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Saxon Burials



A chance find by a local metal-detectorist led to the discovery of a small Saxon Cemetery near Leighton Buzzard, possibly dating from the sixth century.

Following a geophysical survey of the area, members of the Society completed a two week excavation during 2015 which revealed the graves of four individuals, one female and three males. They appear to have been quite young, possibly within the age range of fifteen to twenty five years old.

One of the males had suffered a broken left leg during his lifetime which had healed but had become infected and caused an abscess. This left him with a shortened leg.

Two of the males were buried with shields but only the central iron bosses remained, the actual shields were probably made of wood and leather but these had not survived. Each also had a knife buried with them. There was no evidence of any coffins and it is likely they were buried wearing a cloak or a shroud as there was a pin and some metal studs in the upper part of the chests which could have been for fastening the material.

The female was buried with some jewellery including a Bronze pin, two brooches which were probably fixed to the upper part of her cloak and a single glass bead, possibly suspended around her neck. She also had a bone comb which she may have been holding with her left hand.

The finds are now being researched and conserved. A scientific study of the skeletons will be carried out before they are re-interred.

Further details will be included in the Society’s Journal, Transactions, which will be published April 2016.



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