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Cow In The Grave
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The Unseen Enemy
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British Anomaly: Strange Ancient Gravesite

By James Donahue

As contemporary archaeologists continue to dig among the ruins of the past they occasionally find surprises that tease the brains of the people who spend their lives studying such artifacts. Such is the case of an uncovered Anglo-Saxton gravesite at Cambridgeshire, England, where the bones of a woman were recently found buried with a cow.  

The grave was uncovered by students from Manchester Metropolitan University working with students from University of Central Lancashire. Dr. Duncan Sayer, one of the leaders of the excavation, said the students thought at first they had uncovered the remains of a man who had been buried with his horse. He said such finds are rare, but they have turned up.

But finding a woman buried with a cow was nothing less than “bizarre,” one of the students was quoted as saying. Nobody can think of a find like it anywhere in Europe.

Also unexpected is the discovery that the woman was also buried with brooches, hundreds of amber and decorated glass beads and iron girdle indicating a symbol of wealth and high status in the late Fifth Century, when she lived. Sayer said the discovery of the remains of a woman who had access to such wealth in that period was unique in itself.

That she was buried with a cow suggests that the animal also was a symbol of economic and domestic wealth and power in that period.

“She is almost certainly a regional elite – a matriarchal figure buried with the objects that describe her identity,” Sayer concluded.

Who would have thought.