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Excavations in Hedeby – Golden necklace of Grave 318 completed after almost 80 years

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Excavations in Hedeby – Golden necklace of Grave 318 completed after almost 80 years

Parts of the golden necklace

Since April this year excavations in the inhumation burial ground of Hedeby are taking place in a cooperation between Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA), Archäologisches Landesmuseum and Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein under direction of excavation leader Dr. Sven Kalmring (ZBSA).

Point of origin of the excavation was an unfinished excavation in late August 1939, which was aborted due to the start of WW2 on the 1st of September 1939. While further burials were recognised only two were examined fully: One male burial (grave 319) with an Anglo-Saxon sword and a female interment with one golden pendant of which the gemstone was missing.

So far the latter burial was judged remarkable, but not outstanding. Due to the re-excavation now two more golden pendants with semi-precious stones – amethyst and rock crystal – plus four gold beads with filigree can be allotted to this grave turning it into one of the richest female interments in Hedeby as such.

The excavations will continue until the end of September this year and are open to the public. Until then a larger section of the inhumation burial ground will be surveyed. A facebook-page “Ausgrabung Haithabu 2017” informs about the proceedings of the campaign.

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