden.
(vi) Coffins, two, of stone, were found in 1874 below the W.
edge of the hotel, adjacent to the Station. They were large
and lay side by side touching one another and orientated
E.-W. Outside the N. coffin a skeleton lay with its head against
the foot of the coffin, and below the bones was a wooden box
containing six glass vessels, a silver ring and several ornaments
(Raine YPL, 25 April 1874, 1). The Yorkshire Museum possesses the bronze bosses, angle-pieces, fastenings and lock from
the box, and from the contents a bronze mirror-handle, two
bronze rings of 1½ ins. and 15/8 ins. diameter, and three bronze
dress fasteners, two plain and one enamelled; also two plate
brooches in bronze, one with a lozenge-shaped face with
incised feather pattern, the other designed as a flower (H. 325;
YMH, 104). The N. coffin itself contained a female skeleton,
with a jet hair pin under the skull and a fragmentary coin in
the mouth. A platter of red ware stood on the coffin. The S.
coffin contained the remains of two young girls, and at its
head were two pottery dishes and two glass drinking vessels,
one of which is probably H.G. 127 in the Yorkshire Museum
(Plate 66); see Glass, p. 140b. (Raine YPL, 25 April 1874, 1;
YMH, 25, 104, 147.) To the S. of the coffins was a simple
inhumation lying E.-W. with a small pot by the head and a
dog's skeleton (Raine YPL, 22 April 1874, 2).
(vii) Coffin, of stone, lay to W. of the previous pair, partly
under the railway platform 4 and partly under the railway
tracks; it was orientated N.-S. and contained a gypsum burial
(Raine YPL, 22 April 1874, 2).
(viii) Coffin, of stone, orientated N.-S. and to E. of the last,
contained a body thinly coated in gypsum, with a large black
jar by its head (Raine YPL, 22 April 1874, 2).
(ix) Coffins, a pair, lay still further E., side by side and
orientated N.W.-S.E.; the south-westernmost contained a
female coated with enough gypsum to preserve a cast of the
legs. Now in the Yorkshire Museum are a jet distaff (H. 314.1.
Plate 69) and two jet hair-pins that lay below the skull (YMH,
126, k i); see Jets, p. 143b. The second coffin also contained a
female, with bone hairpins and with two ivory handles at her
feet from a folding fan (Plate 71), now in the Yorkshire
Museum (H. 304. YMH, 128, item e; Arch. Journ., CIII (1946),
figs. 12, 14).
(x) Coffin, found at the 'westernmost corner' of the hotel,
was empty, with the lid broken and displaced (Raine YPL,
Feb. 1875, 10).
This area is now the Railway Station Booking hall,
Concourse and Parcels Office (Fig. 62); it was the
site of 'Mr. Close's old house'. This last, used by J.
Raine as a landmark, is marked on the 1853 O.S. map
N. of the railway lines immediately outside the City
Walls. The house was demolished in 1875, and the E.
edge of the Parcels Office and the area to the E. now
cover the site, while its garden extended W. to the
centre of the station and S. almost to the S. end of the
station. In relation to Roman remains the whole area
extends S.W. from Road 8 to the burials uncovered in
making the York and North Midland Railway in 1840.
The burials are described, in so far as our knowledge
permits, from N.E. to S.W., beginning with those
nearest to Road 8.
(i) Inhumation, found in May 1875, on the site of the present
Station Booking Office, some 30 yds. to 40 yds. S.W. of
Road 8. It was contained in a stone coffin, the top of which
lay 4 ft. below the ground-surface of 1875 and probably 2 ft.
to 2½ ft. below the Roman ground-level. The coffin, orientated
N.-S., with its head facing S., was lined with sheet lead, tight
against the sides. To the lead lining was cemented a lead lid,
decorated with a cord pattern (Fig. 64). The interior was
filled with gypsum to within 2 ins. or 3 ins. of the lid, encasing
the remains of an adolescent girl whose auburn hair, fastened
in a bun by two jet pins, is preserved in the Yorkshire Museum
(YPS Comms. (1875), 5; YMH, 65, 138).
(ii) Inhumation, in a small stone coffin, of a child's body
coated in gypsum. Coffin and gypsum cast are now in the
Yorkshire Museum (Raine YPL, June 1875, 12).
(iii) Inhumation, in a lead coffin (ibid., July 1875).
(iv) Inhumation, of a child, in a small coffin originally
furnished with a wooden lid, associated with a bronze chain,
beads and bracelets, probably originally packed in a box
(Raine YPL, 12 Aug. 1875; YMH, 135).
(v) Inhumation, of an aged person in a wooden coffin, without gypsum. It lay inside a rectangular tomb, 7 ft. 4 ins. long
by 1½ ft. high by 3 ft. 1 in. wide, with tile walls and flat tile
roof, now rebuilt in the Yorkshire Museum (Plate 28) (Raine
YPL, 16 Aug. 1875, 12; YMH, 66; YPS Comms. (1875), 8).
(vi) Inhumation, a few yards from the last, consisting of a
child bedecked with three jet bangles, respectively 1.7 ins.,
2.1 ins., and 2 ins. in diameter, now in the Yorkshire Museum
(H. 318) (Raine YPL, Aug. 1875, 12).
(vii) Inhumation, comprising a child's skeleton furnished
with four jet bangles and part of a bead necklace, found at
'the omnibus stand', that is, outside the main entrance to the
present Station (Raine YPL, Oct. 1876, 14; YMH, 127, item
(viii) Inhumations, two, a child's body in gypsum in a stone
coffin, lying above, and so later than, another gypsum burial.
Found with other inhumations between the Booking Office
and Lamp Office (Raine YPL, 2 Dec. 1876, 14). See also p. 108a.
(ix) Inhumations, including a gypsum-coated child's body in
a lead coffin. Found underneath the Parcels Office in 1892
(York Herald, 26 Nov. 1892). See also p. 108a.
(x) Inhumations and a cremation, found slightly N.W. of
Mr. Close's house, included several skeletons, at the head of
one of which was the heap of stones containing the larger
fragment of the inscribed altar DEO GENIO LOCI (see
Inscriptions etc., No. 34). Another skeleton was in a leadlined wooden coffin, with a glass vessel 14 ins. long by its hand,
a black pot at its foot and a small bronze box adjacent; for the
glass, H.G. 7 in the Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 103, item c), see
Glass, p. 140a. The skull of a third lay close to an inscribed
lead container (Plate 32) found in 1875 (see Inscriptions etc.,
No. 145), which held burnt bones (Raine YPL, 26 Feb.,
8 March 1875, 10; YPS Comms. (1875), 1).
Fig. 64. Burials. Twelfth full size.
(xi) Inhumations, five, in lead coffins; the places of discovery of two were pointed out to Raine in 1875 (Raine YPL,
2 March 1875, 10), while three were disturbed in 1875–6 in
cutting foundations (ibid., 12 April 1875, 11; 23 Jan. 1876, 13).
Of these last the most notable was a skeleton, lying on its right
side, contained in an iron-bound wooden coffin lined with
separate sheets of lead, now reconstructed in the Yorkshire
Museum (YMH, 65, No. 69; C. R. Smith, Collectanea Antiqua,
VII, 179). The other two contained respectively a child and an
adolescent, the latter in gypsum. See also p. 108a.
(xii) Inhumations, three, found 'under Mr. Close's Terrace',
which ran from N. to S. immediately W. of the house and
continued N. beyond it (60 ins. O.S. (1853), Sheet 11). The
first was a stone coffin containing a female with a little gypsum
under the legs and six pins at her feet. The pins, now in the
Yorkshire Museum (H. 104), are from 1½ ins. to 4 ins. long,
the first broken and re-sharpened (YMH, 127). Two are of
bone and four of jet; the former with round heads; two of the
latter with faceted heads, one faceted and perforated, and one
a cantharus; see Jets, p. 143 b. The second inhumation, lying immediately above the first and covered by a stone slab, was a
wooden coffin containing a child with an indented beaker at its
head. The third was the skeleton of an adolescent lying to right
of the stone coffin (Raine YPL, 3 May 1876, 13). Grave goods
also observed included two jet bracelets, a bronze bracelet, and
coin of Gratian (ibid., 8 May 1876, 14).
(xiii) Inhumation, found in 1848 immediately S. of the S.
boundary of Mr. Close's garden (60 ins. O.S. (1853), Sheet 11).
The position is now the S.E. side of the present Railway
Station, immediately opposite the northern railway-arch
through the City Wall (N.G. 59585159). The burial lay in a
stone tomb, built of large roughly hewn gritstone slabs standing upright on a few flagstones. Two slabs were used for each
side, one for each end and four for the roof, making a tomb
8 ft. 2 ins. long, 2 ft. 8 ins. high and 4 ft. 4 ins. wide, now
reconstructed in the Yorkshire Museum. This chamber contained a wooden coffin, itself containing a body coated with
gypsum, which also preserved fragments of cloth (YPS Procs., I
(1847–54), 97; YMH, 13, 114). See also p. 108b.
This is the area of the present Railway Station (Fig.
62). It yielded the tombstone of Hyllus (see Inscriptions
etc., No. 79), which was found, fallen on its face, under
the N. wall of the Station in 1875 (Raine YPL, Feb.
(i) A cremation cemetery (see p. 79a) is described in vague
and general terms by J. Raine as underlying the S. and W.
part of the Station. This cemetery had also been disturbed in
1840, when in making the railway to the riverside coal depot
numerous urns were found (Hargrove YM, April 1840).
(ii) Inhumation, a stone coffin, 8 ft. long by 3 ft. high, contained the body of a female encased in gypsum, which preserved fragments of cloth. Found in 'one of the docks of the
new railway station' in 1877, and now in the Yorkshire
Museum (YMH, 64; YPSR (1877), 9; Raine YPL, June 1877,
15). See also p. 108b.
(iii) Inhumation, a female skeleton, bedecked on the right
arm with two bronze bracelets decorated in spiral ribbing, on
the left with two plain bronze bracelets, and at the neck with a
small, rather worn, jet pendant carved with a head in relief
(Plate 68) and three cylindrical jet beads; see Jets, pp. 142a, 143a.
These objects are now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 320).
Found on the N. side of the Station in 1890 (YMH, 133–4).
(iv) Inhumation, a skeleton without grave furniture or traceable coffin was found in extending Platform 14, at the extreme
W. end of the Station (YAJ, XXXV (1943), 80).
(v) Inhumations: in 1870 a drain was laid from the old locomotive yards to the river, across the site of the Station and
areas to N. and S. of it. J. Raine records three stone coffins as
then found (Raine YPL, 1872–3, 4). Other finds also occurred
(Yorkshire Gazette, 9 July 1870). Skulls were sent to Oxford and
were later described by L. H. Dudley Buxton (JRS, XXV
(1935), 47–48), though attributed to The Mount cemetery
owing to a temporary loss of the manuscript notes accompanying the collection (fn. 3) . There are also recorded skeletal
remains, comprising femora and parts of the pelvis of a woman,
a male skull, and imperfect femur, all stained; nearby the fibula
and humerus of a male, unstained, from peat underlying sand;
a female skull, aged and diseased; bones of a twenty year old
male, in diseased condition, the skull and first cervical vertebra
so anchylosed that he could never have looked behind him;
fragments of three skulls representing an old woman, a strong
adult man with dental disease and a young man. All these
remains lay 9 ft. deep in sand, where other Roman relics,
including pottery and a quern, were found. This depth suggests
that they might come from one of the common burial pits for
the lower-class population of Roman York, described by
Raine as occurring on the fringe of the cemetery (see p. 79b).
(vi) Inhumation, found in 1874 'across the depot lines close
to the old slate place'. This site, described from the point of
view of Mr. Close's house, is not precisely identifiable. The
remains comprised a female skeleton, associated with a wooden
trinket box bound in bronze, with bronze lock, bronze leaf-shaped mountings, and bronze studs (Fig. 65). The box contained a large jet bangle, and three finer jet bangles with
spiral ribbing, a small phial of green glass (Fig. 88) and another
glass vessel designed as a hollow ring (Fig. 88), but with the
mouth missing (Yorkshire Museum, H. 324. Raine YPL, 9;
YMH, 104, item m); see Glass, p. 140a, and Jets, p. 144a.
Here are the approach lines between the Railway
Station and Scarborough Bridge and the N. part of the
present Railway Station (Fig. 62).
This triangular area in 1872 formed part of the fields
N. of Thief Lane, running down to the river between
the York and Scarborough railway and the line to the
riverside coal depot. It was developed in 1872–3, the
principal operation being the excavation of a deep cutting to take Leeman Road under the new railway line.
The following summary is mainly based upon Raine's
notes. These make clear that at this time excavation did
not extend S.W. of Thief Lane, since Raine refers only
to the likelihood that more burials lay underground 'W.
of the road and up the field'. In the excavated area he
refers generally to pottery and skeletons scattered everywhere, but comments only upon the more remarkable
features of the burials.
Fig. 65. Half full size.
Burials. Casket-mounts, see IV Region, (e) vi.
(i) Inhumation, found 'at the top of the field under the hedge
beside the road', that is, beside Thief Lane. The lead coffin,
6 ft. 4 ins. long, was originally enclosed in a wooden coffin,
hooped in iron. It is now in the Yorkshire Museum (Raine
YPL, 6; YMH, 65).
(ii) Inhumations, found in the upper corner of the field
adjoining the depot lines, that is, under Platforms 4, 5, 6, or 7
of the present Railway Station. There were very many
skeletons, close under the surface, at one place almost in a heap
and perhaps disturbed previously when the lines were made
(Raine YPL, 7).
(iii) Tomb, made of tegulae, with stamps of the VIth Legion,
leant against one another; found in the middle of the area. The
tiles, though broken, protected a large number of 'coarse'
glass vessels; many were in fragments, but two whole ones
went to the Yorkshire Museum, where only H.G. 32 is now
identifiable (Fig. 89), and two or three others went elsewhere
(Raine YPL, 6; YMH, 102, item c); see Glass, p. 137a.
(iv) Coffins, four, of stone, near to one another but so
differently orientated as not to be considered a group. The first
is now exhibited in the entrance of St. Leonard's Hospital in
Museum Gardens (see Inscriptions etc., No. 111). When
found, the inscription D.M. on the lid and the blank panel on
the side faced opposite ways, and the coffin contained a
skeleton without gypsum or grave goods. Near it lay another
skeleton, uncoffined. The second, smaller in size, contained a
woman's skeleton, with a glass bottle (Fig. 89), broken at the
neck, close to the face; the glass is H.G. 182 in the Yorkshire
Museum (YMH, 102, item d), see Glass, p. 141a. The third also
contained a woman's skeleton, but without grave goods. The
fourth coffin, found close to the third, but opened a year later
than the others, on 6 Oct. 1874, was a narrow coffin, containing
the remains of a female coated with gypsum and associated
with a jet pin. Close to the left side of this coffin lay a skeleton
buried with a dog and, not far away, another skeleton accompanied by remains of a box, jet rings and pins (Raine YPL, 6).
(v) Inhumations, buried 3 ft. to 4 ft. deep, were found in
making the cutting for Leeman Road. Raine noted two in
particular. The first was buried below a great mass of puddled
clay, presumably the foundation or core of a monument,
together with a horse and a dog, a small Samian cup and two
other pottery vessels. The second was the remains of a child,
in a lead coffin now in the Yorkshire Museum. (Raine YPL, 4;
(vi) Inhumations, close by the York-Scarborough railway
near Thief Lane, were found in 1867–8. They overlay one
another, and those at the bottom in crouched position were
believed at the time to be British. There was also recorded the
skeleton of a young man, with a key on his chest, laid on
gypsum in a lead coffin, outside the head of which stood a jar.
The palette with graffito CANDIDVS (Inscriptions etc., No.
146) also came from this site. (Raine YPL, 7; YPSR (1867), 19;
YMH, 132, 140.)
(vii) Graves etc. found at the N. corner of the area, near
Scarborough Bridge, were marked on the Roman ground
surface by 'roughly scabbled' stones of which some still stood
upright, with their heads just below the surface of 1873 (Raine
YPL, 6). With them were found building debris (Monument
48) and a fragment of a stone sepulchral lion (see Inscriptions
etc., No. 123(a)).
(viii) Coffins, several, of stone, were found near Scarborough
Bridge on the S.W. bank of a drain that ran parallel with the
river at a distance of 110 ft. to the S.W. (6 ins. O.S. (1853),
Sheet 174; 60 ins., Sheet 8). One contained a skeleton, with a
little gypsum and some iron objects at the feet; in another were
two silvered fibulae; four broken bracelets accompanied a
third. A tumbler-shaped glass vessel, too vaguely described for
identification in the Yorkshire Museum collection, was found
at the side of one coffin. The coffins lay much in line as if
related to a riverside walk or boundary (Raine YPL, 5).
(ix) Coffin, of Flavius Bellator (see Inscriptions etc., No.
105), found between the tracks of the old Scarborough line,
also lay in line with the previous coffins. It contained a skeleton
wearing on its finger a gold ring, set with a ruby. But the small
and delicate skull, with narrow jaw and weak forehead,
exhibited in the Yorkshire Museum as from this coffin, is
that of an adolescent whose canine teeth had not yet erupted.
If the association of coffin and skull is correct, the coffin must
have been reused for a second burial, since Flavius Bellator died
(x) Coffin, of stone, was found in October, 1874, within a
few feet of the foregoing, that of Flavius Bellator (Raine YPL,
(xi) Coffin, of stone, was found near Scarborough Bridge
in 1893 (25 ins. O.S., CLXXIV. 6).
(xii) Inhumation, in a lead coffin, with the elegant cantharus
(Fig. 66) in pale orange fabric now in the Yorkshire Museum
(H. 42), was found under the hedge of the Scarborough line
(Raine YPL, 5).
This series of coffins (vii–xii) continued N.W. of the Scarborough line, and those of Julia Fortunata and of others, described in the next section, Area (g), probably belonged to it.
(xiii) Inhumations, one in a tile tomb of at least five tegulae,
and a child's stone coffin isolated from the rest of the burials
(Raine YPL, 5).
(xiv) Grave-group, now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 313),
comprising three small, orange-red, colour-coated beakers
with cornice-moulded rims, probably of the mid 3rd-century,
from near Scarborough Bridge (Raine YPL, 5).
This area, of the Engine Sheds and the Main Line
approaching the Railway Station from the N., lies W.
of Scarborough Bridge, between the river and Leeman
Road, and was previously the Cricket Ground (Fig. 62).
The inscribed and sculptured stones from here include
the tombstone of Aelia Aeliana (see Inscriptions etc.,
No. 71), the phallic-shaped tomb finial (ibid., No.
133 (g)), another sculpture described as a 'carved
capital' and probably the monumental candelabrum
(ibid., No. 137), also a pine-cone finial (ibid., No. 133),
and the coffins described below.
(i) Coffin, of stone, of Julia Fortunata (ibid., No. 106), found
20 yds. N.W. of that of Flavius Bellator (ibid., No. 105), contained the bones of a tall masculine figure. The skull, in the
Yorkshire Museum, is that of an adult of 35 to 40, with pronounced aquiline nose and a broad, prominent masculine forehead. The teeth are slightly worn. The second left bicuspid in
the upper jaw has been broken, apparently before death, while
the second right bicuspid in the lower jaw was certainly lost
some time before death. The skull is in many respects more
like that of a man than a woman, and the possibility that the
coffin was reused for a second burial is not to be excluded.
(ii) Coffin, of stone, of Verecundius Diogenes (ibid., No. 110),
found in February 1579, a quarter of a mile W. of York walls,
presumably originally accompanied that of Julia Fortunata, his
wife (ibid., No. 106).
(iii) Inhumations, associated with a stone coffin, pottery and
glass, were found in December 1874 and February 1875,
immediately N.W. of the Scarborough line, near the bridge.
The stone coffin, finely cut, with a label but no inscription,
contained only soil and a few bones. At its foot was a skeleton
buried bolt upright. Many jars were found, also a bronze lamp,
and 'a glass vessel of great beauty' (Raine YPL, 9; YMH, 11,
102); but the last, illustrated by W. Thorpe (English Glass, 41,
pl. Vc), is now thought to be of the 17th century, see Glass,
p. 140 n.
(iv) Inhumations, in seven stone coffins, were found in 1872
near the tombstone of Aelia Aeliana. The discovery of five
coffins is described in a contemporary newspaper (Yorkshire
Gazette, 2 Nov. 1872) which relates that four were of full size
and the fifth for a child, being discovered at a depth of 5 ft.,
while the tombstone of Aelia Aeliana lay 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep
(YMH, 56; YPSR (1872), 24).
This is the area of the coal depots, and railway-lines
between Cinder Lane and the Station, mostly S. of
Leeman Road (Fig. 62).
(i) Tomb, of tiles, was found in 1768, on ground adjoining
the footpath from York to Holgate (the predecessor of Cinder
Lane), about 250 yards from the City Wall on the line between
York and Severus Hills (N.G. 59475167). It lay 2 ft. deep, and
was made with eight tegulae, three on each side and one at
each end, all stamped LEG IX HIS, while the ridge was covered
with imbrices. The tomb contained human skeletal remains,
including a thigh bone and a broken lower jaw, said to have
been burnt but perhaps in fact blackened with decay. With
them were a narrow-mouthed jar in blue-grey fabric, containing ashes and covered with a 'bit of slate', another similar but
smaller jar and a single-handled flagon in red ware. A silver
ring and a coin of Domitian, recorded at the same time, were
not necessarily from the tomb. (History and Antiquities of the
City of York, printed by Ann Ward (1785), I, 88–90;
Archaeologia II (1773), 177.)
(ii) Inhumations, found in 1845, in the cutting of the early
York and Scarborough Railway through the ridge later removed in making the present Railway Station. Three were in
lead coffins, of which two are now in Sheffield Museum, one
(J. 93. 1070; Catalogue of Bateman Antiquities, 213) containing
remains of a female, the other, a child's coffin, with a small
green glass phial (J. 93. IIII; ibid., 217). A fourth inhumation
was in a tile tomb, from which twenty tegulae, stamped LEG
VI VIC PF, and one imbrex, used as a head rest for the body,
are in Sheffield Museum (J. 93. 1065; ibid., 212).
(iii) A cremation cemetery, noted by J. Raine (p. 79a above),
had been cut previously in 1845 by the York and Scarborough
Railway, and pottery then recovered, including jars containing
cremated bones, is in Sheffield Museum. The pottery is mainly
of the 2nd century, but includes colour-coated ware of the
later 3rd century. Three Castor beakers (J. 93.1018–20. Fig.
66), found together, of buff fabric with red-brown colourcoating and cornice rims, are of the mid 3rd century, and
compare with the group found near Scarborough Bridge (see
(f), xiv, above). In addition may be noted in the Sheffield
Museum (Fig. 66)
J. 93.989, cooking pot in fumed buff ware, containing a small
glass bead, late 2nd-century, found with 996 and 998 below;
J. 93.990, cooking pot with rim flattened on top, in dark grey
ware, with a rubbed lattice, late 2nd to 3rd-century;
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, Railway Cemetery (f) xii and (h) iii, iv. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, Railway Cemetery (i), unlocalised. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, Railway Cemetery (i), unlocalised. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, Railway Cemetery (i), unlocalised. Quarter full size.
J. 93.991, grey ware cooking pot, with rubbed lattice, 2nd to
J. 93.993, cooking pot, in dark grey ware, with rubbed lattice,
J. 93.994, large grey ware jar, mid 2nd-century;
J. 93.996, jar in light grey ware, containing calcined bones,
mid 2nd-century, see 989 above;
J. 93.998, cooking pot in grey ware, containing calcined bones,
mid 2nd-century, see 989 above;
J. 93.1003, cooking pot, containing calcined bones, late 2nd to
J. 93.1014, small beaker in cream fabric, containing a corroded
J. 93.1026, indented jar in iron-grey gritty fabric, 2nd-century;
J. 93.1033, tazza in orange fabric;
J. 93.1035, fluted Rhenish ware beaker, in dark red fabric, with
lustrous bronze colour-coating, early 3rd-century;
J. 93.1036, narrow-mouthed, indented, Castor ware beaker of
whitish grey fabric with shiny black colour-coating, late 3rd to
J. 93.1044, Samian cup, Dragendorff's form 27 (not figured);
J. 93.1051, Castor ware box, white fabric with colour-coating
varying from cherry inside to chocolate outside;
J. 93.1052, segmental bowl in hard light grey fabric, 2nd-century;
J. 93.1055, tazza in orange fabric, see 1072 below;
J. 93.1062, single-handled flagon of red fabric with cream slip,
J. 93.1072, red ware lamp, found inside J. 93.1055;
J. 93.1083, tazza in grey ware.
(iv) Cremations were again found in October, 1874, on the
strip of land between the old Scarborough railway line and
the new depots at a point halfway along the strip. J. Raine
specifies six separate grave groups; three of these each comprised a small urn contained in a larger jar, while a Samian
platter, a 'brown patera' and a plain jar respectively accompanied the other three vessels containing ashes. One group,
now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 25–31), includes a plain
grey jar, a grey beaker, two enamelled plate brooches in the
form of ducks (Plate 34), a bronze chain of twisted wire skeins
alternating with links, and a coin of Trajan. The pottery (Fig.
66) is of the later 2nd century. (Raine YPL, 9; YMH, 147.)
(v) Inhumations were also found near the above cremations
in 1874. One body lay in a tile tomb; the other, apparently uncoffined, was accompanied by a pottery candlestick (Raine
YPL, 9). The tile tomb appears to be that now reconstructed in
the Yorkshire Museum, which is 5 ft. 8 ins. long, with an
upward extension giving extra head-room at one end (YMH
67, no. 73), for its recorded date of discovery is the same, and
it was near the cremation group of two plain jars of (iv)
above. The numbers of tiles are, however, discrepant.
(i) Unlocalised Burials:
The graves and grave groups described above represent burials for which a topographical reference is
available. The Yorkshire Museum contains, however, a
still larger body of objects, often wholly without any
context, except a general association with the Railway
works. Most may be regarded as sepulchral. They
comprise a large number of personal adornments
(Plates 34, 69, 71) such as pins and bracelets of bone
and jet (e.g. H. 105), rings, necklaces, brooches (e.g.
H. 139 a, b, c; H. 2426) and pendants, and also much
pottery and glass. These finds are not listed here
individually, although two groups are selected for
description; some are illustrated, and the entry concludes
with a selective list of pottery; for the glass and jet,
see pp. 136–44. See also Inscriptions etc., No. 149.
The first Group (H. 13–19) comprises a colourless glass
bottle (Fig. 89) with overhanging rim, see Glass, p. 140b; a
bronze bracelet, 2½ ins. in diameter, with spiral ribbing and
hook and eye fastener; four segments of a bone bracelet, one
retaining part of a silver sheath at the join; a bronze strip; a
small bone plaque with incised circles; a coin of Crispus (A.D.
317–26) (YMH, 133, item b).
The second Group (H. 34) (Plates 30, 35, 67. Figs. 67, 88)
consists of (a) a dark grey fumed pot, with lattice decoration
on a roughened band, of the late 3rd or early 4th century and
containing cremated bones; (b) a small Castor ware beaker,
colour-coated in black, with the motto DA MI(HI) 'Give it
me' in white slip, a piece also datable to the late 3rd or early
4th century; (c) a hexagonal glass flask with single handle; see
Glass, p. 137a. This group, found during the railway excavations, in 1874, is interesting as evidence for the late continuance
of cremation (YMH, 148, item n).
The Pottery from the Station Cemetery here illustrated
(Figs. 67–9) and described is selected because it is either typical
or in some way extraordinary; the inclusive number of vessels
of similar or allied type preserved in the Museum, is given at
the end of the entries
H. 38.1, large barrel-shaped vessel with grooving top and
bottom, of orange fabric showing specks of fine grit;
H. 73, folded beaker with high curved rim, of red fabric with
glossy brown coating;
H. 76, tall cooking pot in calcite-gritted ware, with flat,
everted rim and 'hollow' sides, A.D. 300–370, (3);
H. 77, tall cooking pot with gritted fabric, similar to Dales
ware, without the internal ridge;
H. 152, large jar or cooking pot in rustic ware, the rustication
in roughly rectangular pattern, A.D. 70–110;
H. 154, beaker of Rhenish ware (Plate 35), of similar form to
H. 181 but larger, broken and incomplete, has a lustrous
brown glaze, white slip ornament and the painted inscription
VIVATIS (see Inscriptions etc., No. 151(f));
H. 158, beaker of buff fabric with black metallic glaze and
white painted decoration of circles and diagonal lines, 3rd-century?;
H. 160, small Castor ware beaker of 'Hunt Cup' form with
cornice rim, A.D. 170–220;
H. 161, small beaker, narrow necked, in orange-buff fabric
with tendril decoration in white paint, and a small band of
painted cheverons at junction of neck and body;
H. 163, Castor ware beaker (Plate 31), similar to H. 160 but
with plain rim;
H. 165, mug with single grooved handle with back-turned
ends, in burnished red ware with bands of grooves top and
H. 166, large Castor ware beaker with cornice rim, decorated
in slip with tendril ornament, A.D. 190–260, (6 of the type,
9 without such ornament);
H. 168, flagon (Plate 31), with one handle, in imitation of a
glass vessel, of buff ware with slightly metallic, grey, colourcoating;
H. 181, small Rhenish beaker, narrow necked, in pink fabric,
with black glossy coating and two narrow lines of ornament,
H. 182, small red beaker with white painted scroll decoration;
H. 805, plain grey cooking pot with ridges on the neck, late
1st to early 2nd-century, (2);
H. 806, cooking pot with lattice rubbings, the top and bottom
H. 807, grey fumed cooking pot, late 2nd-century, (5);
H. 808, tall cooking pot in Dales ware, of coarse grits, rougher
at the base than at the top, A.D. 290–340, (4);
H. 1049, feeding-bottle, with thistle-shaped strainer on one
side and spout on the other, (2, the other without the strainer);
H. 2153, small beaker, narrow necked, of Rhenish ware with
long indentations on the body overlaid by a single band of
rouletting, (2, and 4 larger 'folded' beakers of similar ware);
H. 2154, small beaker, narrow necked, and with a hollow,
everted rim, in dull-red fabric, the body of the vessel with
alternating thumb-impressions and slashes, 4th-century, (5);
H. 2159, folded beaker, wide mouthed, in brown ware with
low glossy glaze;
H. 2170, rough-cast beaker with cornice rim, A.D. 130–180,
H. 2175, small Castor ware beaker with plain rim, A.D.
H. 2182, small flask in buff ware, A.D. 140–220, (4);
H. 2186, light grey beaker jar with folded sides, 2nd-century?;
H. 2218, tall Castor ware beaker, narrow necked, of white
fabric with black colour-coating, white slip decoration of
tendrils and blobs and rouletting, 4th-century;
H. 2219, large beaker, narrow mouthed, in fumed grey ware,
with high neck and slight shoulder and rouletting around the
H. 2221, large beaker, narrow mouthed, with black slip, and
rouletting over body, (2);
H. 2225, tall Castor ware beaker, narrow mouthed, with red
colour-coating and scale ornament and indentations, A.D.
H. 2229, small grey fumed beaker, (5);
H. 2230, small grey beaker of jar form;
H. 2236, small beaker of cooking-pot form with single, slightly
grooved handle, of dull black fabric with light lattice-work,
H. 2240, small grey jar with 'herringbone' rubbing, late 1st to
early 2nd-century?, (4);
H. 2255, large storage jar, dull red, with sanded surface similar
to rough-cast ware, 2nd-century?;
H. 2256, grey cooking pot with vertical rubbing, A.D.
H. 2261, multiple ring neck flagon in buff-coloured ware, with
a single, reeded handle, late 1st to early 2nd-century, (5);
H. 2267, flagon in buff-coloured ware, with a plain rim and a
single, grooved handle, (6);
H. 2268, jar, narrow mouthed, with two small handles on the
neck, of buff-coloured ware with four bands of red-brown
H. 2269, flagon or jug, heavy and rough, of gritty fabric, with
a pronounced shoulder and a single handle;
H. 2270, jug with pinched-in lip, and single tall handle above
the rim, in dark grey fabric, with diagonal rubbing on the top
of the shoulder and a slight collar with chain-like incisions;
H. 2272, flagon in buff-coloured ware, with simple rim and
two handles, (2);
H. 2275, flask similar to H. 2276, but of more sagging form, (2);
H. 2276, globular flask without handles, in buff ware with
three bands of red-brown paint, 4th-century, (5);
H. 2278, jar with two small handles, not countersunk, burnished and rubbed in zig-zag pattern;
H. 2290, light grey, campanulate bowl, late 2nd-century?,
H. 2291, small plain bowl, rough and asymmetrical;
H. 2297, tazza of orange fabric, with two bands of notches;
H. 2298, tazza of orange fabric, with two frilled bands;
H. 2305, tall round flask with high neck and narrow mouth,
decorated with seven bands of rouletting, (4);
H. 2308, dark grey, carinated bowl with plain overhanging
rim, A.D. 125–150?, (2).
The Mount Cemetery etc. (see also p. 76): The following burials are in the areas of Micklegate, Blossom
Street, The Mount and Dringhouses (Fig. 70). Alongside
Road 10 many burials and groups of grave goods have
been discovered. They begin within the mediaeval walls,
fanning out to the W. between Roads 9 and 10 S.W.
of the junction of the same and reaching their thickest
concentration on the summit of The Mount, where
numerous fragments of sculptured monuments have
been found. Road 11 may have been built to give
access to the burials. Beyond Trentholme Drive they
become sparser, but a small cemetery has been found at
The area here treated is that within the mediaeval
walls S.E. of Toft Green. Although burials might be
expected alongside the main S.W. road before the
growth of the town, evidence is very slight. Vague
references to burials in the Micklegate area (Yorkshire
Gazette, 24 Nov. 1821, 21 July 1883; Yorkshire Herald,
10 July 1922) do not serve to identify them as positively
(i) Tombstones, four, come from the area (see Inscriptions
etc., Nos. 75, 76, 97, 102), and a fragment of gritstone coffin is
built into the mediaeval Micklegate Bar; but these may have
been brought from outside the area for use as buildingmaterial in the structures where they were found. Only the
tombstone of Duccius, standard-bearer of the IXth Legion
(ibid., No. 75), found near Holy Trinity Church, is clearly
early in date, before c. A.D. 120.
(ii) Pottery, found in the 19th century in Priory Street, was
in some cases described as sepulchral, though there is no specific
record of association with cremation or skeleton. But the pieces
include some complete vessels, a face vase and a feeding bottle
and date from the 2nd and 3rd centuries; and, if these are
grave goods, it would seem that to S.E. of Micklegate the
built-up area of the colonia did not reach the line later occupied
by the mediaeval city walls, even so late as the 3rd century. The
pottery is in the Yorkshire Museum and the following are
illustrated in this Inventory (Fig. 71):—
H. 65, cooking pot, black fumed with lattice decoration and
H. 159, small beaker, with black colour-coating and applied
white slip decoration;
H. 788, H. 2310, beakers, two alike, of buff fabric with red
H. 2069, unguent flask of red ware;
H. 2076, feeding vessel, of red fabric, of elegant form;
H. 2135, face vase (Plate 29), of orange-red ware, designed as
a male head with curls and ringlets, rim broken off;
H. 2331, wide-mouthed jar, of red ware;
H. 2333, plain jar of red ware.
(k) Blossom Street:
This area extends S.W. from outside the mediaeval
walls to The Mount (Fig. 70).
(i) Tombstones, three, were found, two at the Bar Convent,
between Nunnery Lane and South Parade, and one and a
sepulchral plaque alongside the street near Micklegate Bar (see
Inscriptions etc., Nos. 74, 89, 100, 125), but none was in situ.
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, The Mount Cemetery, (j) ii Micklegate and (k) xii Blossom Street. Quarter full size.
(ii) Cremation, the single one so proved, was found in 1953,
behind the Grill Café on the N.W. side of Blossom Street,
about 150 yds. outside Micklegate Bar; it lay alongside Road 10
on the S.E. at the junction with Road 9 and was in a rusticated
jar of the 1st century (YA and YAS Procs. (1953–4), 12).
(iii) Inhumations, recorded as found in 1846, 'several... in a
field contiguous to the Convent in Nunnery Lane', were 2 ft.
deep and included that of a female with a child beside her
(Yorks. Gazette, 4 April 1846). The field is now part of the
gardens of the Bar Convent.
(iv) Skeletons, found when the back or S.E. wing of the Bar
Convent, bordering Nunnery Lane, was built in 1880; here
also were found the carved stones including three inscribed
altars and, 2 ft. to 3 ft. lower down, the statue of Mars (see
Inscriptions etc., Nos. 30, 38, 39, 59) (YPSR (1880), 48).
(v) Coffin, of stone, found in the garden of No. 18 Blossom
Street, now Forsselius' Garage (N.G. 59685140), in 1915
(YPSR (1915), xxxvi).
(vi) Coffin, of stone, found in 1852 on the site now occupied
by the Odeon Cinema, contained a skeleton with segmented
jet bracelet (Plate 70) now in the Yorkshire Museum (H. 108);
see Jets, p. 143 a. (YMH, 126; J. B. Davis and J. Thurnam,
Crania Britannica, II (1865), 1–5, 268–9, pl. 19.)
Inhumations (vii–xi), a scattered group, lay W. of the
previous group, in the grounds of Holgate Villa (now demolished)
(vii) Coffin, of gritstone, which stood until recently in the
Villa garden, was presumably found hereabouts. It was empty.
(viii) Inhumation, without grave goods, and many sherds
were disclosed in 1955 in trenches dug 100 ft. N. of Holgate
Villa. Beneath the skeleton were two sherds of Castor ware
(YAJ, XL, pt. 158 (1960), 327).
(ix) Skeletons, two, were found in 1959 about 170 ft. N. of
the junction of Lowther Terrace and Holgate Road and some
3 ft. from the N. wall of Holgate Villa. One was associated
with a pot, but the find was not adequately recorded (ibid.,
(x) Skull, found 40 ft. N. of the junction of Lowther Terrace
and Holgate Road, 6½ ft. below the modern surface, with a
pair of gold wire ear-rings (ibid., 315).
(xi) Coffin, of gritstone, found near (x), orientated roughly
N.W.-S.E., at a depth of 4½ ft. below the modern and 2½ ft.
below the Roman surfaces. It contained the skeleton of a man
about thirty years old, disturbed in antiquity. The burial was
of the early 4th century and had cut through an earlier inhumation (ibid., 317).
(xii) Pottery from the Blossom Street area, in particular the
Crescent and the Odeon Cinema site to the N.W. and South
Parade and East Mount Road to the S.E., which included the
complete face vases from the corner of Holgate Road and
Blossom Street and (Accn. 1267. Plate 29) from the Odeon site,
probably come from a cemetery, despite the lack of definite
record. The following should probably be added, despite lack
of recorded skeletal remains: an urn containing a hen's egg,
found under a later structure in 1826 on the N. side of the
junction of Queen Street and Blossom Street (W. Hargrove,
New Guide ... York (1838), 37), and a similar find near Micklegate Bar in 1881 (YMH, 139). Eggs placed in urns as appropriate food for the dead are recorded from Trentholme Drive
cemetery (see p. 106a, b). Finally, a 2nd-century grey cooking
pot with lattice decoration (H. 2334), in the Yorkshire Museum
(Fig. 71), is described on a label inside it as a cinerary urn and
originally had a cover.
(1) The Mount:
The greatest number of burials and the finest sculptures come from the summit of the hill (Fig. 70). The
stones include, from S.E. of Road 10, a fragment of
inscribed tombstone (see Inscriptions etc., No. 93),
from Scarcroft Road; the tombstone of Corellia Optata
(ibid., 73), the stone table-leg found with the altar to
Silvanus (ibid., 138, 32), and an altar (ibid., 41) all from
Nos. 105–7 The Mount (burials are not recorded with
the three last); also the two tombstones of Julia Velva
and of Mantia respectively (ibid., 82, 84) from Albemarle
Road, 50 yds. from The Mount.
Tombs also lined the Roman road at the foot and on
the slopes of the hill. Thus, the mourning Atys tombrelief (see Inscriptions etc., No. 124) came from No. 75
The Mount, on the corner of Park Street, the tombstone
of Julia Brica (ibid., 80) and the fragment of another
(ibid., 92) from The Mount Hotel. The head of a
funerary statue is built into the eaves of No. 86, The
Mount (ibid., 114), and the fragment of a coffin, with
amorino supporter (ibid., 112), found 'near The Mount'
probably comes from this area also.
In the following list nos. (i)–(v) lay S.E. of Road 10;
(i)–(vi) are on the N.E. rise, (vii)–(x) near the summit.
Fig. 72. Burials. IV Region, (1) i.
(i) Burial vault (Fig. 72) under No. 104 The Mount (N.G.
59465117), discovered in 1807 in building the house. The
entrance is normally bricked up, but access was possible in
1955. This rectangular vaulted tomb-chamber has its major
axis from N.W. to S.E., at right angles to Road 10. Modern
ground-level is 3 ft. above the crown of the vault and most of
the chamber was probably always underground. Internal
dimensions are 8 ft. 2 ins. by 5 ft. 2 ins., the maximum height
6¼ ft., and the vault springs at a height of 4 ft. The walls, 1½ ft.
thick, are of roughly coursed oolitic limestone, both dressed
and rubble, plastered internally. The vault is turned in tiles set
in a 3-inch layer of hard mortar which also covers the extrados.
The mortar extruded on the intrados bears the impress of a
shuttering of overlapping planks, which were left in position
after the vault was finished; and, since the plastering on the
end wall returns in one or two places, it is probable that the
entire underside of the planks was plastered over. The original
entrance, now much enlarged, was 3¼ ft. high and 2½ ft. wide
with threshold 2 ft. above the floor of the chamber and made,
like the lintel, from a single limestone slab; after the burial it
was walled up and the blocking was still in position when the
vault was found. The height of the threshold was probably
related to the top of the open coffin, which lay 4 ins. below it,
in a convenient position for passing the body into its restingplace. The coffin, measuring 7 ft. 2 ins. by 3 ft. by 1¾ ft. high,
occupies most of the chamber, and, being too large to pass
through the manhole, must have been placed in position before
the chamber was finished. It is of gritstone and an unusual
feature is a step inside to serve as a pillow; the lid is a single
flagstone, 2 ins. thick, as long as the coffin but 3 ins. narrower.
The skeleton within, now much disturbed, is that of an adult;
at its head were two glass phials, one found broken, the other
complete and now (H. 43) in the Yorkshire Museum (Archaeologia, XVI (1812), 340, pl. xlvii; York Chronicle, 20 Aug. 1807;
G. Benson, York I, 19, fig. 11).
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, The Mount Cemetery, (1) iii, vii, xi The Mount. Quarter full size.
(ii) Cremation, found near to (i) in 1807 and now preserved
therein, in a large 2nd-century jar of self-coloured red ware.
(iii) Cremation, found near (i) in 1841, in a two-handled
narrow-mouthed jar (Fig. 73) of slate-coloured fabric with
frilled cordons on the neck and shoulder, now (H. 2329) in
the Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 100; C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum
(iv) Cremations (?), jars that may have contained such were
found at the time the tombstones under The Mount Hotel were
discovered (see above and letter, 7 Sept. 1895, John Smith's
Brewery to Professor Haverfield, now in the Haverfield collection, Ashmolean Museum Library, Oxford).
(v) Cremations, at least two, found under No. 90 The
Mount in 1851 (YPSR (1851), 22, (1858), 26).
(vi) Skeletons, two, one with an urn and coins of Constantine, were found in 1823 on the site of the houses in Mount
Parade (Yorks. Gazette, 19 July 1823). These lay N.W. of the
(vii) Cremations, found in 1861 with the tombstone of
Corellia Optata (see above and Inscriptions etc., No. 73), in
various containers (YPSR (1861) 30–31), the most important
being the cylindrical green glass bottle (Plate 66), H.G. 53, in
the Yorkshire Museum, which contained calcined bones and
was originally sealed with lead (YMH, 58, 120); see Glass,
p. 136b. Nine other vessels were given to the Yorkshire Museum (ibid.), but only two (Fig. 73) are now identifiable,
namely H. 2328, a grey beaker or narrow-mouthed jar, and
H. 142, a grey jar covered with graffiti referring to former
contents and therefore second-hand (see Inscriptions etc.,
(viii) A large inhumation cemetery was disturbed during the
short siege of York in 1644, when a fort was built on the
summit of The Mount. The removal of the fort during the
18th century, in levelling and widening the road, revealed that
many skeletons had been thrown up into its ramparts (York
Courant, 29 June 1742), though the estimate of 12,000 to
13,000 made in 1742 seems excessive. Finds, now lost, included
an urn containing a cremation, a fragmentary tombstone
inscribed PI]ENTISSIM ..., a coin of Nerva (A.D. 96–8), two
lamps and a fibula (YA and YAS Procs. (1952–3), 18).
(ix) Coffin, of stone, empty, in the garden of Pinehurst, No.
121 The Mount, presumably came from this estate, where a
group of nearly forty skeletons and some Roman coins were
found in 1834. One infant skeleton was 'folded in lead', and
near it was a broken urn (York Herald, 15 Feb. 1834; W. Hargrove, New Guide ... York (1838), 51).
(x) Coffin etc.: evidence of Roman burials was found in
front of and behind Hennebique House, No. 123 The Mount,
next to Pinehurst, in 1952–3 during alterations. A stone coffin
containing a skeleton with a coin in the mouth, found here in
1930, was reopened in 1952 (YA and YAS Procs. (1952–3), 8,
(1953–4), 30; Arch. News Letter, 6 Oct. 1948).
(xi) Cremation, of the late 2nd century, was also found at the
same time and place as (x), in which (1) a large narrow-necked
jar of coarse light orange ware containing the cremation had
(2) a small beaker of cooking-pot form serving as a lid, while
another similar beaker (3) and a tall, carinated bowl (4) accompanied them as grave furniture (Plate 30. Fig. 73).
(m) Driffield Estate, Mount School and Holgate Railway
The burials in the S.W. region so far described,
exclusive of those in the Railway Station Cemetery, are
chiefly roadside burials associated either with Road 10
or, at Holgate Villa (IV Region, (k), vii–xi), with Road
9. But near the junction of Road 10 with Road 11 they
extend for some 350 yds. to N.W., and probably up to
Road 9 itself, though its exact course is not here known.
They formed an important cemetery (Fig. 70), rich in
fragments from sculptured tombs. Indeed the purpose
of Road 11 may have been to serve this cemetery.
Fragments of sculptured stones from this cemetery
imply fine monuments. They include the noteworthy
sphinx (see Inscriptions etc., No. 120), the tail of a large
sea-monster (ibid., 121), two heads from funerary
statues (ibid., 116, 117), a pine-cone finial from a tomb
(ibid., 133). There are the tombstones of Baebius and of
Manlius Crescens (ibid., 72, 88), the IXth Legion tombstone of a soldier from Novaria (ibid., 91), parts of other
inscribed tombstones (ibid., 81, 86, 87), the relief from
the tombstone of a centurion (ibid., 95), part of another
funerary relief (ibid., 99), the inscribed sarcophagus of
Aelia Severa (ibid., 103), for which the tombstone of
Flavia Augustina (ibid., 77) was used as a lid, and the
inscribed coffins of Theodorianus (ibid., 109) and Simplicia Florentina (ibid., 108). Further, two altars, one to
the Matres, (ibid., 42, 43) also come from here.
The topography is complicated. In the 18th and 19th
centuries the area was largely occupied by the grounds
of Mount House, where finds were made in the early
19th century during landscape gardening. About the
middle of the 19th century the house was demolished
and the land developed as the Driffield Estate, including
Dalton Terrace and Driffield Terrace, but much was left
open and is now the grounds of Mount School. Burials
found under the railway and just beyond it show that
the cemetery also extended rather further to the N.W.
Finds are therefore grouped where possible in three
headings: Driffield Estate (i–vii), Mount School (viii–
xvii), Holgate Bridge etc. (xviii–xxiii).
(i) 'Burial Vault', found in 1769 on the N.W. side of The
Mount (N.G. 59355105), containing a lead coffin (York
Courant, 7 Nov. 1769; W. Hargrove, History of York, I (1818),
245). Hargrove connected the burial with St. James's chantry
chapel, but the traditional site for this is on the opposite side of
The Mount, and the position of the vault in a known Roman
cemetery suggests a structure similar to that already described
(see p. 95).
(ii) Coffin, in stone, of Theodorianus (see Inscriptions etc.,
No. 109), was found (C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum (1842), 110)
several years before 1842 and broken in removal to the garden
of Mount House (60 ins. O.S. (1853), Sheet 14 (fn. 4) ); the exact
original place of discovery is not known. The coffin contained
an adult male skeleton, of which the skull is now in the Yorkshire Museum. Wellbeloved (loc. cit.) states that it was found
'in the midst of urns, paterae, and other remains' and that the
skeleton of a horse was close by. In 1901 the Museum purchased a series of Roman vessels said to have been found at the
beginning of the 19th century and associated with the coffin of
Theodorianus; and these may include the eight urns found,
with a lamp and fibula, by workmen engaged in landscape
gardening at Mount House in December 1807 and January
1808 (W. Hargrove, History of York, I, 281–3). Ten pots from
the series are at present identifiable in the Yorkshire Museum
(Fig. 74), five (H. 817–21), said to have been found together,
being labelled as four cinerary urns and a small vessel. They
are mainly very similar plain grey jars and include a waster
(H. 823) of local ware (see p. 98a). The series dates from the
2nd and 3rd centuries:—
H. 817, 818, cooking pots, grey, with lattice scoring;
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, The Mount Cemetery (m) ii, vi Driffield Estate etc. Quarter full size.
H. 819, cooking pot, grey, with darker polished neck and
shoulders and lattice scoring of criss-crossed burnished lines;
H. 820, small squat cooking pot, grey, with two girth-grooves
below the rim, a waster;
H. 821, small grey beaker;
H. 822, narrow-mouthed grey jar, with vestigial cordon below
the neck and a flat base;
H. 823, grey jar with flat rim, a waster with the base out of
plane with the top (for the type, see under Trentholme Drive (v),
H. 2317, dish of a grey fabric as above;
H. 2324, single-handled grey beaker of cooking-pot shape with
H. 2330, ring-necked flagon of orange ware.
(iii) Coffins, two, of gritstone, uninscribed, 3 ft. and 4 ft.
long, were found in 1860 under a house in Driffield Terrace
near the junction with Love Lane (YPSR (1860), 35; Yorks.
Gazette, 10 Nov. 1860; R. Skaife, Map of Roman and Mediaeval
(iv) Cinerary urn, lead-sealed, inverted on a flat stone and
protected by three other stones; also a skeleton associated with
an urn containing the bones of a domestic fowl. Both were
found in 1877, probably on the site of the two houses near the
corner of Dalton and Driffield Terraces (YMH, 119, 120).
(v) Coffin, of stone, found in 1863 on the site of Elm Bank
House, S.W. of Love Lane (R. Skaife, Map of Roman and
Mediaeval York, 1863).
(vi) Finds, various, made in 1859 at the N.E. corner of
Dalton Terrace and The Mount, in building No. 150 The
Mount and Nos. 1 and 2 Dalton Terrace. The site in terms of
Roman topography was at the junction of Roads 10 and 11.
The most important discovery, from No. 2 Dalton Terrace,
was the coffin of Aelia Severa (see Inscriptions etc., No. 103),
which contained the skeleton of an adult male coated with
gypsum and for which the tombstone of Flavia Augustina
(ibid., No. 77) was used as a lid. Another stone coffin, uninscribed, lay 12 yds. away, in the garden of No. 150 The Mount.
Urns containing cremations included 5th-century Anglian as
well as Roman burial urns, but unfortunately their relationship
was not observed and recent excavation has shown that it cannot now be ascertained. In the Yorkshire Museum only a small
grey ware beaker, H. 2326 (Fig. 74), is definitely identifiable
as from this site. A crouched burial, a child's burial, and a
skull found in 1950–1 in the garden of No. 148 The Mount
may be presumed Roman (YPSR (1859), 13, 29, (1860), 35;
YAJ, XXXIX (1958), 428).
(vii) 'Stone images, urn vases and human bones' were found
W. of (vi), under the roadway between No. 2 Dalton Terrace
and Mount School (60 ins. O.S. (1853), Sheet 14). The 'stone
images' were almost certainly some of the carved stones referred to above. Three of them (see Inscriptions etc., Nos. 91,
95, 120) were found in 1852 in cutting a road on the summit of
the hill. But the contemporary account in the York Herald
(12 June 1852) records otherwise only the finding of a coin.
It is, however, likely that this area was the source of the
objects associated with twelve inhumations found between
July and September, 1852, in the Roman cemetery on The
Mount and now in Sheffield Museum. The skeletal remains
are J. 93.952, 959–63, 971–2, 976 (E. Howarth, Catalogue of
the Bateman Collection of Antiquities (1899), 169–71) in the Sheffield Public Museum. The pottery consists of the following
J. 93.987, pear-shaped red jar of the 2nd century, with the
rim mostly broken away, containing a cremation;
J. 93.1000, grey jar, 2nd-century, broken and repaired, also
containing a cremation;
J. 93.1002, light grey jar with lattice scoring, 2nd-century,
broken and repaired, containing a cremation;
J. 93.1010, small rough-cast beaker in white fabric;
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, The Mount Cemetery, (m) vii Driffield Estate, (n) ii unlocalised. Quarter full size.
J. 93.1058, large beaker in light buff ware with badly applied
worn rouletting exhibiting traces of dark colour-coating or
(viii) Tombstone, of Baebius Crescens (see Inscriptions etc.,
No. 72), a gritstone coffin and a deep-lying bed of concrete
were found in 1911 during the construction of Mount School
gymnasium (York Herald, 14 Oct. 1914); whether all belonged
to one structure was not observed.
(ix) Grave goods, also from the School site, include a pipeclay statuette of Venus found in 1872, now (H. 81) in the
Yorkshire Museum, a tazza and a lamp, both preserved in the
School (fn. 5) .
(x) Skeleton, uncoffined, and a broken urn containing a
cremation were found in 1902 in digging foundations at the E.
end of the School (H. W. Sturge and T. Clark, The Mount
School, York, 221) and in 1930 two jars were found, one of
which contained a cremation. (Information from the School
Incorporated in the N.W. end of the school grounds is a
triangular plot of land defined on two sides by the railway to
N.W. and some 50 yards of Love Lane to S.W. (6 in. O.S.
(1958), Sheet SE 55 SE). Between 1897 and 1945 it was worked
as Dickinson's market garden, when the following burials were
noted (YAJ, XXXIX (1958), where the pottery is published):—
(xi) Inhumation, N. of Road 11, without recorded grave
goods (ibid., 291, K), and a cremation, contained in a 2nd-century jar of light orange fabric (ibid., 292, fig. 7, no. 6, L).
(xii) Cremations, three, close to one another just S. of Road
11; the first, in a jar now lost, was protected by two tegulae
propped against one another (ibid., 291, Q); the second, in a
grey jar, now lost, included a bronze handle; the third, in a
grey beaker, contained the jaw of a sheep or goat as well as
human bones (ibid., 287, R).
(xiii) Cremations, six, nearer the railway fence: four were
carefully set close together, in jars of the late 1st or early 2nd
century, of which two of orange red fabric survive, one with a
buff-coloured dish as a lid (ibid., 289, H, fig. 6 no. 4, fig. 7
no. 5, fig. 8 no. 12); the fifth, in a light grey cooking pot, was
accompanied by a mid 2nd-century Samian cup and two late
2nd to 3rd-century Castor ware cups, one colour-coated in
light orange-brown (ibid., 289, N, fig. 6 no. 2, fig. 11 no. 50,
fig. 10 nos. 39, 40); the sixth, in a light grey cooking pot, was
surrounded by fragments of eleven Flavian Samian vessels, not
necessarily, however, associated (ibid., 288, O, fig. 6 no. 3).
(xiv) Skeletons, six, some 6 yards. from the railway fence
and 20 yds. N.E. of Love Lane, were found at various levels in
an area about 20 ft. by 7 ft. accompanied by coffin nails with
wood adhering. One skeleton, of a child, was crouched, while
an adult skeleton lay in a cobble-lined grave (YAJ, XXXIX
(1958), 294–5, T). A second cobble-lined grave, empty, lay a
few feet to N.E. (ibid., 295, U), while another skeleton was
found some 20 ft. from Love Lane in erecting the railway fence
(ibid., 295, V).
(xv) Coffin, of gritstone, containing a gypsum burial, found
in 1932 some 35 yds. from the railway fence and 13 yds. N.E.
of Love Lane. The gabled lid, 1½ ft. longer than the coffin,
lay 1½ ft. to 2 ft. below ground-level. The head and feet of the
body had been cased in gypsum but the rest had been supported
and covered by gravel. A cobbled ramp just E. of the coffin
had possibly been used in the interment (ibid., 283, W, Z).
(xvi) Skeletons, three, spaced apart, were found in 1905 some
13 yds. N.E. of (xv), together with coffin nails, and, on the
breast of one, a key and fragments of a long linked chain for
attachment to the waist (ibid., 286–7, Y).
(xvii) Cremation, 1 yd. from (xvi), was in an amphora cut
across the middle for insertion of the cremated bones in a cloth
bag. The break had been mended and the neck plugged with
granite. This cylindrical amphora with tapering base, of the late
1st or early 2nd century, is now in the Yorkshire Museum.
Disturbed grave goods from other burials, found on the surface, included a bronze mouse (Plate 34) (ibid., 287, X).
In this area over the years many more skeletons and pottery
have been found, though not precisely located. The vessels
containing cremations range from the late 1st to the early 3rd
century. The rest of the pottery, probably grave goods mostly
to be associated with inhumations, is not earlier than the mid
2nd century. With the exception of the amphora noted above,
all the extant objects are in the History Department of St.
John's College, York.
Holgate Bridge and the Railway
The following discoveries were made during railway construction, in 1837–9. The altar to the Matres (see Inscriptions
etc., No. 42), which lay 60 ft. S.W. of the railway-bridge, was
found in 1837, but there is no record of burials being found at
the same time. A second altar, plain (ibid., No. 43), was also
found hereabouts in 1840.
(xviii) Coffin, of stone, of Simplicia Florentina (see Inscriptions etc., No. 108), was found in 1838 some 110 yds. S.W. of
Holgate railway-bridge, where marked on the 60 ins. O.S.
(1853), Sheet 14. It had been reused, for the child which it
contained was older than the ten months specified in the
inscription. Not far from it were found the skeleton of a
horse, apparently buried erect, and an uninscribed stone coffin
containing an adult skeleton with a bone hair-pin near the
skull and also the skeleton of a bird 'supposed to be a dove'
(York Courant, 7 June 1838; Gents. Magazine (1839), pt. I,
640–1; C. Wellbeloved, Eburacum, 111).
(xix) Cremation, found near Holgate Bridge in 1854, in
a lead container (Plate 32), now (H. 1058) in the Yorkshire
Museum. The container is hemispherical, 11½ ins. in diameter
and 6 ins. high, with a domed base, narrow mouth and a lid, a
handle and a simple catch (YMH, 146). Another cremation in a
'Roman urn' found in 1837 is almost certainly from this area
(York Courant, 6 July 1837).
(xx) Grave, timber-lined, was revealed in August, 1838, in
gravel-digging N.W. of the railway, near Holgate Bridge
(site, York Courant, 18 June, 23 Aug. 1838; BAA Journ., VI
(1851), 156). The sides were formed by oak planks, 3 ft. to 4 ft.
long, driven into the ground and lined with oak boards, the
top and bottom being of similar material. The York Courant
statement, that the body had been placed in the grave standing
on its feet must be accepted with reserve. Nearby were the
skeletal remains of adults and children and horses.
(xxi) Skeletons, several, were found in 1818 in a gravel pit in
the neighbourhood of Holgate railway-bridge, at a depth of
4 ft. to 6 ft. below the surface; one skeleton had a plaited
bracelet about the arm and silver ear-rings by the skull;
twenty-nine coins, chiefly of Constantine and Crispus, were
also found (York Herald, 3, 24 Oct. 1818; W. Hargrove, New
Guide . . . York (1838), 34).
(xxii) Jars containing cremations unearthed in considerable
numbers in the Holgate Bridge area were destroyed. Grave
goods included a penannular brooch and counters or pins of
bone (BAA Journ., VI (1851), 156).
(xxiii) Coffin, of stone, was found in 1918 on the line of the
railway further S.W. than the foregoing, probably opposite
Nigel Grove or Trevor Grove. It was empty (G. Benson, York
(n) Unlocalised Burials from The Mount:
Numbers of burials and grave goods are reported as
found on The Mount, without further topographical
detail. F. Drake in 1736 records a cremation group, with
lead urn and a glass vessel (Eboracum, 66). The following
is a select list of items in the Yorkshire Museum (see
also Glass, pp. 136–41):—
(i) Grave group, found in 1824, consisting of two jet bangles
(H. 316) of identical diameter, from the arms of a female
skeleton, associated with a 'small earthen patera', now lost,
and a small urn with cremation placed near the head, also lost
(YMH, 125; W. Hargrove, New Guide . . . York (1838), 36).
(ii) Grave group, found in 1874, consists of bronze chains,
some with hooks and one with a corresponding ring, small jet
and bronze bangles and silver ear-rings (H. 312. 1–20). These
trinkets, probably for a child, were found in a box below a
cremation urn, said to be the very small rusticated beaker (Fig.
75) in red ware (H. 2071) (YMH, 135; YPS Comms. (1876), 15).
(iii) Grave group, found in 1874, included two bronze bracelets (H. 311.1–2) one with overlapping and the other with
rebated terminals (YMH, 135).
(iv–vii) Grave goods in the Yorkshire Museum include: an
incomplete segmented jet bracelet (Plate 70) found in 1824
(YMH, 126); a glass vessel, H.G. 144 (Plate 66), shaped like a
modern tumbler (YMH, 103, item k; Yorkshire Museum,
Cook MS., 140, no. C, 1), this from a stone coffin; a glass
unguent bottle (H.G. 48) from a cremation (YMH (1852), 60,
item 3), and a small gold ear-ring also from a stone coffin
(YMH, 122, item d); see Glass, pp. 137a, 140a, and Jets, p. 143a.
The Museum also contains some fourteen complete vessels
from The Mount, but these are omitted, as adding nothing to
evidence already adduced.
(o) Trentholme Drive and Mount Vale:
At the S.W. foot of The Mount Hill, just before the
crossing of Knavesmire Beck (now running in a culvert),
an inhumation and cremation cemetery (Fig. 70) was
excavated in 1951–2, 1957, 1958 and 1959. Only brief
interim reports are published; the following account is
based upon the MS. report by L. P. Wenham, with
notes on the pottery by J. P. Gillam. Most of the finds
are in the Yorkshire Museum. A Note by Professor R.
Warwick on the skeletal remains is appended, p. 109.
The cemetery was presumably limited on the N.W.
by Road 10, for no burial is reported from the N.W.
side of Mount Vale, and the building of St. Aubyn's
Place in 1938 produced only a Ninth Legion tile (JRS,
XXX (1940), 187), some pottery from the back garden
of No. 4 and possibly the red flagon with multipleringed neck now (H. 71) in the Yorkshire Museum. To
N.E. inhumations thinned out on the City side of the
excavated area at a point 30 ft. to 40 ft. N.E. of Trentholme Drive. But earlier finds have been reported
further N.E.: a stone coffin was uncovered in 1897 under
the drive of Trentholme House, now the Embassy Hotel
(Yorks. Gazette, 27 Feb. 1897; YPSR (1897), xi and
xxxii), and a slab bearing at least a first line of an unrecorded inscription was found and buried in the rockery
in front of the house (MS. note in J. Raine's interleaved
copy of YMH (1881), now in the Yorkshire Museum).
To S.E. the cemetery did not extend as far as the fork of
Trentholme Drive, ending between houses Nos. 2 and 8.
To S.W. cremations and skeletons were found in building the houses Nos. 147 and 149 Mount Vale in 1823
and 1882 (Yorks. Gazette and York Herald, 10, 17 May
1823; Yorks. Gazette, 7 Jan. 1826; W. Hargrove, New
Guide . . . York (1838), 35; Gents. Mag. (1823), pt. I,
633; YPSR (1823), 31, (1824), 21, (1825), 24, (1882), 28).
In 1952 an excavation in the garden of No. 147 confirmed the existence of burials here.
The main excavations (Plate 26) covered about 350 sq.
yds. on each side of Trentholme Drive near its junction
with Mount Vale. The south-western area, extending
under Nos. 145, 147 and 149 Mount Vale and Trentholme Cottage, contained relatively shallow graves with
remains of burnt bones and inhumed bodies. In the
north-eastern area, however, pyres had been burned;
the area was later used for inhumations up to a point
some 30 yds. to 40 yds. N.E. of the Drive. The area of
pyres was covered by a layer of burnt debris 1½ ft. thick,
and its whole extent was not investigated; but it seemed
to have extended in all directions for a radius of about
30 ft., from a centre at the N.E. corner of the junction of
Vale and Drive. The burnt material comprised ash and
fragments of coal and wood from the pyres, nails, burnt
human and animal bones, rings of bronze or jet, and
bracelets, also potsherds (including six distinct tazze),
Samian ware, all except one sherd later than the first
half of the 2nd century, and Castor colour-coated ware.
Glass fragments represented at least ten vessels, nine of
the 1st or 2nd century, one inscribed, and the tenth of the
3rd or 4th century, see Glass, p. 137a. The pyre debris
also contained four coins, of A.D. 88–9, c. 141, 180–92,
and a Flavian-Trajanic piece, while it was sealed by
a layer with two unburnt coins, of the 3rd-4th century
and of A.D. 270–3. The pyre was thus in use from about
the middle of the 2nd century into the 3rd century. By
the end of the 3rd century it had been superseded, and
bodies were then buried in graves dug into the burnt
debris; twelve were identified in 1952 N.E. of Trentholme Drive, one accompanied by a colour-coated cup
of the late 3rd or early 4th-century.
Forty-two coins were found with inhumations,
twelve of the 4th century, of which seven fell between
A.D. 364 and 383. There is little 4th-century pottery,
and what there is would suggest a closing date of about
A.D. 320, as if in this cemetery pottery was no longer
buried with the dead in the later 4th century. The initial
date of the cemetery presents a similar problem in
reverse. The earliest vessels found are few but have a
pre-Hadrianic character, while coarse pottery and the
Samian agree in indicating a date of about A.D. 140 for
the beginning of the cemetery, as if these early vessels
were old when buried or were survivals. There may
indeed have been one or two altogether earlier burials,
and this would explain the finding of two beakers in
'Parisian' ware (see below xxxii). Inhumations, as
opposed to cremations, began later in the 2nd century.
Fifty-three cremations were identified in their pots,
which were of various types, many of local manufacture, and all of coarse grey or orange red ware. The
pots had been buried, and debris from the pyre had been
shovelled into many of the graves with them. Dark
patches in the ground indicated many graves disturbed
by later burials and robbed of their urns, showing that
the area had originally contained many more cremations. There was no pattern in the disposition of the
burials, though a greater concentration seemed to occur
near the pyre area. Cremations and inhumations had
clearly overlapped in time. Seven cremations covered
inhumations, two overlying a stone sarcophagus; on
the other hand, apart from the inhumations cut into the
pyre area, eight inhumations overlay cremations. But
for a short period in the 2nd century, during the earliest
use of the cemetery, cremation seems to have been the
sole rite. All the vessels used as cinerary urns were of
2nd or 3rd-century types; some were sound and new,
while others had been put to domestic use first. Some
contained objects in addition to burnt bone, a coin, bone
counters, potsherds, nails and pyre debris. Eight of the
grave-holes contained pyre debris besides the urn. The
depth of the top of the urns below Roman ground-level
varied from 6 ins. to 4 ft. In one grave a flagon may have
been associated with an urn as grave furniture, and in
two others a beaker had been placed in the top of an urn.
Another urn had a lid cut from the curved side of a much
larger jar. One urn was placed upside down in a bowl,
another formed part of a double burial in a single grave,
in which two urns (iii and iv below), were placed one
on top of the other, the lower inverted, in the grave
filling of a stone coffin. The following is a selection of
the pottery from cremations (Figs. 76–7):—
(i) Jar, narrow-mouthed, of light grey self-coloured fabric
with zones of light burnishing. It had been disturbed, but a
fragmentary jar and a beaker of cooking-pot form (xi below)
found with it were probably all part of the same grave group.
The pottery as a group would be of the late 2nd or early 3rd
(ii) Jar, possibly 2nd-century, of light grey fabric. The cremated bones inside it were covered with a sherd of a buff
(iii–iv) Jars, two, of cooking-pot form, from the double burial
described above, are of similar fabric, both new when buried,
and probably local products. Presumably they are contemporary with the early 3rd-century cooking pots of comparable
form. Two other jars of this type contained cremations.
Another group of local pottery is referred to below (xvii–xviii)
with inhumations, though one example was found with a
(v) Jar, of grey fabric with rough surface, belongs to another
distinct type of local pottery, comprising jars with rims
thickened internally and flattened on top; in this example the
rim was distorted before firing. All of the group are of light
grey fabric and have the bulbous shape and plain cut-away
base of the cooking pot. Their resemblance to cavetto-rim jars
of the early to mid 3rd century suggests their date. Twenty
were found in the Trentholme Drive cemetery and other
examples are in the Yorkshire Museum, but the type is absent
from the rest of N. Britain, indicating a local product of
limited distribution. Jars with a rim closely resembling that of
Dales ware, but otherwise similar to this York pottery, are
probably a later product of the same factory.
(vi) Jar, of light grey fabric, with lattice scoring, of the mid to
late 2nd century. This jar, still containing the cremation, had
been shovelled back into the filling of a grave containing an
(vii) Cooking pot, large, of pink fabric with grey surface
coating applied to the rim and shoulder, of the early 3rd
century. The hole for it had been dug into the grave filling of
an earlier inhumation. The pot contained cremated bones,
large fragments of a yellowish buff flagon and, above these,
pyre debris. Pyre debris also composed the grave filling.
Another similar jar contained a cremation.
(viii) Jar, of fine grey fabric, the elegant profile of which suggests a date earlier than that of the bulk of the vessels in the
cemetery, the mid 2nd century at the latest.
(ix) Jar, indented, of light self-coloured grey fabric, of the mid
(x) Jar, large, two-handled, of grey fabric, probably of the
3rd century. It had been damaged by a later inhumation above
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, (o) Trentholme Drive. Quarter full size.
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, (o) Trentholme Drive. Quarter full size.
(xi) Beaker, damaged, of cooking-pot form, of black fumed
and burnished fabric, undecorated and without a handle, of
the late 2nd to early 3rd century. It was found with jar (i)
described above, which contained the cremation.
(xii) Jars, eight, indented, high-shouldered and of grey fabric.
They are approximately contemporary and all of the same
basic type, not widespread in N. Britain. The fabric is similar
to that of the locally made pottery already described and at
least one vessel is a waster. They were local products perhaps
of the late 2nd or first half of the 3rd century A.D. Two
Burials. Pottery: IV Region, (o) Trentholme Drive, (q) iv Dringhouses; V Region, (b) ii, iv Clementhorpe. Quarter full size.
Cremation had ceased in this cemetery by the last quarter of
the 3rd century, when inhumation became the sole rite;
reference has already been made to the period of transition
when both rites were being practised. Excavation has shown
that in about 700 sq. yds of cemetery at least three hundred
separate individuals had been buried. The cemetery yielded no
evidence of any military connection and was probably civilian.
No system was apparent in the lay-out of the graves, though
they were occasionally aligned. The majority of burials in the
pyre debris had a N.-S. alignment, but elsewhere the orientation was to every quarter of the compass. The sole evidence of
a surface monument was associated with a boy about twelve
years old, buried in crouched position in a shallow grave 6 ins.
to 8 ins. below Roman ground-level under a very small cairn
of cobbles—a native rather than a Roman tradition. Earlier
burials were usually disturbed ruthlessly in digging later
graves; only occasionally, perhaps when a wood coffin could
still be recognized, were they respected.
Some graves were extremely shallow, the highest part of the
skeleton being only 6 ins. to 8 ins. below Roman ground-level
(Plate 27). The deepest burials were 6 ft. down, and the
average was 3 ft. to 4 ft. Males and females of all ages from a
few months to sixty years were represented. The majority of
the bodies had been carefully laid in their graves, some in wood
coffins and some not, but many had been buried in the posture
of death, rigor mortis having set in before any formal laying-out
of the body. Where laying-out was done, no uniformity of
posture was followed, except that all children and most
adolescents were buried on their sides in a crouched position,
knees to chin. Oddities of posture included face downwards,
some bodies had the feet crossed, and one, probably buried in a
sack, was completely doubled up. In one grave two bodies,
without coffin, lay back to back one over the other; and in a
second, two youths lay face to face one over the other, the
upper grasping with his left hand the right shoulder of the lower.
Wooden coffins were represented by nails, iron corner plates
and occasional fragments of oak. A stone coffin was of the
usual type, in Yorkshire gritstone, and the top of its gabled lid
lay 3 ft. 2 ins. below ground-level. Earlier inhumations had
been disturbed in digging the hole for it, and two 3rd-century
cremations had been buried above it. It contained a fourteen
year old boy, whose body had been coated with a small
quantity of gypsum. An isolated lump of gypsum from a disturbed burial was found elsewhere. An unusual stone cist (Plate
27) was constructed as a cavity lined with coursed limestone
set in clay, with a base of three slabs and a slab lid, of which the
top was 3 ft. below Roman ground-level; a small indented
Castor beaker lay between the slabs of the base, and a coin of
Gallienus (A.D. 253–68) was in the filling of the grave. Thirty-one skeletons were accompanied by pottery as grave furniture,
a selection of which is here described (Fig. 77)
(xiii) Flagon, ring-necked, of mid 2nd-century date, in orange
self-coloured fabric with a graffito, PIII 'pondo III', on the
shoulder. It was buried above the right elbow of a skeleton
(JRS, XLIII (1953), 131).
(xiv) Flagon, of the late 2nd or early 3rd century, with a rim
hollowed internally and two handles joining near the lip, in
ware showing red through a white slip. It was buried with a
grey ware beaker to the left of the skull.
(xv) Flagon, with projecting collar below lip, in ware showing
red through a white slip. It was found with another flagon
between the legs of a skeleton, associated with a coin of
(xvi) Jug, of unusual form, of hard dark grey unburnished
fabric. It was found on the shoulder of a skeleton, its spout
inclined towards the mouth of the skull, in which was a coin of
A.D. 102–11 (YA and YAS Procs. (1952–3), fig. 6).
(xvii–xviii) Jars, two, of grey fabric and slender butt shape with
thick, stout rim sharply everted. These are another local product; seventeen come from Trentholme Drive but the type is
not found elsewhere in N. Britain. Though exhibiting preHadrianic features, they may belong to the second half of the
2nd century. Jar (xvii) was found at the foot of a skeleton,
(xviii) by the left knee of another.
(xix) Cooking pot, found with the two beakers (xxi and xxii),
of grey fabric. They were associated with a skeleton and the
whole group is of the mid 2nd century.
(xx) Cooking pot, complete, possibly 3rd-century, of grey
fabric, with an unburnished zone decorated with intersecting
groups of burnished lines. It was found resting across the
ankles of a skeleton.
(xxi–xxii) Beakers, two, of grey ware and of cooking-pot form.
They were found with the jar (xix) alongside the right thigh of
(xxiii) Beaker, of cooking-pot form, of light grey fabric; the
rim profile is unusually sharp, though basically of the 3rd
century. It was found alongside the left leg of a skeleton and
contained the broken shell of a hen's egg. Complete or
fragmentary egg-shells have been found in other pots (see
(xxiv) Beaker, late 2nd or early 3rd-century, of white fabric
with a worn light brown colour-coating. It was found in the
small of the back of a skeleton above the pelvis.
(xxv) Beaker, rouletted, early to mid 3rd-century, of white
fabric with light brown colour-coating. It was found, with a
Samian dish (Dr. 38), above the left shoulder of a skeleton.
(xxvi) Beaker, of the late 3rd or early 4th century, indented,
funnel-mouthed, of very white fabric with dark brown colourcoating.
(xxvii) Beaker, 4th-century, indented, of white fabric with
light brown colour-coating and rouletted in imitation of a
Rhenish prototype. It had been placed on the stomach, with
the arm folded across the chest just above it.
(xxviii) Bowl, of the second half of the 2nd century, chamfered and flat rimmed, of black burnished fabric. Two holes in
it had been repaired in antiquity.
Pottery directly associated with inhumations or cremations
was only a small part of the total found. The greater part comprised vessels disturbed by later burials and probably represented grave goods as did certainly the following four pots
(xxix) Flagon, 2nd-century, of red brown fabric; the graceful
form suggests an immediate metal prototype. The date is
indicated by a beaker found with it.
(xxx) Face vase, possibly of the 2nd century, of orange buff
self-coloured fabric. It was found with (xxxi) a triple vase of
orange buff fabric with traces of white.
(xxxii) Beaker (Plate 31), of stamped grey 'Parisian' ware, late
1st or early 2nd-century.
A brief mention may be made of miscellaneous articles of
adornment buried with or on the corpses and of the remains of
pets or food offerings placed with them. The former comprise
thirteen finger rings, three ear rings, bronze and jet bracelets, a
trumpet brooch, pins of bronze and bone, and jet beads. The
latter, sometimes in pots and sometimes not, include horse, ox,
sheep, pig, cat, red deer, roe deer, birds and oysters, besides the
hens' eggs already mentioned (see (xxiii) above).
(p) Holgate Village—Acomb:
Burials between Roads 9 and 10 and in the area of
Holgate railway bridge are described above (see pp.
94b, 97a, 100b). The following isolated burials (i–vi)
come from further out along Road 9.
(i) Holgate Village—Inhumation, in a stone coffin, found on
29 July, 1881, near the railway workshops opposite Holgate
House (N.G. 588514). The skeletal material is in the Yorkshire
Museum, with a label giving the position of discovery.
(ii–iii) West Bank—Inhumations, two, in stone coffins, with
pottery, were found some 500 yds. S.W. of Road 9 (N.G.
58385109); the site is marked on 6 ins. O.S. (1853), Sheet 174.
One coffin contained four small beakers, of which one is in the
Yorkshire Museum (YMH, 148), and other potsherds were
found nearby (YPSR (1851), 21).
(iv) Severus Hills—Grave goods, found N.E. of Road 9,
include a bracelet, silver ear-rings (YPSR (1823), 32) and
pottery (YPS Procs., I (1847–54), 28).
(v–vi) Acomb Village—Coffins, two, of stone, were found in
1776; they are vaguely described as found near the village
(York Chronicle, 18 Oct. 1776).
Beyond Trentholme Drive, Roman burials probably
continued at intervals alongside Road 10. Only one is
recorded between Mount Vale and Dringhouses, but
lack of building development may account for the
paucity of finds. A small cemetery has been discovered
in Dringhouses itself near the junction of St. Helen's
Road with Tadcaster Road (YPSR (1903), 10); other
finds may have belonged to this or represent scattered
tombs. The carved tombstone-relief of a smith (see
Inscriptions etc., No. 96) was found on the opposite
side of Tadcaster Road from St. Helen's Road (YPSR
(1860), 10, 33).
(i) Tile tomb, reconstructed in the Yorkshire Museum, found
3 ft. below ground surface in 1833 at Mount Villa in Tadcaster
Road (N.G. 58925019). It was 7½ ft. long and composed of ten
tegulae set on edge, four a side and one at each end, with the
ridge covered by imbrices; the tiles were stamped LEG VI VI.
Within the tomb space was pyre debris containing calcined
bones and nails, but no pottery (Gents. Mag. (1833) pt. I, 357;
(ii) Coffin, of stone, in the yard of the Cross Keys Inn,
(iii) Coffins, a further four, of stone, are recorded from
Dringhouses, one 'dug up near this place' (F. Drake, Eboracum
(1736), 21); two in 'Bawtry Field', Dringhouses (J.J. Sheahan
and T. Whellan, York and the E. Riding (1855), I, 651); and the
fourth from near Mr. Close's father's house at Dringhouses
(Raine YPL, 2 March 1875, 10).
(iv) Pottery: face vase (Plate 29) (H. 2133) in the Yorkshire
Museum, labelled as from St. Helen's Road (YPS Procs. (1936),
5). Other pottery in the Museum probably from this site includes (Fig. 78): 'H. 782, a Castor ware indented beaker,
narrow-mouthed, of buff fabric with orange-red colourcoating; H. 2077, an unusual single-handled flagon of red ware
with a cordon below the mouth and a very narrow neck;
H. 1104, a mortarium sherd.
V. S. Region
This area, S. of the colonia S.W. of the river, contained one probable cemetery as well as small groups and
isolated burials. One group, comprising four tile tombs and two cremations, was found in the Baile Hill
area, immediately S.E. of the built-up area of the colonia. Grave pottery and one or two inhumations found
outside the City Walls in Clementhorpe, mainly S.E. of Bishopsgate Street and Bishopthorpe Road,
suggest the existence there of a small late 3rd or 4th-century inhumation cemetery. Other burials, geographically well separated from the foregoing, are known further S. in Nunthorpe.
Burials: Key-plan of Regions and Roads.
(a) Baile Hill:
The following burials were recorded in the 19th
(i) Tile tomb, found in 1882 on the S.E. side of Falkland
Street, 3 ft. long and composed of two tiles on each side, half
tiles at each end and two imbrices covering the top, the tiles
being stamped LEG VI V. The recorded contents were a
lamp, some sherds and a small bracelet of twisted gold and
silver wires (YMH, 67).
(ii) Tile tomb, found near (i), was 2½ ft. long and composed
of three large tiles stamped LEG VI V (ibid.).
(iii) Tile tombs, two, were found in May and July, 1883, near
Baile Hill and not far from the city wall, probably during
building in Kyme Street, Newton Terrace, or Baile Hill
Terrace. One, 6 ft. long, was composed of eighteen tiles, four
on each side, with the remains of a second row leaning against
them, one at each end and imbrices covering the ridge. The
tile-stamps, of the VIth Legion, included LEG VI V PF. The
tomb contained the extended skeleton of a woman with a
second brass of Trajan in her mouth. The second tomb, 5½ ft.
long, was of similar construction, but roofed with tegulae
instead of imbrices. There is no record of contents (YMH, 68).
(iv) Grave group, found close to the foot of (iii), outside,
consisted of 'a small black urn with an iron lampstand very
much corroded and on either side of the urn, close to the tiles,
was a leaden ossuarium filled with bones' (ibid.). This was
evidently a cremation.
Several burials are recorded, and the tombstone of
Vitellia Procula's child (see Inscriptions etc., No. 90) was
found here, on the site of St. Clement's Nunnery. A
number of complete pots have also been found in the
area. Although the associations of the latter are un
known, their perfect state suggests that they were grave
goods. They are consistently of the 3rd or 4th century.
(i) Large coffin, of stone, found in July 1851, at a depth of
3 ft. under a house at the corner of Price's Lane and Bishopgate
Street (N.G. 60205112), containing the skeleton of a woman
with the skeleton of a child between her legs. The bodies had
been covered in gypsum, forming a cast (Plate 33) preserved
in the Yorkshire Museum, with fragments of cloth still adhering to it (see below). No grave goods are preserved from this
coffin, but a hole above the left shoulder of the woman's
skeleton shows whence some were removed. In 1853 T. Price,
on whose land the burial was found, gave to the Yorkshire
Museum a small Roman coin found in a stone coffin (YMH, 13,
110–1; YPSR (1851), 10–1, (1853), 21).
(ii) Coffin, of stone, found in 1865, beneath Ebor Street near
its junction with Cherry Street. A Castor ware beaker, H. 2312
(Fig. 78), and glass jug, H.G. 44 (Plate 67), from it are in the
Yorkshire Museum; the latter is of clear ice-green glass and
has one two-ribbed handle, a kicked base and a foot ring
(YMH, 102; YPSR (1865), 23); see Glass, p. 140b. The tombstone of Vitellia Procula's child was found a few yards away.
(iii) Pottery, found in 1848 near the City Walls (Yorkshire
Museum, R. Cook MS. B, pls. LXX, LXXIV and LXXXVII,
nos. 174, 181, 184, 185).
(iv) Pottery, now in the Yorkshire Museum, (Fig. 78)
includes: H. 2078, a jug, found in 1877, of Castor ware in buff
fabric with brown colour-coating, a single handle and pinched
spout; H. 2309, a narrow-mouthed indented beaker, found in
1883, of Castor ware in buff fabric with brown colour-coating;
H. 2314, a narrow-mouthed, rouletted pentice-moulded beaker
found in 1919, of light grey fabric; H. 2340, a beaker in hard
grey ware, found in 1878 in Bishopthorpe Road; H. 2332, a
small jar in thick and coarse dark grey fabric copiously charged
with calcite grit, found in 1938 under the Victoria Vaults
opposite Victoria Bar, at the corner of Dove Street.
(v) Inhumation and disturbed Roman remains, the latter
probably from grave furniture, were found when Dove Street
was being made (Yorks. Gazette, 27 Oct. 1827).
Five burials, found in the 19th century some distance
along the Bishopthorpe Road, probably belonged to
the Roman site at Old Nunthorpe (see Monument 49).
In 1813 two stone coffins were found in a field between
Middlethorpe and Old Nunthorpe, each containing a body laid
in gypsum; according to Hargrove, one skull was lying on
the chest of the skeleton (History of York, I, 289–90). In
1826, two coffins were found in the same field (Yorks.
Gazette, 14 Jan. 1826). In 1839 a skull and a coin of Claudius
Gothicus were found near Campleshon Road (YPSR (1838), 24).
Cloths in Burials with Gypsum
This note on cloths and cloth impressions from Roman burials with gypsum in the Yorkshire
Museum is by Miss A. S. Henshall.
All the cloths are plain weave, with the possible exception of one from the Clementhorpe burial,
and no features of special interest could be detected. The yarns are evenly spun and clearly defined.
The cloths vary considerably in texture; but all of them are fairly fine, while the finest is very fine
and could hardly be anything but linen. The twist of the yarn could be seen only in one burial. Except
for the burial found in the Railway excavations in 1877, where very decayed fragments of cloth
survived, it was necessary to rely on examination of the impressions in the gypsum and positive casts
made therefrom. The references below to Regions etc. are to entries under Burials.
Region IV. Area (d):
Burial (viii), from the Railway excavations, 1876. Child. The
body was evidently wrapped in cloth, as the folds are preserved, but the gypsum is too coarse to preserve an impression
of the threads.
Burial (ix), from the Railway excavations, New Parcels
Office, 1892. Child. Most of the surface appears quite smooth
with no sign of textile, but it is possible to see some cloth impressions in the folds. The gypsum seems to have run between
the layers of cloth in some places. At one end, where the
smooth upper (or inner) layer of gypsum has flaked away, there
is visible a fine plain cloth. The count is warp about 56, weft
about 80 threads per inch. This is the cloth which wrapped the
body. A small area of another rather coarser cloth is exposed
near one end, and represents an outer layer of cloth. The count
is warp about 36, weft about 56 threads per inch. Yorkshire
Herald, 26 Nov. 1892.
Burial (xi), from the Railway excavations, 1876. Closely
woven cloth, warp about 40, weft about 36 threads per inch.
Burial (xiii), from a site S.E. of the present Railway Station,
1848. The coarsest of the cloths, warp about 36, weft 18–24
threads per inch. The body seems to have been in a wooden
coffin, which was placed in a tomb of very large hewn stones
now preserved in the Yorkshire Museum. YMH, 114.
Region IV. Area (e):
Burial (ii) from the Railway Station, 1877. Fragments of
actual textile, in several layers, remain. It is fairly closely
woven, both systems spun Z. The finer yarn has about 24–30
threads per inch, the heavier yarn is closer set with about 40–48
threads per inch. The burial was in a stone coffin, now preserved in the Yorkshire Museum. YMH, 64.
Region V. (b) Clementhorpe:
Burial (i), from Bishopgate Street, Clementhorpe, 1851.
Woman and child (Plate 33). Broadly four different cloths can
Fine cloth, warp about 100–120 per inch, weft about 52–56
per inch. Some selvages can be seen; they do not appear to have
any special arrangement, but the cloth is too fine to see exactly
how the warps are grouped.
Medium cloth, warp about 80, weft about 40 threads per
inch. Minute fragments of this cloth survive along the left side
of the body. Variations of fineness occur within this category.
Coarse tabby, warp about 70–80, weft 28 threads per inch.
Red ribbed cloth, which occurs only as narrow strips. Where
measurable it appears to be about 3.3 ins. and 4 ins. wide. The
edge is always very neat and presumably represents a selvage,
so that the cloth has probably been woven as a strip about
3.5–4 ins. wide. It is characterised by regular transverse ribs,
presumably made by thick weft threads, 26 per inch. The
lengthwise threads (presumably the warp) are extremely fine
and so closely packed that they cover the weft; it is almost
impossible to count them, but there appear to be roughly 140
per inch. The cloth seems to be a plain-weave rep, but it is not
possible to be certain of this; the description written when
fragments could still be seen (one or two minute and
extremely decayed fragments still exist in situ), is worth
noting: 'the garments . . . appeared to have been ornamented
with crimson or purple stripes, of a texture something like
velvet or plush' (YMH, 110). It certainly seems to have been
red, for a pinky-mauve stain survives on the gypsum in
When considering the relative positions of the cloths, their
size and form, there are three difficulties: over considerable
areas the gypsum has not taken a sufficiently clear impression
to show which cloth is represented; the cloths in places are
deeply creased and folded; the gypsum cast only records the
cloths on the upper half of the body with which it actually
came in contact.
The red strips always occur over the fine tabby cloth. They
follow the folds in this cloth and lie parallel to one of the
systems of threads in it. Almost certainly the red strips were
sewn on to the fine linen. On the left shoulder of the woman
the strips appear to be laid at right angles to each other. The
fine linen, with the applied strips, stretches over the face and
upper part of the body of the woman, but cannot be traced
below the region of the waist. On the right side there is a
selvage edge, and below this an area of the coarse cloth is
exposed, probably accidentally. The lower part of the woman's
body is covered with the middle-weight of plain cloth; unfortunately its junction with the fine and coarse cloths is not
recorded by the gypsum.
The baby's body was wrapped separately, but in the same
cloths as were used for the woman. The baby's head is wrapped
in two layers of fine cloth between which is exposed a small
area of coarse cloth with a selvage at its upper edge. The body
is wrapped in fine linen bearing two parallel red strips 5.2 ins.
apart. The upper of these two strips stops abruptly at the head
as if the cloth were turned under at the neck.
The Skeletons from the Trentholme Drive Cemetery
This account of the anatomical features of the skeletons found in the Trentholme Drive Cemetery
(see pp. 101–6) is based on a report by Professor Roger Warwick of the Anatomy Department of
Guy's Hospital Medical School. Although about a third of the burials had been disturbed, the skeletal
remains were in general excellently preserved and they provide the largest and most significant
Romano-British find of the kind yet made.
The number of inhumations is assessed at about 316, to
which about 50 known cremations may be added; this total
may be used to give a rough indication of the civilian population of York in Roman times. On the assumption that perhaps
only half the cemetery was explored, it can be thought to have
contained at least 700 and perhaps 1,000 graves. If the Trentholme Drive area contained, say, one tenth of the burials in
Roman York, the total number over a period of some three
centuries may not have been much over 10–15,000. Assuming,
on the evidence discussed below, that the average span of life
was about 40 years, the civil population of the town would
have been of the order of 1,200.
Estimation of the proportions of the sexes is less speculative;
of the 290 individuals whose sex could be decided, 80 per cent.
were males. This ratio of four males to one female is comparable
with the ratio of three to one in one group of inhumations in
the Railway Station cemetery (see Burials, Region IV, Area
(e), (v)) and among the Belgae of Cranborne Chase; at Frilford, where the only other large group of supposedly
Romano-British people has been found, the ratio was 2.5 to 1.
The preponderance of males can be partly explained in the case
of York by its status as a garrison town and a colonia where
veterans might have been settled in some numbers.
An analysis of the ages at time of death, based on 280
examples, shows that about one tenth were children under
fifteen and that more than three-quarters died before they were
forty; survivals beyond the age of fifty seem to have been rare.
Expectation of life was therefore much lower than at the
present time. Since the skeletons show little evidence of mortal
injury and no signs of diseases of malnutrition such as rickets,
the earlier mortality may have been largely due to the more
serious infectious diseases which leave no trace in the skeletal
remains. The comparatively small number of females prevents
any significant comparison between mortality in the two sexes.
Only half as many women as men (in proportion to their total
numbers) reached the fifth decade—the reverse of the present
tendency. A higher rate of childbirth morbidity may have
been one cause, but only three infant burials at most were
found though the number of older children was considerable. (fn. 6)
The cause of death could only be determined in a few cases;
the rarity of signs of violent death, already noted, may have
been due to the use of the cemetery by a civil population.
Evidence of injuries and bone diseases were apparent and need
not have been the cause of death. For example, fractures were
relatively common and included those of thigh, shin and forearm, ribs and collar-bones; in most, the healing was good,
though in some the broken bones had united in an overlapping
position leading to some shortening of the limb. Little evidence
of surgical methods was noted, though one skull appeared to
have been trephined; in this there were no clear signs of healing
so that death presumably followed shortly after the operation.
Two examples of bone tumours were discovered, one perhaps
associated with a brain tumour, but both were non-malignant.
Major deformities were absent. The commonest bone disease
was rheumatism in various forms. The skeletons showed
abundant signs of osteo-arthritis and occasionally rheumatoidarthritis. The most common condition seemed to be osteoarthritis of the spine; at least 50 individuals were so affected,
some only slightly, some to a marked degree. Spondylitis
deformans, a much rarer spinal disease, was represented by three
examples. Osteo-arthritis also occurred in other joints, particularly between the right collar-bone and the breast bone; those
affected were males, usually well built and strong. This
prevalence of rheumatic diseases may well have had its cause in
the way of life of the people of Roman York. Their work and
habitation would doubtless expose them to hard labour and
climatic extremes, particularly dampness, two factors which
have long been regarded as causes of this condition.
Little evidence of other diseases that affect the bones was
found and tuberculosis was apparently non-existent. Some
limb bones had appearances suggestive of syphilis; but a
similar disease, yaws, at present widespread in the African
continent, could have been brought into Britain by auxiliary
troops; the absence of the stigmata of congenital syphilis in
the children's skeletons would favour another such explanation. Osteo-myelitis of bone may have been present in a
few cases but had certainly not reached an advanced stage.
The remains provide a clear picture of dental health and
disease. The teeth were well-formed, better spaced than today
and largely free from caries; of the 5,000 teeth examined less
than 5 per cent. showed decay. A few examples of absent,
malformed and misplaced teeth were noted and there were
several instances of impacted wisdom teeth. No steps seem
to have been taken to alleviate this condition though teeth may
have been deliberately extracted in some cases. Another
distinctive feature was the rapid wearing of the biting and
grinding surfaces, particularly in the molar teeth. Many in
their early thirties had teeth ground almost flat, and most of
the older people had lost some of their molar teeth from this
cause. The actual tissue of the teeth was the same as that of
modern Britons, so that the freedom from decay and the
rapid wearing were presumably due to differences in diet and
in particular to the grit present in flour. There is no evidence to
suggest what cleaning techniques were used.
In general build and physique the Trentholme Drive people
varied, like any population, but on the whole they appear to
have been strong and hardy, and well muscled, as the prominent markings on their limb bones indicate. The long collarbones and wide pelves of the men show them to have been of a
relatively broad build. Compared with modern standards the
men were of medium stature, the women relatively small; the
average for 100 adult males was about 5 ft. 7 ins., and for
30 adult females 5 ft. 1 in. The disparity between the sexes was
thus more marked than is usual today. This is not by itself a
clear indication of racial difference, but the cranial evidence
described below does suggest that the men and women of
Roman York may have been of diverse extraction.
The stature of the children could be calculated in only nineteen cases and was less conclusive. The boy of fourteen years
buried in a sarcophagus was 4 ft. 6 ins. in height, which is
below the average of 5 ft. 1 in. obtaining today; but a child
of four years was well above the modern average. In ten
examples the calculated height was less than the modern
averages which suggests that the children were generally
smaller than they are today.
The Trentholme Drive material contained 180 skulls sufficiently well preserved for measurements of length and breadth
to be taken to give the cephalic index. The only comparable
series of measurements is that made in 1935 by Dudley Buxton
who considered all the Romano-British skulls available up to
that time (L. H. Dudley Buxton, 'The Racial affinities of the
Romano-Britons', JRS, XXV (1935), 35–50). Many of these
were damaged and the only large groups included were one
from York Railway Station numbering 61 (see Burials,
Region IV, Area (e), (v)), the Belgae of Cranborne Chase (54)
and the Dobunni of Frilford (86). Thus the Trentholme Drive
material equalled the sum of the other finds. Moreover about
half were complete in the facial part of the skull and most of
these retained mandibles, so that it was possible to compare
them on a wide basis of measurements.
In shape they showed a wide variation, including longheaded and broadheaded people, but the majority lay about
midway, perhaps a little nearer to the broadhead extreme. The
females were slightly more longheaded and appeared to belong
to a uniform type. The males, however, could be divided,
tentatively at least, into several groups. The majority resembled
the females in having a low, rather long head, elliptical when
seen from above and with a pronounced bulge in the occipital
region. In profile they were similar to the average outlines of
Romano-British skulls constructed by Buxton, although the
Trentholme Drive skulls bulged more prominently at the back
and were also slightly less longheaded. One group of five
males had high sloping foreheads and prominent cheeks and
noses; they were brachycephalic and possibly of Armenoid
type, from the eastern Mediterranean. Another group of seven
had very long faces and highly domed heads; one skull had
weakly marked negroid characters and the proportions of the
limbs of several skeletons resembled those of negroid people.
It is difficult to draw conclusions from these facts: adequate
measurements from proved racial groups are not available for
comparison. Nevertheless the evidence suggests that whereas
the women were of a single, probably indigenous, race, the
men were mixed and included other racial types of White or
Caucasian stock, with perhaps an occasional dark-skinned man.
These foreign elements may have been Roman citizens from
the Empire serving at York or settled there as veterans; in
almost every case they were aged thirty or more.