An Anglo-Saxon burial ground has been uncovered by archaeologists working on a HS2 site, which contains nearly 140 graves.

The site, in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, contained 138 graves, with 141 regular burials and five cremation burials, which makes it one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial grounds ever uncovered in Britain.

A skeleton, thought to be male, was found with a sharp iron object embedded into its spine, which experts believe may have caused or factored into his death.

The man was thought to be between 17-24 at the time of death and was examined by specialist osteologists who believe he was stabbed with the weapon from the front, before it embedded in his spine.

Bucks Free Press: The skeleton which was found with a sharp iron object embedded in its spine (HS2/PA)The skeleton which was found with a sharp iron object embedded in its spine (HS2/PA)

Items from the 5th and 6th century were found, including 89 brooches, more than 2,000 amber beads, 51 knives, 40 buckles, 15 spearheads, and various other metals and raw materials used to make the artefacts.

The discoveries have been filmed for historian Dan Snow’s streaming service History Hit.

Speaking on his podcast, the presenter said: “By studying the things our forebears have left in the ground, their glass, jewellery, weapons and even their bodies, we can build a rich picture of a dynamic and vital period of our history.

“This stunning set of discoveries on the HS2 route can tell us more about how our predecessors lived, fought and ultimately died.

“It is one of the best and most revealing post Roman sites in the country and it was thrilling to join the team as they uncovered their wonderful finds.”

What else was found at the site?

A team of around 30 field archaeologists from INFRA JV, working on behalf of HS2’s Enabling Works Contractor, Fusion JV, completed field work at the site in 2021, and also found evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman activity.

Of note, a pair of small square-headed brooches were excavated, which are a miniature form of the great square-headed brooch, such as the famous Chessell Down Brooch on display at the British Museum.

Bucks Free Press: Copper alloy brooches found at the burial site (HS2/PA)Copper alloy brooches found at the burial site (HS2/PA)

Two glass cone beakers that would have been used for drinking liquids such as wine were also found and suggest those buried may have had access to fine beverages from abroad.

The beakers have decorative trails in the glass which are comparable to the “Kempston” type cone beaker, uncovered in Bedfordshire in 1891, with one currently on display in the British Museum.

A female body was found buried with a vast array of high quality goods, such as a complete ornate glass bowl made of pale green glass, multiple rings made of copper alloy, a silver “zoomorphic” ring, brooches, discs, iron belt fittings and objects made of ivory.

A number of items likely used for grooming were also found, including toiletry sets with ear wax removers and toothpicks, tweezers, combs and even a cosmetic tube that may have been used as eyeliner or similar.