|Trumpington Local History Group
Trumpington Archaeology and
Ancient DNA Research
|Evidence from Trumpington excavations incorporated in archaeology research project
about Beaker People
A large-scale research project about the settlement of Britain by the Beaker people from the
continent used evidence from two recent Trumpington archaeological excavations.
This wave of migration from northern Europe to Britain started around 2500 BC and largely
supplanted the indigenous people (the builders of Stonehenge, etc.). The researchers have
analysed 155 skeletons, including 'an enigmatic double burial from Trumpington of a teenage boy
and girl' [The Guardian] and two burials from Clay Farm. The reference to the double burial is
to bodies found when the Neolithic round barrow was excavated in 2010 in the area where
Trumpington Meadows Primary School has been built (see the reports on our site visit in May
2011 and our meeting in April 2013).
The original article is in Nature, "The Beaker phenomenon and the genomic transformation of
northwest Europe", Nature, doi:10.1038/nature25738, 21 February 2018 (see online summary).
There is no specific reference to Trumpington in the body of the text (which is relatively short
and analytical) but the list of UK sites in a table has entries for Trumpington Meadows and Clay
The University of Cambridge and Oxford Archaeology websites have notes about the local
University Department of Archaeology: The text includes: "Aside from contributing a number of
later, Bronze Age-individual samples, seven of the Beaker burials analysed from Britain were
provided by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, University of Cambridge. The most immediate
of these is from a double grave at Trumpington Meadows, near the riverside just south of the
village. Laid head-to-toe, one individual was a 16–18 year-old female, with the other a 17–20
year-old male. The pair date between 2000 and 1950 BC and, characteristic of the period, each
was accompanied by a fineware beaker. Although what caused the pair’s death is unknown, their
genetic analysis shows – aside from their direct near-Continental links – that, sharing
mitochondrial DNA, they were second or third degree relatives.
Oxford Archaeology (OAE): "Among the sites that have contributed data are several excavated
by Oxford Archaeology, including Yarnton and Radley in Oxfordshire, Eton Rowing Course in
Buckinghamshire, Melton Quarry in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and Clay Farm in
Newspapers reports, etc.:
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2018. Updated 7 October 2018.
|Skeletons excavated from Trumpington Meadows and Clay Farm have
been used in a major research project about the Neolithic Beaker people
who started to settle in Britain around 2500 BC.
|Double “Beaker burial” excavated at Trumpington Meadows. Dave
Webb, Cambridge Archaeological Unit.
|Double “Beaker burial” excavated at
Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge
by the Cambridge Archaeological
Unit. Laid head-to-toe, the grave is
that of a 16–18 year-old female, and a
17–20 year-old male. The grave dates
to between 2000 and 1950 BC and,
characteristic of the period, each was
accompanied by a fineware beaker.
aDNA analyses of the pair are
included in the study. Image credit:
Dave Webb, Cambridge
|Fineware beakers excavated from the Trumpington Meadows double beaker
burial. Dave Webb, Cambridge Archaeological Unit.