Case 22 - Oakington, Questioning Adulthood

Case 22 - Oakington

The remains of a teenage girl, aged between twelve and fifteen years old, were excavated with some of the finest grave goods found at the Oakington cemetery. The brooch and bone pins found in her grave comprise a set of dress accessories commonly associated with adult women.

Today we would not consider her an adult. Evidence suggests that the Anglo-Saxons believed otherwise. Lawcodes and grave goods found with adolescents show the transition to adulthood in this period was between the ages of twelve to fifteen. By setting aside our own preconceptions, we can enrich our understanding of the lives of children – and adults – in the past.

For more information on the excavations that took place in 1994 have a look at the Cambridgeshire HER records for the excavation.

For more information about the research project undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire, Manchester Metropolitan University and Oxford Archaeology East have a look at the Bones without Barriers project website.

Cambridgeshire County Council
Anglo-Saxon, 5th - 6th century

One of two perforated bone pins which would have been positioned at the neck or shoulders to pin... [Read more...]

University of Central Lancashire
Anglo-Saxon, 5th - 6th century

Skeleton of a girl aged 12-15 years old found with grave goods including two bone pins and a... [Read more...]

Cambridgeshire County Council
Anglo-Saxon, 5th - 6th century

Brooch made from gilded bronze with silver plating. It is beautifully decorated with intricate... [Read more...]

Cambridgeshire County Council
Anglo-Saxon, 5th - 6th century

One of two perforated bone pins which would have been positioned at the neck or shoulders to pin... [Read more...]

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