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A woman of importance
A rare Beaker burial, possibly of a woman aged over 35 years, was found in a small earth dug grave at Kingsmead Quarry. The burial contained a number of grave goods, including the remnants of at least one necklace represented by several gold foil beads, some large amber beads and many small black beads of lignite, a material similar to jet. A complete, although broken, fine and decorated pottery vessel or Beaker was positioned at the individual’s torso.
The grave represents a rare and unusual find. Such burials are extremely rare in south-east England, whilst such grave goods indicate a particularly important individual. Only a small number of Beaker graves in Britain, and indeed continental Europe, contain gold ornaments and as such they represent some of the earliest goldwork found in the country. Whoever the person was they were buried according to a rite that was new to Britain and more familiar to areas of Europe. The necklace of fine, rare and exotic objects, in particular beads of gold would have marked this person out as special, important and of high status within the community.