Decapitated bodies unearthed at Roman burial site in Cambs quarry

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire.

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Dave Webb - Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Dozens of bodies, including seventeen decapitated, have been dug up at a Roman burial site located an east Cambridgeshire quarry.  

The spooky discovery was made after recent excavations at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham, less than 15 miles from Ely city centre.

Construction materials company, Tarmac, uncovered the Roman site at the quarry which has since become of international interest.  

Findings, dating back to the 3rd century, revealed a total of 52 burials, as well as 17 decapitated bodies who are believed to be victims of Roman execution methods.   

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire.

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Dave Webb - Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Dr Isabel Lisboa of Archaeologica Ltd said: “This is a nationally and globally significant find that will continue to help us understand more about Roman Britain for years to come.”   


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According to experts, Knobb’s Farm has an “exceptionally high proportion” of decapitated bodies, with males and females “equally represented”.   

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire.

Bodies were unearthed at Knobb’s Farm quarry in Somersham in east Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Dave Webb - Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Alan Everard, head of strategic planning south at Tarmac, said: “Our activity at Knobb’s Farm has enabled a deeper understanding of the rich archaeology that lies within our land.”   

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