Medieval hoard of treasures unearthed in Cambridge

Started by gash, February 02, 2021, 11:01:07 pm

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An early medieval graveyard unearthed beneath student accommodation at Cambridge University has been described as "one of the most exciting finds of Anglo-Saxon archaeology since the 19th century".

King's College discovered the "extensive" cemetery, containing more than 60 graves, after demolishing a group of 1930s buildings which had recently housed graduates and staff in the west of the city, to make way for more modern halls.

Around 200 items in the graves, including bronze brooches, bead necklaces, swords, short blades, pottery and glass flasks, have been systematically uncovered. Most date from the early Anglo-Saxon period (c400-650 CE), although evidence of iron age structures and Roman earthworks has also been found.

Dr Caroline Goodson, who teaches early medieval history at King's, said the human remains they found were remarkably "well preserved". "The alkaline soil, which is typical around here, hasn't decomposed the bones."

This is significant, because it will enable archaeologists to apply very modern scientific techniques to reveal the diet and DNA of the dead, permitting analysis of migration and family relationships.

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