Skip to comments.Skeleton Crew Digs Up Past
Posted on 02/25/2007 9:49:23 PM PST by blam
Skeleton crew digs up the past
The skeleton of an Anglo-Saxon lord has been recovered as the hunt for buried treasure continues at a city allotment site. The removal of the seventh Century body follows the discovery of a rare ceremonial brass bowl on the site at Palmerston Road, Woodston, Peterborough.
The priceless Coptic bowl, which was made more than 1,300 years ago in the Mediterranean, has led historical experts to conclude they had discovered the grave of an extremely wealthy Anglo-Saxon probably a prince or a powerful warlord from the ancient kingdom of Mercia.
Excavation by archaeologists from Peterborough Museum has now confirmed that the 2ft-wide brass bowl was part of a lavish pagan funeral, in which a rich lord was buried with his most valuable possessions.
Ben Robinson, who is leading the dig, said: The bowl was found near the arm bones, which suggest it was placed on the mans chest and his arms placed around it.
It looks like the body was lying on its back when it was laid to rest. Weve discovered an arm, bits of a left leg, teeth and fragments of a jaw bone.
The bones are very well preserved, but they have been disturbed - probably by ploughing centuries ago.
Weve done a metal detector sweep of the are and we have not discovered any significant metal finds.
The precious bowl itself is currently being examined by forensic archaeologists at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge.
Dr Francis Pryor, an expert from Channel Four's Time Team programme and the city's Flag Fen Bronze Age centre, said today: This is a very significant find in terms of the citys history . Peterborough was founded around 650AD when most people were pagans, but there was an increasing move towards Christianity.
Allotment holder Helen McGlashon (26), of Belsize Avenue, Woodston, who unearthed human bones that lead to the find and the subsequent excavation, was one of the volunteers helping at the dig.
She said: Its amazing to think people have grown vegetables and gone to school nearby without realising there is such an incredible piece of history under their feet.
I cant quite believe it is happening. I thought it was just some old bones at first, but the story just gets more amazing every day.
How long does someone have to be in the ground before it is ok to dig him up?
I've got a few in my family lines, who died in the 1750's, that were "dug up" by archaeology students at Wake Forest University, in the 80's. It was a "Strangers Cemetery" though; no one knew it was there at the time, the roads had changed, and the village was long ago abandoned. I guess the answer depends upon whether the grave site is tended to in any way. "Unknown' burial sites appear to be fair game.
I'm going to have myself embalmed, and in a plastic coffin of the kind they use to store nuclear waste. I'll have my fingers in the FU position, and a t-shirt that reads, Rest in Peace means Rest in Peace, you A**holes.
LOL, that'll be a shock a few centuries hence.
As far as my situation, I can't honestly say that it was Wake Forest's fault; the site was way back in the woods, and as I mentioned, no one knew it was there at the time. They were merely researching early Moravian settlements and doing archaological digs. But, there were a few remaining, legible headstones bearing names common in the area, and controversy should have been easy to predict. The aforementioned Moravians kept meticulous records, in German, of every single person buried there, in "choirs" segregated by married or single, male or female, in death as in life, so all the grave sites were eventually identified. It's now part of Bethabara Park, and entrance is restricted to descendants. The disturbed graves were never restored, though.
Who SAYS you can't take it with you....???
Where one is not likely to find any coconuts!
Depends. Does he have any cool stuff buried with him? I like cool stuff.
It depends on how much whites victimized your ancestors and/or your descendants.
Next thing you'll see it on Ebay claiming that they dug up King Arthur and it's the Holy Grail...
(or maybe not...)
Oh, those weren't buried there until just recently.
I think this could be a ancestor to the English royal family. Alfred the Great was from Wessex, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't related to this corpse.
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Mercia was the big 'un before the emergence of Wessex as the leader of the resistance against the (continued) invasion by the Danes. Alfred (the only English king known as "the Great") battled the Danes over the Danegeld extortion. Eventually Svein Forkbeard spent 20 years preparing an invasion force (some of the old barracks sites and such have been excavated) then died, leaving the task of the conquest to his son, Knut -- the eventual King Canute of England. That dynasty didn't take root.
Mercia's King Offa built an earthwork along his frontier with Wales, known as Offa's Dyke. Recent research has shown that a much smaller surviving work, Wat's Dyke in Wales, wasn't built in response, but in fact antedates Offa's by centuries.
But anyway, this guy, whatever the name, wasa pagan, so...
Give us back our bones, pagans tell museums
The Guardian | Monday February 5, 2007 | James Randerson
Posted on 02/06/2007 9:59:52 AM EST by SunkenCiv
Will you be hugging your big brass bowl?
I'll take a dump in it.
I thought pagans mostly did pyres instead of burials & when people were buried, they were buried with tools of their trade.
How do they know this guy wasn't a powerful priest?
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