| Patterns in the distribution of graves in the central medieval cemetery of Reusel , the Netherlands |
7 ; Huijbers 2007 , 409 ). It is possible that this part was reserved for people that were considered pious .
In general , males and females were buried unsegregated . However , only males were buried inside the Romanesque church . Perhaps females could not be buried intramurally . In front of the entrance of the Romanesque church , which is expected to be a humble , yet at the same time worthy , place ( Effros 1997 , 22 ; Meier and Graham-Campbell 2013 , 436-7 ), only women were recovered . It appears that this location was , for unknown reasons , considered to be suitable for women , but the result could also be due to the small sample size .
When it comes to the spatial distribution of grave morphologies , the clustering of ladder graves east of the Romanesque church presbytery is the most remarkable . The ladder graves cluster in this favourable area , which suggests that this type of container was reserved for specific people , possibly either the clergy or wealthy laymen . It is noteworthy that this is the only type of container in which only men appear to be buried . Perhaps only certain males were considered suitable for such burials . Chronological analysis shows that these graves were constructed throughout most phases during the use of the cemetery . Ladder graves were only absent in the first and last phases ( Nater 2016 , 93 ). The same variation in grave morphologies is visible from other archaeological cemetery sites ( Arts et al . 1998 , 33 ; Lefever et al . 1993 , 194 ), although this clustering of ladder graves is unique .
The orientation of a grave can provide information on burial ritual and the buried individual . At this cemetery the majority of the graves is orientated roughly from west to east , save three exceptions , which were buried from east to west . This suggests that these exceptions were priests , for the reason mentioned in paragraph ‘ Burial within the Christian religion during the Central and Late Middle Ages ’. This is also in accordance with results from other archaeological sites ( see for examples : Rochtus 2015 , 41-46 ). Because one of these was a woman , it is possible that in Reusel , east to west burial was not meant for priests only , contrary to the common practice ( e . g . Arts 2013a , 30 ; Arts 2013b , 123 ; Arts and Nollen 2006 , 88 ). It could also mean that this society had progressive ideas about the roles of females , or potentially that we are dealing with a nun . All of the east-west burials were rather far from the church .
The surrounding graves are all orientated from west to east . This suggests that there was no specific location to bury these people . However , there may
Figure 7 . Map with pie charts displaying the relative amounts of males and females per area , and for the total .