Thursday, May 03, 2007
A brass Coptic bowl was recently unearthed when gardener Helen McGlashon (26) found a human skull while digging on her vegetable patch off Palmerston Road, in Woodston, Peterborough (UK).
Fearing it was a murder victim, she called police who launched a full-scale excavation of the site on February 17. But forensic pathologists later concluded the bones actually belonged to an Anglo-Saxon man when the ancient bowl was found nearby.
Historians believe the valuable Coptic bowl, which was made in the Mediterrean 1,300 years ago, could have only been owned by an extremely rich prince or warlord from the Saxon kingdom of Mercia.
They believe the ceremonial washing bowl was placed on the chest of the Anglo-Saxon as he was buried – a sign of extreme wealth in pagan culture.