Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 15:55 UK

Ancient skull unearthed on farm

7th Century brooch
The brooch may not be the only artefact at the site

A metal detecting club has unearthed a 6th Century skull and brooch on farmland in South Oxfordshire.

The Weekend Wanderers Metal Detectors Club were holding a rally on land near West Hanney.

Peter Welch from the club said: "The piece is garnet encrusted with what appears to be gold inlay. It must have belonged to somebody of high status"

An archaeologist has dated the find and experts from Oxfordshire museum are assessing how to preserve it.

Describing the site, Mr Welch said: "Next to the hole was a lovely Saxon brooch, jewel encrusted and complete, and in the hole the ribs and jaw bone were showing, and that's the point I got pretty excited.

"To get this grave intact was quite important and we're now waiting for a licence so the grave can be properly excavated.

"Potentially there are other pieces with the grave that have yet to excavated.

"This part of Oxfordshire was previously unknown and unlisted as a Saxon occupation site, but now it's on the map."



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