Very precious necklace found in the burial place of an Anglo-Saxon woman


Archaeologists have discovered an extraordinary 1,300-year-old necklace made of gold, garnets and other semi-precious stones at an excavation site in central England.
The necklace and other precious objects, called Harpole’s Treasure after the Northamptonshire county parish in which they were unearthed in April, also revealed the powerful role some women played in Anglo-Saxon England.


According to researchers at the Museum of London Archaeology, who unearthed the hoard, the jewels were buried in the tomb of a high-ranking woman, who died between AD 630 and AD 670. The hoard also included a relatively large, two decorated vases and a shallow copper dish .
Anglo-Saxon jewelry suggests that the woman was powerful and extremely pious, possibly an early Christian leader, princess or abbess.

The tomb is believed to be the most significant burial from a certain, and unique, period in English history, when pagan and Christian beliefs mixed and women held positions of power in the Church.

“The Harpole Treasury is not the richest in terms of the number of artifacts, but it is the richest in terms of the investment of wealth…and it has the highest amount of gold and religious symbolism,” says Levente-Bence Balázs, the MOLA site supervisor who first noticed the treasure at the site.


Very precious necklace found in the burial place of an Anglo-Saxon woman


The necklace is the most opulent of its kind ever found in Britain, featuring 30 pendants and beads of gold , garnets, glass and semi-precious stones strung together with Roman coins.

The skeleton was completely decomposed, with the exception of small fragments of tooth enamel, but the necklace and other burial features convinced archaeologists that its occupant was female. Officials at the Museum of London Archeology said it would take at least two years to study the finds, but they hope Harpole’s hoard can be put on public display.

  • Early medieval female burial site is ‘most significant ever discovered’ in UK. (


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