CAIRO – 20 June 2022: Archaeologists working on the HS2 high-speed rail project in Buckinghamshire, England, have discovered an Anglo-Saxon cemetery containing skeletal remains of 141 individuals, along with makeup items, including earwax removers and a cosmetic tube containing eyeliner.
In total, 141 individuals - men, women and children - dating from the 5th and 6th centuries AD have been found near the market town of Wendover. This makes it one of the largest Anglo-Saxon tombs ever discovered in Britain.
The tombs contained high-quality funerary goods, indicating that the site was the last resting place of a wealthy Anglo-Saxon community. Experts also found more than 2,000 beads, 89 pins, 40 buckles, 51 knives, 15 spearheads, seven shield heads and a sword.
Two intact conical glasses and bowls containing decorative paths in the glass were also found. They can be compared to the Kempston type conical flask, which was discovered in Bedfordshire in 1891, with one of them now on display in the British Museum.
A number of personal care items were also discovered, such as toiletry kits consisting of earwax removers, toothpicks, tweezers, combs, and even a cosmetic tube that may have contained an eyeliner.
One of the male skeletons had a blue spot on his collarbone, which was left by a brooch he had worn when he was buried. This individual is believed to have been between the ages of 17 and 24 at the time of death and had a spearhead embedded in one of the vertebrae that make up his spine, which shows he suffered an "unfortunate and violent" end.
His remains were examined by specialist orthopedic doctors who said the weapon had been implanted into the spine, possibly during the battle.
Meanwhile, one woman was found buried with a wide range of high-quality merchandise, indicating that she was of high standing among the burial population at the site.