07:10 GMT07 March 2021
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    Analyzed by scientists, artefacts gathered from a well-preserved burial site in Prittlewell, near Southend, Essex, located between a pub and a supermarket, will go on public display on 11 May.

    Archaeologists and historians shared the details on what exactly has been unearthed at the burial chamber in "one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon discoveries" the UK has seen.

    "…a team of specialists has been able to reveal new elements of the burial chamber, details about the man buried and insights into Anglo-Saxon traditions that we never thought possible," Sophie Jackson, director of research and engagement for Museum of London Archaeology said.

    Among valuable findings were gold foil crosses, a reference to the religion of the buried man, who could be kin of King Saebert (who died about AD 616), perhaps his brother Seaxa, according to experts.

    Several items shed light on the possible identity of the chamber occupant, such as tiny fragments of tooth enamel, the positioning of a gold belt buckle on the body and the garter buckles to fasten his footwear. The discoveries suggested to researchers, that the buried man was about 5ft 8in tall and an adult or an adolescent. 

    The chamber itself was a product of 113 person-days' work, containing a 1,400 year old fragment of wood, which is the only surviving example of early Anglo-Saxon painted woodwork.

    The chamber was originally uncovered in 2003, and it took 15 years to conduct an expert analysis of its contents and secrets.

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    Tags:
    archaeology, burial, discovery, United Kingdom
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