Aldeburgh: Teen’s treasures from 700AD found during dig

Archaeological dig at Hazlewood Marshes, Aldeburgh.

Archaeological dig at Hazlewood Marshes, Aldeburgh. - Credit: Archant

Remains of a teenage girl’s treasure box from 13 centuries ago have been unearthed among a number of exciting finds by archaeologists working on marshland beside the River Alde.

Pieces of amber, broken glass, an unusual stone, brooch, spindle-whorl, plus other items, surrounded by corroded iron straps which were probably the box fittings, were found in a grave along with the skeleton of a female believed to be in her late teens.

The three-week dig at Barber’s Point on the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Hazlewood Marshes focused on discovering the extent of a cemetery, one of the earliest known Christian burial sites in the area.

Jezz Meredith, of Suffolk County Council’s archaeological team, said the girl’s treasure box was a very exciting find.

He said: “It gives us a fascinating insight into the things which were buried with the dead at that time.

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“The objects appeared to be her treasures – special things she collected during her life.

“We also found a little piece of fossilised textile which would have been part of her shroud.”

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Also in the grave was a large egg, possibly from a goose or a duck, which is believed to be a receptacle holding a small shell.

Nine graves were examined at the cemetery which has been radio carbon dated to between 650AD and 715AD.

The extent of the enclosure was also clarified and post-holes of buildings discovered.

Mr Meredith said it had been the fourth dig at the site and praised the tenacity of Richard Newman, whose dream it had been to do the digs, and the Aldeburgh and District Local History Society to gain funding for the work, and the support this year of the Touching the Tide project.

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