Archaeologists don’t often jump around with enthusiasm, but the Museum of London’s archeology team couldn’t contain themselves on Tuesday as they unveiled an “exciting” discovery made on the last day of the barren spring’s digging.
“This is the most important medieval female burial ever found in Britain,” said lead excavation Levante Pence Pallas. “It is an archaeologist’s dream to find something like this.”
“I looked in a suspicious-looking garbage chute and saw teeth,” Ballas added, his voice cracking with memories. Then two golden objects appeared from the ground and lit up at me. These artifacts have not seen the light of day for 1,300 years, and the first person to see them cannot be explained. But until then, we don’t know how unique this discovery is.
Pallas discovered an unusual necklace of 30 intricately worked gold, garnets and semi-precious stones – a woman buried in a bed between 630 and 670 AD. It is, at a distance of a mile, the richest necklace of its kind found in Britain and displays unparalleled craftsmanship in the early medieval period.
A large, elaborately decorated cross buried with the woman, face buried beneath, is another unique and enigmatic feature of the tomb’s secrets, and contains a very unusual depiction of a human face in smooth silver with glassy-blue eyes. Two bowls were buried with her, and they still contain mysterious remains, which have yet to be analysed.
Pallas said: “This is a discovery of international importance. This discovery determined the course of history, and the impact will grow stronger the deeper we delve into this discovery. These mysterious discoveries raise more questions than they answer. There is a lot to discover about what we discovered and what it means.
Digging in April is very unfavorable. The isolated little village of Harpole in Northamptonshire, whose name means ‘dirty pond’, was known only before. The scary annual festival and its neighborhood One of the worst motorway service stations in the UK.
There are no ancient churches near the excavations or other burial sites. But thanks to practice developer funded archeology, He commissioned the Vistry Group House Builders to search their building site.
“I’ve worked on Wistry for 19 years, so I’ve had a lot of contact with archaeologists,” said Daniel Oliver, Wistry’s regional technical director. “I am used to Simon [Mortimer, archaeology consultant for the RPS group] Call me excited about cutting pot. At his side, Mortimer stiffens in defiance, and Oliver quickly adds, “Sure Pot Pies are more interesting.”
“The day the team found Harpole’s treasure, I had five missed calls from Simon on my phone,” Oliver said. “I knew then that it was more than just shards of utensils. They are as sexy as shards of pots.
The woman—despite her only crowns on her teeth—was certainly of great personal wealth as an early Christian leader, perhaps as a saint and princess. Lyn Blackmore, an expert on the Museum of London’s archeology team, said: “Women have been found buried with swords, but no men have been found buried with necklaces.” Experts agree that she must have been one of the first women to attain high church office in Britain.
She was clearly religious, and her grave is a testament to the changing times, when pagan and Christian beliefs were still in a state of flux. “It’s a wonderful burial of uniform iconography: the burial has a distinctly pagan flavor, but the tomb is heavily inscribed with Christian iconography,” Mortimer said.
The Cabinet waived its right to the treasure, which was now state property. Once the restoration work is complete, the team hopes to display it locally – an arduous endeavor that will take at least another two years.
Oliver wonders where the actual dig site is. It is not built but, equally, it is not marked. “We don’t want people to come with metal detectors,” he said. “That would be a lot.”
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