Visiting my son 200 miles away this week, I took the opportunity to visit the site of the big archaeology news of the year, The Prittlewell Hoard. Prittlewell is a part of Southend on Sea in Essex. The name Essex of course, means East Saxon so when the town council wanted to investigate any Romano-Saxon remains, there was a good chance they would find some. But they never expected to find a royal burial site under a pub car park in Prittlewell.
It has been called euphemistically, " Britain's answer to Tutankhamun" and while it isn't on that scale it is certainly very impressive. I know because I visited the display this week in Southend Museum. It is a free exhibit.
It looks like a doll of some sort to me. They had toys and games as grave goods for the afterlife to take with them.
Veronica, Previously, I intended to ask you about the item (looks like a body or doll) to the left of the burial casket. The Museum of London makes no mention of it.
I like to DO things on holiday. I could never sit by a hotel pool for 2 weeks! That would be no holiday for me.
The East coast of England is very damaged by erosion. In fact, houses have fallen into the sea from cliffs and also cars on coastal roads.
Much has been lost to the sea, I am sure.
It looks like you successfully fused education and pleasure! It's always great to have an opportunity for such time travel, isn't it?
Definitely erosion in this case. The whole of the North Sea is a flooded coastal plain, and its shore in the Essex and nearby East Anglian areas is composed of soft clay cliffs, very easily eroded. In several places the authorities have found that the best way to prevent this erosion is to restore coastal salt marsh, which strangely is more effective than hard sea walls are.
Britain has been slowly changing its position since the end of the Ice Age, with the North and West of the island rising and the South and East slowly sinking. For example, the Goodwin sands of Kent, in South East England, were land until the mid eleventh century,then they were inundated. They are now a dangerous stretch of sea with a long reputation for shipwrecks.
Frank is correct in that erosion by the sea does much to destroy archaeological artifacts and their positioning. Heavy objects could simply fall and scatter close to their source, but wave roots of storms and tidal movement of water can really move light objects. An area that floods due to land subsidence or sea level rise is different, but I suspect erosion is the culprit in this case.
In fact, king Vortigern invited in the Jutes to defend against Pictish marauders.
Some might say the Angles and Saxons were invited to stave off the Picts and Scots and then settled.
I think that the graves would simply be washed away and that there would be nothing left.
On another point, the invasion model is not as accepted as it used to be. In certain parts of Eastern England the Romans had been importing German tribes as garrison troops for many years,while sending British troops to other lands. This led to a Germanisation of the population. The German [Saxon] men intermarried with British females, so we English are a Saxon-British mix.
But large parts of Northern and Midland England were settled by the Angles, a Danish people completely distinct from Saxons. There were other German tribes in this population movement. East Anglia [just north of Essex] was settled by Angles, but the land had been initially depopulated of Britons after the Roman massacre of Boudicca's Iceni tribe in 63 AD. The land was then given over to large latefundia, [estates] that drew their economic strength from the money provided by the military, who purchased food. But when the military was withdrawn there was a rapid economic collapse and probably a subsequent depopulation, so when the Angles arrived there they did not come as invaders, but settlers in a depopulated land. They kicked at an open door!