People and places of historical interest in Thurrock


Mucking - a Saxon village

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Crop marks at Mucking

Mucking's Saxon village was discovered by crop marks in the soil photographed by Dr St Joseph of Cambridge University in 1959. Excavation of the site began in 1965, ahead of extraction from the gravel quarry that swallowed it up. In addition to major finds from the Saxon period, other artefacts from the site span the period from the Stone Age through to the medieval period. The excavations were undertaken by a team of archaeologists led by Margaret Jones who was a patron of the society. The excavators included over 3,000 volunteers from all over the world. The Mucking excavation was the first time an Anglo-Saxon settlement and its associated cemeteries had been excavated at the same time. More than 200 grubenhaus were excavated along with a number of large wooden buidings. The results from Mucking are frequently quoted in archaeological literature. Many of the finds are in the British Museum, although the Thurrock Museum has replicas of some of them.

Most issues of Panorama during the period 1965 - 1978 contain information about the excavations. The site atlas and the report covering the Saxon settlement were published in 1993. The report on the Saxon cemeteries was published in 2009. A report on the pre-historic period was published on 31st December - see our blog. The Roman report is due later this year (2016).

For Margaret Jones' obituary, click here - Margaret Ursula Jones (1916 - 2001). Jon Catton and others spoke about the Mucking excavations at the society's November 2001 meeting - click here.