British archaeologists have recently uncovered an early medieval burial ground and according to them, it is one of the largest ever found in England. It consists of graves for roughly 140 men, women, and children who were buried with a wide range of objects from the fifth and sixth centuries.
Archaeologists Were Working Ahead of a Planned High-speed Rail Project
According to the team’s lead archaeologist, Rachel Wood, the significance of the site for the historical and archaeological understanding of Anglo-Saxon Britain was huge. She also stated that the burial site was not one she would have anticipated finding. Apparently, discovering one such burial would have been astonishing, and finding so many was rather unbelievable. The team was working ahead of the planned high-speed rail project and also found evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age activity, along with signs of the Roman expansion in the area.
In total, the site consisted of 138 graves, having 141 regular burials and 5 cremation ones. Among the graves, scientists found more than 2,000 amber beads, 15 spearheads, 40 buckles, 51 knives, and 89 brooches. It was fortuitous that the objects varied from grave to grave, allowing researchers to study more clues about the ways the people buried at the side lived and died.
Archaeologists Have Said the Graves Belonged to a Wealthy Community
According to the archaeologists, most of the individuals were buried with various objects, suggesting they were part of a wealthy community. One woman, in particular, was likely to have had a very high status because she was buried with jewelry, ivory, and an ornate green glass bowl. Another grave had the remains of a young man who had a sharp iron item lodged in his spine. The archaeologists have stated that the man might have died when a foe attacked him from the front using this object.
The team found many mundane objects like combs, tweezers, ear wax removers, toothpicks, and other beauty and grooming supplies. More distinctive items discovered at the site include brooches used to hold up cloaks and outer robes and two glass beakers that were probably made in northern France.