St Stephen’s Church

12th to 13th Century African Migrants?

Excavations in 2005 uncovered the remains of a Victorian brewery at Dixon Lane in York, which had itself disturbed a cemetery from St Stephen’s church containing 117 burials. Under the church were remains of Roman terracing, an Anglian timber building and timber post holes. There also appeared to be two skeletons, dating to the 12th and 13th centuries, from this site, that were of African descent (skeletons 94 and 104), in addition to a later female skeleton showing signs of leprosy (skeleton 116).

Clearly more work was required to understand this important site, and therefore we have produced a new pathological and isotopic analysis of the skeletons with the University of York to find out more. C14 dating has been undertaken on the two skeletons of individuals that appear to be of African descent as well as full pathological and isotopic reports. Images and a full pathological report have been completed for the female with leprosy, whose remains have also been on display and discussed at Barley Hall within our Plague Poverty and Prayer exhibition and is currently displayed within our ‘Medieval Medicine’ touring exhibition, alongside a reconstruction of her facial features.

Excavation Report 

Roman, Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian Activity and a Medieval Cemetery on Land at the Junction of Dixon Lane and George Street

Osteological Reports

 Skeleton 116. Dixon Lane and George Street 2005.3203

Skeletons 23,25,94 & 104. Dixon Lane and  George Street 2005

Carbon-14 Reports

 Sample Reference: YORYM2005.3203SK94

Sample Reference: YORYM2005.3203SK104