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Stunningly Rare English Archaeological Site Yields Nearly 19,000 'Once-in-a-Lifetime Kinds of Finds’

Archaeological Site in UK Reveals Around 19,000 Artifacts
Source: Orbit Homes

Archaeologists have unearthed around 19,000 artifacts from a 'once-in-a-decade' archaeological site in the United Kingdom.

Jun. 28 2024, Published 9:02 a.m. ET

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Archaeologists have uncovered approximately 19,000 artifacts at a rare and significant archaeological site in the United Kingdom.

The discoveries span from prehistory to the early medieval period, according to

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Orbit Homes, a house building company, made the remarkable find during excavation work for the Calthorpe Gardens residential development in southern England, near the historic market town of Banbury. The company announced the discovery in a press release, emphasizing the site's regional importance.

Border Archaeology, the firm overseeing the excavation, identified the remains of a settlement dating from the Late Bronze Age to the Middle/Late Iron Age, alongside an Anglo-Saxon cemetery containing at least 52 individuals.

Among the artifacts unearthed were prehistoric handmade pottery, textile tools, bead necklaces, pendants, personal items and weapons from the Anglo-Saxon graves.

One of the notable finds is a fragmented bone comb with teeth on both sides. Janice McLeish, Director of Post Excavation Services at Border Archaeology, highlighted this comb in an Orbit Homes video, stating that such objects provide valuable insights into the lives of past inhabitants.

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Another significant item discovered was an Iron Age weaving comb, which McLeish indicated was used in loom or weaving processes.

Border Archaeology field archaeologist Hayley Parsons described the site as "once-in-a-decade" with "once-in-a-lifetime kinds of finds,” expressing amazement at the find.

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The team also collected 9,310 liters of paleoenvironmental samples to better understand the human activity of the time. In total, over 18,800 artifacts were excavated.

McLeish commented on the excavation's impact, stating, "The excavation at Calthorpe Gardens has been a career-significant experience for the team from our MK Facility and we’re amazed to have recovered such a vast number of artifacts that date back to several key periods in history. Given the quality of these finds, we’ve been able to build a magnificent picture of what life was like for the communities that inhabited Bretch Hill in the past and we’ve loved the opportunity to share these stories with the people who live in the area today."

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Colin Dean, Sales and Marketing Director for Orbit Homes in the Midlands, remarked on the importance of the finds, noting the entire Orbit Homes team was thrilled to witness the excavation and the discovery of numerous high-quality artifacts.

He added, "We’re delighted that the location has been declared as ‘significant’ and after all the work to excavate and study the finds, it was wonderful to finally share some of these discoveries with the local community, as well as be able to help piece together the history of the people living in the area over centuries. We look forward to finding out more about what life was like in the area as Border Archaeology continue their investigations."


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