Remains of Anglo-Saxon island Discovered in Lincolnshire village of England

Remains of Anglo-Saxon island Discovered in Lincolnshire village of England

 

 

A Lidar survey of the Little Carleton site in England showing a dark splotch of raised land where the site sits (left) and a Lidar visualization of what the site may have looked like in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period with marshland surrounding a little island.
A Lidar survey of the Little Carleton site in England showing a dark splotch of raised land where the site sits (left) and a Lidar visualization of what the site may have looked like in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period with marshland surrounding a little island.

The remains of an AngloSaxon island have been Discovered is one of the most important archaeological finds in decades.

The island which was home to a Middle Saxon settlement was found at Little Carlton close to Louth, Lincolnshire by archaeologists from the University of Sheffield.

It is thought the site is a previously unknown monastic or trading centre however researchers believe their work has only revealed an enticing glimpse of the settlement so far.

The long ago island was inhabited continuously between at least A.D. 680 and A.D. 850, during the Middle Anglo Saxon era, archaeologists from the University of Sheffield report in the April 2016 issue of Current Archaeology.

Among the tantalizing discoveries in the region were 16 silver styluses for writing and a tablet inscribed with the female name “Cudberg” — perhaps a coffin plaque for a long ago resident.

The site is in Lincolnshire parish close to the village of Little Carlton, an area of grassy fields, marshes and small forests.

The first hint that something intriguing might be buried in this bucolic setting came in 2011, when a metal detector hobbyist named Graham Vickers found a silver writing stylus featuring decorative carvings. Archaeologists dated the utensil to the 8th century.

Additional searches near the ground surface turned up more fortunes: loom weights, whetstones, glass fragments and ceramics pieces.

One little glass piece was crisscrossed with decorative, intertwined glass strands. These discovers hint at a settlement with access to life’s little luxuries.

An elaborately designed glass counter may have originally been set in a bronze bowl.

The flow of artifacts from the site grabbed the attention of University of Sheffield archaeologist Hugh Willmott and doctoral student Pete Townend, who led geophysical surveys and Lidar scans of the area.

Lidar uses laser pulses to measure and map out surface features. The data can be used to create models that show the shape of the Earth with all its vegetation stripped away.

These surveys uncovered a slight rise in the land around the area richest in artifacts. As the archaeologists moved south, where fewer antiques were found, they noticed that the land dipped.

A survey of the historical field names of the area turned up monikers like “Little Fen,” suggesting a marshy history.

All of this data added up to a image of the site as a long-ago island in a marsh, which has since been drained and converted into agricultural field.

On this island, people cooked, butchered animals, smelted metals and read and wrote, the researchers found after digging nine exploratory trenches.

The dig turned up medieval ditches loaded with trash (pottery pieces, butchered animal bone) and signs of building foundations (post holes and man-made gullies).

The archaeologists found a built-up bank reinforced with wooden posts that would have been the medieval version of flood control; they likewise found the base of a 4-foot-wide (1.2 meters) hearth that was used to smelt metal, as melted bits of lead nearby revealed.

The hearth was on the outskirts of the settlement, likely because it would have been noisy and smelly, the researchers wrote.

The archaeologists additionally found signs of domestic life, including dress pins made from copper and tweezers. They even Discovered a small AngloSaxon coin called a sceat, stamped with a human face and dating back to between A.D. 725 and A.D. 745.

Researchers are not sure what the site was used for. It could have been a trading post, or a monastic center, where priests used silver styluses to copy out texts.

Nor are they sure why the settlement eventually faded away, however the youngest artifacts date back to the late 800s — a time when the Vikings began to push into the region.

Whether a Viking invasionspelled the end for this settlement remains a mystery, however. 

Here are some Pictures from Anglo-saxon Island:

Archaeologists excavate in plowed fields near the village of Little Carlton in Lincolnshire, England. This rural region was once the site of a thriving settlement in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period (A.D. 710-850). Metal detector hobbyist Graham Vickers discovered a silver writing stylus here in 2011, prompting a closer archaeological look at the area. Excavations turned up multiple signs of literate and domestic life, from more styluses to dress pins to a hearth used for smelting. Surveys of the region revealed that the fields surrounding the spot used to be marsh, and that this site was an island of dry ground at the time it was settled.
Archaeologists excavate in plowed fields near the village of Little Carlton in Lincolnshire, England. This rural region was once the site of a thriving settlement in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period (A.D. 710-850). Metal detector hobbyist Graham Vickers discovered a silver writing stylus here in 2011, prompting a closer archaeological look at the area. Excavations turned up multiple signs of literate and domestic life, from more styluses to dress pins to a hearth used for smelting. Surveys of the region revealed that the fields surrounding the spot used to be marsh, and that this site was an island of dry ground at the time it was settled.

 

This silver stylus with a carved end was the first exciting artifact discovered at the Little Carlton site in Lincolnshire. A metal detector hobbyist, Graham Vickers, found this writing utensil and brought it to a local archaeological finds liaison officer, Adam Daubney, in October 2011. Over several years, the pair found more objects in the area, including whetstones, loom weights and ceramic fragments from dishes and pots.
This silver stylus with a carved end was the first exciting artifact discovered at the Little Carlton site in Lincolnshire. A metal detector hobbyist, Graham Vickers, found this writing utensil and brought it to a local archaeological finds liaison officer, Adam Daubney, in October 2011. Over several years, the pair found more objects in the area, including whetstones, loom weights and ceramic fragments from dishes and pots.

 

An elaborately decorated glass counter may have originally been set in a bronze bowl, archaeologists report in the April 2016 issue of Current Archaeology. The presence of this artifact at the Little Carlton site suggests that people there had some measure of wealth and access to the luxuries at the time.
An elaborately decorated glass counter may have originally been set in a bronze bowl, archaeologists report in the April 2016 issue of Current Archaeology. The presence of this artifact at the Little Carlton site suggests that people there had some measure of wealth and access to the luxuries at the time.

 

Excavations at Little Carlton also revealed ditches full of medieval trash: pottery shards and butchered animal bone, as seen here. Other signs of domestic life included copper dress pins, tweezers, glass fragments and loom-weights.
Excavations at Little Carlton also revealed ditches full of medieval trash: pottery shards and butchered animal bone, as seen here. Other signs of domestic life included copper dress pins, tweezers, glass fragments and loom-weights.

 

One of the most exciting Little Carlton finds was this sceat, a type of silver coin used in Anglo-Saxon England. This well-preserved find dates to between A.D. 725 and A.D. 745, the archaeologists found. A survey of all of the artifacts at the site reveals that people lived in the area from at least 680 A.D. until 850 A.D., a time that coincides with incursions by Viking invaders. There is no evidence yet that Vikings spelled the end of the settlement, however.
One of the most exciting Little Carlton finds was this sceat, a type of silver coin used in Anglo-Saxon England. This well-preserved find dates to between A.D. 725 and A.D. 745, the archaeologists found. A survey of all of the artifacts at the site reveals that people lived in the area from at least 680 A.D. until 850 A.D., a time that coincides with incursions by Viking invaders. There is no evidence yet that Vikings spelled the end of the settlement, however.
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