0656 GMT November 19, 2019
Archeologists have been left stunned by the findings — which include 50 graves containing human remains, jewelry and weaponry, skegnessstandard.co.uk wrote.
A team from Sheffield University, which led the excavations, made the astonishing discoveries at a sixth century Anglo-Saxon burial site in a field at Scremby, between Skegness and Spilsby.
The ancient cemetery was first discovered when a metal detectorist scanning the farmland uncovered Anglo-Saxon objects including iron shield bosses, copper guilded brooches and spear heads. Ploughing had damaged some of the graves before their existence was known — but many survived intact.
The excavations that followed have now unearthed 50 ancient graves — many representing what archeologists call the ‘lavish burials’ of wealthy individuals at the time. Tragically, one woman buried at the site was found cradling the remains of a baby in her arms.
Archeologists behind the latest dig, which took place this summer, are now in the process of cleaning and analyzing their various finds. Items include human bones and teeth, jewelry such as intricate glass beads and brooches, weapons, and ornate pottery — including a well-preserved enameled bowl.
Lead archeologist Dr. Hugh Willmott described the bowl as ‘a major find in its own right’ — with the carefully cleaned-up object revealing ‘stunning colored enamels’.
Speaking to the Standard, he said: “We have a series of burials, 50 in total, what all include some form of grave goods. These can vary from just a single knife to hundreds of beads.
“The male burials often are accompanied by weapons in the forms of spears and shields, whilst the female burials largely contain jewelry such as brooches, beads and buckles.
“Some of the most eye-catching are the beads which are made from colored glasses, rock crystal and amber.”
The human bone fragments and teeth have now been sent off for analysis using ‘ancient DNA sequencing’.
This is the second dig at Scremby by the team, having begun early excavations at the site last year. During this time they found artefacts such as a metal boar’s head with garnet eyes — which may have been the nose piece on a helmet — a ‘rare’ bird shield mount, a copper-alloy cup, and an animal-themed decorated belt fitting.