1400 Year Old Glass Bowl Found In Bucket

By Tom Gurney | 23 April 2002
  • News
  • Archived article

Left: the bowl was discovered after the dig, as conservators examined a ceremonial bucket found in the remains.

A rare glass bowl, dating from the late fifth or early sixth century, has been found in an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in the New Forest area of Hampshire.

Right: intact examples of glassware from this period are extremely rare.

The graves were excavated for a live Channel 4 broadcast of Time Team in August 2001, after a metal detectorist discovered a Byzantine brass bucket at the site and reported it to Winchester Museum.

The bowl was found by an English Heritage conservator inside one of six wooden buckets buried with skeletons in the graves.

The bowl, which probably comes from the Rhineland, was discovered at English Heritage's Centre for Archaeology at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth, where the excavated artefacts have been analysed and conserved.

David Miles, Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage, said: "It is marvellous that this fragile cup, which gives a rare and evocative glimpse of early Anglo-Saxon life, has survived intact in such wonderful condition."

Left: what the burial may have looked like.

Other grave goods found included spearheads, knives, tweezers, shield bosses, copper alloy buckles and a Frankish cup and buckle plate. These articles would have been high status objects, buried in the graves in a display of power.

Tim Taylor, series producer of Time Team, said: "This has to be one of our most amazing Time Teams. Not only were the large number of objects exceptional but the way the skeletons were laid out and the information we uncovered made us all feel that we were working on a site that might actually change the way we look at this period of British history."

The public will be able to see the artefacts recovered from the site in a special 'Invaders- A Dark Age Mystery' exhibition which will travel round Hampshire, starting at Andover Museum.

'Invaders' invites you to crack the clues left in the ground 1,500 years ago using archaeological material unearthed by Channel 4's Time Team dig.

The excavation of several Anglo-Saxon burials in the New Forest provides the starting point for this exciting exhibition and offers fascinating insights into the way Anglo-Saxons understood their world and the impact of their settlement in Britain.

The exhibition at Andover opens on May 11 and finishes on August 31, then travels to Gosport Museum, where the mystery will unfold from September 14 until Christmas.

Click here to see more about the exhibition on Hantsweb, a very useful museum website serving the Hampshire area.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: