The researchers from the University of Reading have reported on the unique discovery. The archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a man who was buried with spears and a sword and scabbard at a site overlooking River Thames.
The remains apparently belong to an Anglo-Saxon warrior who has been unearthed in a field in Berkshire, said Dr Gabor Thomas, a specialist in early medieval archaeology at the University of Reading who worked on the excavation site.
An ancient man’s final resting place appears to be an Anglo-Saxon warrior, taking into account other discoveries, The Guardian reports. The archaeologists say that an array of weapons including spears and a sword with its scabbard, the skeleton of a man dating from the sixth century was found in August.
In fact, the recently-discovered artefact shed fresh light on the rise and fall of local tribes. “Being macho at this period … it was a significant part of people’s lives,” Dr Thomas said.
But it seems the newly unearthed individual – known as the Marlow Warlord – could well have swung his sword in earnest: not only was he about 6ft but analysis of the skeleton suggests he had well-developed muscles.
He said that unlike many burials of the time, the Marlow Warlord was not buried in a cemetery, but set apart from the rest of the community. “He’s buried north-south, that’s his orientation, but directly overlooking the River Thames,” he said. “He is positioned deliberately to look over that territory.”
Thomas suggests that, taken together with his wealth, the warrior was a tribal leader – a conclusion that offered a new perspective on the area. “We know from later historical sources and bits of archaeology that [this sweep of the Thames that runs through Marlow and Maidenhead] was a kind of borderland. At various periods in the Anglo-Saxon centuries it was contested between neighbouring kingdoms,” Thomas concluded.
The ancient artefacts will be displayed museum soon
The researchers hope that their recently-launched crowdfindidng campaign will accumulate enough money for displaying bronze bowls and spearheads at Buckinghamshire County Museum in Aylesbury.
Meanwhile, the archaeologists will also conduct further examination of the skeleton to narrow down the man’s age, and explore whether he had any diseases – early signs of arthritis have already been found, while his teeth show signs of wear.
Undoubtedly, the discovery is significant because the researchers have few if any burials of that period from the middle Thames region that are so richly furnished, especially in comparison with the lower Thames and upper Thames. Both the location and grave goods seem to be designed to project the power and importance of that individual, the experts said.