The amazing archaeology of Cliffs End can now be studied in detail.
Excavations at Cliffs End Farm undertaken in 2004/5 uncovered a dense area of archaeological remains including Bronze Age barrows and enclosures, a large late prehistoric mortuary feature, and a small early 6th- to late 7th-century Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery. An extraordinary series of human and animal remains were recovered from the Late Bronze Age–Middle Iron Age mortuary feature, revealing a wealth of evidence for mortuary rites including exposure, excarnation and curation.
The mortuary ritual encountered at the site was extraordinary, but the extensive radiocarbon and isotope analyses transformed our understanding of the far-reaching connections maintained by this population. The scale of the journeys undertaken by the individuals buried here is truly Trans-European, encompassing the Atlantic seaboard from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia. Without these analyses this aspect would not have been evident from the finds assemblage alone.
McKinley, J.I., Leivers, M., Schuster, J., Marshall, P., Barclay, A.J. and Stoodley, N., 2014, Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet, Kent. A mortuary and ritual site of the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon period with evidence for long-distance maritime mobility. Wessex Archaeology Report 31. Salisbury.