Skele­ton of high-sta­tus girl was one of dozens of buri­als at Saxon ceme­tery

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

A pubescent Saxon girl buried with a fine neck­lace made of am­ber beads and coloured glass was one of 69 in­hu­ma­tion buri­als found in Hamp­shire more than 40 years ago, ac­cord­ing to ar­chae­ol­o­gists re­vis­it­ing a 6th cen­tury Saxon ceme­tery close to Bronze Age burial mounds in Hamp­shire.

Most of the in­hu­ma­tions at Port­way East, to the west of An­dover, were found laid on their backs with their legs ex­tended when the lo­cal ar­chae­o­log­i­cal so­ci­ety be­gan ex­ca­va­tions at the in­dus­trial es­tate in 1973. Plough dam­age had left many of the skele­tons in poor con­di­tion, with 57 de­posits of cre­mated bone re­cov­ered.

The teeth of the ju­ve­nile, whose grave goods iden­ti­fied her as fe­male, aged be­tween 12 and 14 years old.

In­fec­tions in the bod­ies found at the site, over­look­ing the River An­ton’s val­ley and two pre­his­toric routes, were found to be less com­mon than in other early Saxon ceme­ter­ies. “None of the bones had been gnawed by preda­tors, so the corpses were prob­a­bly deeply buried orig­i­nally and the graves looked af­ter” said Allen.

“Of the in­di­vid­ual buri­als iden­ti­fi­able by sex, fe­males out­num­bered males. And 20 out of the 32 recog­nis­able fe­male buri­als con­tained grave goods in the form of a neck­lace or bracelet.”

Cre­ma­tion 58 at Port­way

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