A 1,300-year-old necklace made of gold and semiprecious stones was found in central England in an early Anglo Saxon burial site under a construction project. The find is being heralded as Britain’s most significant female pre-Christian burial place, according to the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).
Archaeologists label it as a “once-in-a-lifetime” gold necklace dating back to 630-670 AD. It is also described as the richest of its type ever uncovered in Britain. At least 30 pendants and beads made of Roman coins, gold, garnets, glass and semi-precious stones are part of the jewellery that was discovered close to Northampton. The centrepiece of this necklace is a large rectangular pendant made of red garnets and gold with a cross motif. Experts think this piece, which is made of red garnets set in gold, was once only half of a hinged clasp before it was reused.
The museum further states that the artefact was discovered in a cemetery that was considered to belong to a high-status woman, possibly royalty. Two decorated pots and a shallow copper dish was also found from the burial.
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“When the first glints of gold started to emerge from the soil we knew this was something significant. However, we didn’t quite realise how special this was going to be,” MOLA Site Supervisor, Levente-Bence Balazs, said in a statement.
“While it is still being micro-excavated, the x-ray clearly shows its incredible design. At the end of two arms of this cross we even found some unusual depictions of human faces cast in silver. The sheer size of the cross suggests the woman buried here may have been an early Christian leader,” the Museum said.
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