Today’s Solutions: June 24, 2022

A large burial site containing a wealth of Britain’s early ancestors and treasures has been discovered near Wendover, Buckinghamshire. 

Historian Dan Snow described it as a “stunning set of discoveries,” and the find has illuminated parts of the past. “Traditionally, this period has been dismissed as a dark age. But archaeology has filled the gaps.”

The site contains the remains of over 140 people buried with some of their most treasured belongings, like jewelry, knives, and even personal grooming kits. It is one of the most extensive finds detailing post-Roman Britain and shows a great deal about how the Anglo-Saxons lived. 

One skeleton of a young man was examined and determined to have died a violent death, with an iron object stuck in his vertebrae. Many of the buried people there had vivid blue stains on their collarbones, which was where collarbone brooches kept cloaks in place. A female skeleton was found with many possessions, including ornate green glassware from the fifth century, rings, brooches, and ivory objects. These findings suggest that the deceased were of higher status and that this site may have had some significance during their period. 

138 graves and an abundance of artifacts, including thousands of beads, 40 buckles, 89 brooches, 51 knives, 15 spearheads, and seven shields make this one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial sites ever discovered. 

“It’s rare to discover Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, especially with this many individuals – men, women, and children – and an amazing range of grave goods. Almost all the individuals were buried with fantastically decorated brooches, but we’ve also found the glass and amber beads, swords, shield bosses, spearheads, fantastically decorated pottery jewelry – quite a lot of unique objects,” said Dr. Rachel Wood, lead archaeologist of the dig. 

“The fifth and sixth centuries are not ones we know a lot about, and all the objects we found will be able to tell us a lot about these people. It gives us a great snapshot of society.”

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