2,000-year-old Iron Age warrior grave unearthed in England
Arichly furnished grave belonging to an Iron Age ‘warrior’ buried 2,000 years ago has been uncovered in West Sussex by UCL archaeologists. The burial was discovered during an excavation commissioned by Linden Homes, who are developing a site on the outskirts of Walberton, near Chichester.
Iron weapons had been placed inside the grave, including a sword in a highly-decorated scabbard and a spear. “Although the soil conditions destroyed the skeleton, the items discovered within the grave suggest that the occupant had been an important individual.”
The grave is dated to the late Iron Age/ early Roman period (1st century BCE – 50 CE). It is incredibly rare, as only a handful are known to exist in the South of England.
X-rays and initial conservation of the sword and scabbard reveal beautiful copper-alloy decoration at the scabbard mouth, which would have been highly visible when the sword was worn in life. Dotted lines on the X-ray may be the remains of a studded garment worn by the occupant when buried. This is particularly exciting for the archaeologists as evidence of clothing rarely survives.
The grave also held the remains of four ceramic vessels and a wooden container, preserved as a dark stain, likely used to lower the individual into the grave.
Details and X-rays from the sword unearthed from the Iron Age warrior grave