Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anglo-Saxon warrior burials – a link with late Roman Colchester?

Archaeological excavations on the site of the Hyderabad and Meeanee barracks off Mersea Road in Colchester have revealed a number of burials including two ‘spearmen’ likely to be of Germanic, possibly Saxon, origin. The two men had each been equipped with a round shield and a spear. One of them also had a dagger held in a belt around his waist. They were laid to rest on their backs with their shields on their chests and their spears by their sides. The wooden parts of the weapons have almost completely decayed away but the ironwork (mainly shield bosses, spear heads and the dagger) survived in situ. The men were not buried with metal helmets or body armour although they may have worn cheaper leather alternatives instead.

The burials are part of a cemetery of unknown extent only part of which as yet been examined. At least than eleven burials have been identified in the current phase of work. More are expected to be found when excavations resume later in the year.

More at Colchester Archeologist