17 June 2022

Anglo-Saxon burial ground unearthed at HS2 site in Buckinghamshire.

An Anglo-Saxon burial site containing the remains of more than 140 people interred with some of their most favoured objects, including jewellery, knives and even a personal grooming kit, has been discovered by archaeologists working on the HS2 route.

The site, near Wendover, Buckinghamshire, contained a “stunning set of discoveries”, said the historian Dan Snow. “Traditionally, this period has been dismissed as a dark age. But archaeology has filled the gaps.”

The findings would “tell us more about how our predecessors lived, fought and ultimately died”, he said. “It is one of the best and most revealing post-Roman sites in the country.”

One skeleton, a male aged between 17 and 24 at the time of death, was found with a sharp iron object embedded in his vertebrae, suggesting he suffered a violent death. Osteologists who have examined the skeleton believe a weapon was thrust into his body from the front before embedding in his spine.

A vivid blue stain on his collarbone came from a brooch used to hold up garments. Many of the site’s skeletons were found with two collarbone brooches keeping cloaks or peplos – long outer robes worn by women – in place.

One female skeleton was found with a vast array of goods, including a complete ornate pale green glass bowl thought to be made around the turn of the fifth century, indicating she was a person of high status. Other items found with her remains included rings, brooches, iron belt fittings and ivory objects.

The site contained 138 graves with 141 inhumation burials and five cremation burials, making it one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial grounds uncovered in Britain. More than 2,000 beads were unearthed, along with 89 brooches, 40 buckles, 51 knives, 15 spearheads and seven shield bosses.

Source: www.bbc.com

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