Thursday, February 12, 2004


Straight out of Beowulf, archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of an Anglo-Saxon king:
Excavations at Southend-on-Sea revealed the intact tomb of an early seventh century Saxon monarch - almost certainly either Saeberht or Sigeberht, both kings of Dark Age Essex....

The grave goods - designed to enable the king to live well in the next world - include a 75cm diameter copper cauldron, a 35cm hanging bowl from northern England or Ireland and an exquisite 25cm diameter copper bowl, probably from Italy.

There is also a 30cm high flagon, almost certainly from the Byzantine Empire, two gold foil crosses, an iron-framed folding stool, a sort of mobile throne, a gold reliquary which would probably have contained a bone fragment from a saint, four glass vessels, two drinking horns, the king's sword and the remains of his shield, two gold coins from Merovingian France, the remains of a lyre, and several iron-clad barrels and buckets, presumably for alcoholic drink.

The king's skeleton has not survived due to the acidic nature of the soil.

Fun stuff.

[Link via LRC]

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