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Barrow Clump 2014: Week 4


The continued good weather has meant that we have been able to make excellent progress on site. Our excavation of the Anglo-Saxon graves has continued apace with some exciting discoveries. One of the graves revealed an unusual burial, as the remains were in a crouched position. Whilst not unknown in Saxon burials, this is a first for this site and an interesting addition to the other inhumation burials.
The highlight of the week, however came in the form of a particularly special grave. This was first encountered towards the end of last week when the excavation of a deep grave unearthed a shield boss along with the pointed tip of an iron object. Full excavation of the grave exceeded our expectations, with the pointed tip belonging to a sword. This is a particularly rare find and a first for Barrow Clump. The condition of the sword was impressive, with the copper alloy fittings from the scabbard surviving in-situ along with an associated bead. The mineralised remains alongside the metal suggest that the scabbard was made of wood and leather, with the handle made from horn. We will X-ray the sword in order to gather more information on its design and construction. Along with the sword and shield boss, the grave contained a spearhead and a knife making it the most richly furnished male burial on site, the sign of a prestigious individual.
Our week ended with a site open day for the local community, featuring site tours and a range of exciting displays and demonstrations.
Written by Angus Forshaw


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