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