Archaeologists discover previously unknown Anglo-Saxon industrial island in Lincolnshire

By Ben Miller | 02 March 2016

Middle Saxon writing tools and a woman's name carved into a tablet have been found at a previously unknown industrial island

A photo of an Anglo-Saxon coin found by archaeologists at an excavation site in Louth
This sceat was discovered on an Anglo-Saxon island in Lincolnshire© Portable Antiquities Scheme
An Anglo-Saxon island which could have been a monastic or trading centre in Lincolnshire is being described as one of the most important discoveries in decades by archaeologists, who say hundreds of dress pins, 21 styli and a “huge” number of 7th and 8th century coins are merely an “enticing glimpse” of an ancient settlement.

A photo of an Anglo-Saxon coin found by archaeologists at an excavation site in Louth
Glass from the site© University of Sheffield
An ornate writing tool, dated to the 8th century, was originally found beneath a disturbed plough field at Little Carlton, near Louth, by local metal detectorist Graham Vickers. A small lead tablet bore the faintly legible spelling Cudberg – the name of an Anglo-Saxon woman.

A photo of an Anglo-Saxon coin found by archaeologists at an excavation site in Louth
Animal bones recovered by archaeologists© University of Sheffield
“This is a site of international importance,” says Dr Hugh Willmott, of the University of Sheffield, who digitally restored the water level of the island to its higher medieval state as part of a series of 3D surveys following the tip-off from Vickers and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

“Its discovery and initial interpretation has only been possible through engaging with a responsible local metal detectorist. It’s been an honour to be invited to work on such a unique site.”

Archaeologists also found butchered animal bone and Middle Saxon pottery within nine evaluation trenches at the former industrial site.

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