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Bejeweled Anglo-Saxon Found in Christian "Burial Bed"..

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:05 PM
To start, I used the search function and didn't see this anywhere and mods if this is in the wrong forum please feel free to move it to the appropriate one.

Bejeweled Anglo-Saxon Found in Christian "Burial Bed"

Sleeping Beauty;

The skeleton of a young Christian noblewoman, who was laid to rest on a "burial bed" some 1,400 years ago, is giving archaeologists precious clues to the earliest days of the English church.

Unearthed in 2011 in a village near Cambridge, the teenager wore the badge of her faith in the shape of an exquisite gold-and-garnet cross, found on her chest and just visible in the picture above.

The ornate treasure marks the grave as one of the earliest known Christian burials in Anglo-Saxon England, researchers from the University of Cambridge announced last week.

Christians previously lived and died in Britain under Roman rule. But the newfound grave dates to the mid-seventh century, when Anglo-Saxons—the Germanic peoples who founded the English nation and language—were starting to convert to Christianity.

In addition, the wooden burial bed on which the 16-year-old was placed is one of only a handful of such finds discovered in Britain, the team says.

Christian Treasure;

This solid-gold pectoral cross inlaid with garnets was recovered from the early Anglo-Saxon grave. Only the fifth cross of its type yet found in the U.K., the treasure is among the earliest Christian artifacts known from Anglo-Saxon Britain, said dig team leader Alison Dickens of the University of Cambridge's Archaeological Unit.

Loops on the back of the cross indicate the bauble was worn stitched into the young woman's clothes. The cross was probably made in England, but the gold and garnets were likely sourced from as far away as Asia.

For the dead teenager to have been buried with such a valuable object shows that "she's an important, probably wealthy person," Dickens added.

Lady of the Cross;

The gold cross pokes from the noblewoman's grave during excavations at a housing-development site near Cambridge, England.

Other items found at the seventh-century burial site included an iron knife, a waist chain, and glass beads, which would have been kept in a purse on the end of the chain.

While the cross is clearly Christian in its symbolism, the other objects hark back to earlier beliefs, said dig leader Dickens.

Pagan burials often contained personal effects of the dead for use in the afterlife, but as Christianity took hold, that practice petered out, Dickens said. The newfound grave thus marks a "transitional point" between Christian and pagan beliefs.

Burial Bed;

Seen during excavation work in 2011, the body of the Anglo-Saxon noblewoman—which dates back to between A.D. 650 and 680—was laid to rest on a "burial bed."

Constructed from wood and metal, the bed had a slatted base and a straw mattress.

Burial beds are extremely rare, but the few that are known also date to the early Anglo-Saxon period, the study team said. Why only a chosen few were buried in their beds remains a mystery.

Cross Marks The Spot;

Perhaps worn by an early English convert to Christianity, the garnet-encrusted cross (seen above from the front and back) may mean that the grave marks the site of an ancient monastery or missionary center, according to archaeologists.

Along with the noblewoman's burial site, the team found the graves of two other teenage females and one individual of undetermined gender in his or her twenties next to the remains of an Anglo-Saxon settlement.

The cross indicates that the site had "some sort of Christian focus, be it a monastery, nunnery, or something like that," Dickens said.

edit on 23-4-2012 by Ericthenewbie because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:19 PM
Good find
Beautiful jewelery.
Chastity belt - poor girl - perhaps they were afraid of Necrophiliacs.
Or perhaps it shows the so called purity of her in Christian ethics
Or perhaps a possessive husband who locked her up so to speak whilst he went away fighting, as many did.
Perhaps the poor girl died and was buried before he returned
Or perhaps she was unmarried and her virginity was being preserved by her folks
There is certainly a story to be told by an imaginative writer
edit on 23-4-2012 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:19 PM
Looks a bit low and off centre for a chastity style item I think but it could of been a jewelled offering of some sorts perhaps as a gift of some sort from a family member who still worshipped the old ways or wanted to ensure that that if the new religion was wrong they'd still have a chance with the old gods?

but it does seem strange just to have the singular item as the grave seems well preserved so no chance of stuff rotting away to virtually nothing

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:23 PM
On closer inspection the chastity belt looks like a clasp to a belt or girdle
Though the image is not clear

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:25 PM
The article stated she wore a hip chain and it referred to an iron knife and glass beads that would have been in a bag attached to the waist.. could this be what that is? rather than a chastity belt
edit on 4/23/2012 by miniatus because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by miniatus

good point, my bad.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:47 PM
It's actually a bit depressing to read about her grave being disturbed in this way.. I had an eerie dream last night about a very ornate, small white casket, lined with gold trim being found in the ruins of an old building.. then I come on to find this, not quite the same thing but it still spooked me =)

The gold cross I think humanized it for me because you see that item in excellent condition and you can imagine it being worn by the young girl, healthy and alive.. then here we are 1400 years later with zero information about this anonymous young girl who died and was buried with this pendant .. only to be dug up and become an archeology exhibit .. who she was, is all erased from time.

Now I need to watch an episode of Game of Thrones =)

In my dream someone said something memorable to me, and I don't know if it was from a movie and I just remembered it .. or if my mind actually created it.. but the guy led me to the room and he said to me "This is the only evidence I have that this room exists in two different periods of time" .. or "two different places at the same time" .. now that I think on it, it's fuzzy now.. but it was the last thing before I woke up

edit on 4/23/2012 by miniatus because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:59 PM
reply to post by miniatus

Archeology is a double edged sword in my mind...

On one side, you are disturbing someone's burial site (who knows the implications of that depending on your belief system).

On the other side, how will we learn/discover things about our would we know our own history?

I personally think there is a value in knowing our own else would we prevent ourselves from repeating the negative aspects of it without first discovering it?

Still it's a fine line between the two sides.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by Ericthenewbie

Indeed... it's just a disheartening realization thinking back to the funerals of my own loved ones, that in a thousand years or two they may also be dug up as curiosities of a time long passed.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by miniatus

To give that disheartening feeling a positive twist (if such a thing is possible)...what if in a thousand years from now, they were able to give insights to those in the future that changed their reality in a positive way?

For myself, I don't think that would be such a bad thing.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:51 PM
Great find OP!!! And great presentation!! We need more threads here like this one instead of all the hate!!!


posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:50 AM
reply to post by Ericthenewbie

Awsome post, thank you
I would guess they were right about it being an abbey or some such religious center
because that is very early for an Anglo Saxon Christian.
I wonder whether she was an Angle or Saxon. ,

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by punkinworks10

Can't know for sure at this point ...I've been keeping my open for any updates on this find but nothing so far. I'm curious to know more about the other three bodies found (2 females, I unknown). If I come across anything, even if just more pics, I'll be sure to update the thread.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by Ericthenewbie

The fact that there are more than one females buried there might indicate a convent or abbey of some sort.
There is a British researcher (archeologists/ anatomist), who identifies the ethnicity of historic burials in the British isles, by the shape and construction of the feet.
Distinct ethnicities have different shaped feet. She can tell whether it is a briton, angle,saxon, jute or Norman.

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