7th Century royal Anglo-Saxon burial ground discovered

November 21st, 2007 - 4:17 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 21 (ANI): A 7 th Century royal Anglo-Saxon burial ground has been discovered in East Cleveland, UK the only such graveyard in the north of the country.

Also found at the site was a range of high status jewellery, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles.

The grave was discovered back in 2005 by freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock after he studied an aerial photograph of land in East Cleveland.

Since then, he has been supervising the excavations done with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four-six weeks every summer.

Till now the team has uncovered 109 graves in an area the size of half a football pitch.

Mr Sherlock, an archaeologist since 1979, said that the cemetery, bed burial and high status objects all indicated the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

“Whilst human bone does not survive because of the acidic soils, a range of high status jewellery was found, including glass beads, pottery, iron knives and belt buckles,” 24dash.com quoted him, as saying.

“Five of the graves had gold and silver brooches and a further burial had a seax, a type of Anglo-Saxon sword.

“One burial had been placed upon a bed with the lady dressed wearing three gold brooches, one of which is unparalleled in Anglo-Saxon England.

“Quite who this person was we may never know, but we can say she was alive at the time St Hilda was establishing the monastery at Whitby.

“Preliminary analysis of the finest brooch suggests it was made with Merovingian gold, indicating possible continental links.

“The other brooches are all thought to have originated in Kent and so it is clear the people buried near Loftus had access to the best craftsworkers in Anglo-Saxon England.”

Tees Archaeology officer, Robin Daniels, said: “This is the only known Anglo Saxon royal burial site in the North of England.

“It is the most dramatic find of Anglo Saxon material for generations.”

The next step is for the Teesside coroner to conduct an inquest to confirm the ‘treasure’ definition, after which the find will be valued by a panel of experts from the British Museum. (ANI)

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