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1,400-Year-Old Anglo-Saxon Burial Unearthed in Canterbury

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Canterbury BroochCANTERBURY, ENGLAND—Kent Online reports that archaeologists investigating a site ahead of a construction project on the grounds of Christ Church University in southeastern England uncovered the remains of a young Anglo-Saxon woman who was buried sometime between A.D. 580 and 600. The grave was close to St. Augustine’s Abbey, which was first constructed in the early seventh century A.D. by Christian monks who arrived in Canterbury in A.D. 597. The woman was wearing a disc brooch made of silver inlaid with garnets, a necklace of amber and glass beads, a belt fastened with a copper alloy buckle, and a copper alloy bracelet. The garnets in the brooch, which was probably a gift from Kentish royalty, are thought to have been imported from Sri Lanka. The researchers suggest the woman may have known the Kentish King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha. Andrew Richardson of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust said the burial suggests that people of high status were buried at the site before the cemetery at the Christian abbey was established. To read about a box discovered in an Anglo-Saxon woman's grave that may have been used to hold personal items, go to "Artifact."

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