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Rethinking the Roman to Early Medieval Transition at Girton's Cemetery by Dr Emma Brownlee

Lion's head in the Lawrence Room

Lawrence Room cremation urnsRethinking the Roman to Early Medieval Transition at Girton's Cemetery

In the 1880s, a large early medieval cemetery was excavated in the grounds of Girton College. Although a summary of the findings was published in 1925, the site has never been fully analysed. However, combining the information from the original excavation diaries and the collections housed in the Lawrence Room and the Museum for Archaeology and Anthropology reveals a site with an unusual level of continuity from the third to sixth centuries AD. In this talk, Dr Emma Brownlee discussed what Girton’s cemetery can tell us about the end of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the medieval world, based on the archives and new scientific analysis of the cemetery remains. 


Image of Dr Emma BronleeDr Emma Brownlee

Emma completed her BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2014, her MA in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in 2015, and her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2019. Emma's PhD thesis was entitled "Burial Practices in Transition: A study of the cultural and religious cohesion of early medieval Europe".

In 2020, she was elected a junior research fellow at Girton College, Cambridge.