Saxon burial site discovered in English school site

Washington, Oct 21 : British archaeologists have discovered what they believe is an ancient Saxon burial site in a school at Twyford in Berkshire county in Southern England.

Workmen, who discovered the human remains while excavating the ground for laying the foundation of a new building at the school premises, thought it was from a crime scene.

However, investigations later revealed they were at least 1000 years old.

Now, work on the site has halted and archaeologists are trying to find out more about the burial ground.

A full excavation of the area is underway to make sure all remains are recorded and taken away for further investigation.

Paul McCulloch, project manager for Wessex Archaeology, which is carrying out the work, said the burials are about 1300 years old

“The first time Twyford, which means Two Fords', is mentioned in historical sources is the seventh century. We think the burials date right back to this time, about 1,300 years ago,” said McCulloch.

“Three or four Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of this date are already known around Winchester, including one at Oliver's Battery, and some of the finds there are on display in Winchester Museum,” the local daily Hampshire Chronicle quoted him as saying.

While the discovery has caused a delay in the building of the new classrooms, Heather Hayter, the school’s history teacher has said the find has provided the school's 310 pupils with a real-life history lesson.

“The school is delighted to facilitate this exciting development, which may give archaeologists and historians new insights into life in this area in the first few centuries AD. Previously, I have had to describe to children how archaeologists work and to show pictures of Saxon ornaments, but now I have been able to take children and show them this happening just outside the classroom, which has been a really exciting experience of great educational value,” she said.

The new buildings are due to be finished in March next year. (ANI)