England's Equivalent To "Tutankhamun's Tomb" Discovered Outside Aldi In Essex
9 May 2019, 10:28 | Updated: 9 May 2019, 11:29
A royal burial site discovered between a pub and an Aldi has been hailed as the UK's "equivalent of Tutankhamun's tomb."
Archaeologists described the discovered of an" astonishingly well-preserved burial chamber," filled with "rare and precious" objects.
Over 40 experts from the Museum of London Archaeology unit have analysed of artefacts and believe the body may have been Seaxa, the brother of Anglo-Saxon Kind Seabert
"I think it’s our equivalent of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Getting an intact version of this and seeing how everything is positioned and what he’s got with him," says research director, Sophie Jackson.
"I think the thing that’s so strange about it is that it was such an unpromising-looking site. It’s between a bit of railway and a bit of road, essentially a verge. It’s not where you’d expect to find it.”
She said the grave provided a snapshot of a "really interesting time" when Christianity was "just creeping in" to the British Isles.
Gold foil crosses buried with the body make it certain he was a Christian.
"They would have been just on the transition between having pagan burials with all your gear but also having these crosses," she said.
Ms Jackson said "the best guess" was that the tomb had housed Seaxa.
She said: "There's a lot of debate about whether he was a fully-fledged hairy beast Saxon warrior, or younger."
Items found in the tomb include drinking horns, a Byzantine empire flagon, and a painted box that, so far, is the only instance of painted Anglo-Saxon woodwork discovered in the country.