An ancient Egyptian coffin lid being sold at auction in Cambridgeshire today should be withdrawn from sale and repatriated to Egypt, embassy officials in London have said.
They are furious at the refusal of Willingham Auctions to withdraw the partial sarcophagus, which dates back thousands of years. It was discovered by auctioneer Stephen Drake during a clearance of a house in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, last month.
The property was the home of the big game hunter and journalist Captain “Tiger” Sarll, who is thought to have found the coffin lid in Africa and had it shipped back to Britain. He died in 1977, and his widow continued to live there until her death in 2005. Read more.
An early Saxon man who fell on his shield has been found buried with a knife and spear alongside a jewellery-clad woman during a dig on a residential site in a Cambridgeshire village.
Grave goods, weaponry and everyday items from the 6th century surfaced during the excavation in Haddenham, where similar remains – including a double burial of a man and a woman – were first identified more than 20 years ago.
“A total of nine inhumations were discovered, ranging from the very young to fully grown adults,” says Jon House, of Pre-Construct Archaeology, thanking local residents for their “great interest” and “warm and welcoming” approach to the team during unfavourable weather conditions. Read more.
Eight Bronze Age boats discovered in a deep Cambridgeshire quarry are much older than it was first thought, carbon-dating research has revealed.
The vessels, found by archaeologists at Must Farm near Peterborough in 2011, have now been dated to about 1500 BC, 200 years older than was first thought.
Samples taken during the conservation process have revealed the boats to be made from oak, lime and field maple.
The vessels are undergoing a two-year preservation programme at Flag Fen.
The wooden craft are being sprayed with a special wax to stop the timbers from degrading, the same technique that was applied to the 16th Century Mary Rose warship. Read more.
Archaeologists excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire say the discovery of a woman buried with a cow is a “genuinely bizarre” find.
The grave was uncovered in Oakington by students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.
At first it was thought the animal skeleton was a horse.
Student Jake Nuttall said: “Male warriors might be buried with horses, but a woman and a cow is new to us.”
He added: “We were excited when we thought we had a horse, but realising it was a cow made it even more bizarre.” Read more.
British police have arrested two suspects in conjunction with the recent theft of 18 rare Chinese artifacts from the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge.
"Officers from Cambridgeshire, along with officers from the Metropolitan Police, carried out two warrants at addresses in London," according to a police statement issued Wednesday.
"Both men are currently on their way to Cambridgeshire."
On the evening of April 13, robbers snatched 18 valuable, mostly jade, artifacts — including a Ming jade cup dating from the 14th century — from the museum. The Fitzwilliam features a wide-ranging collection of artwork and antiquities from various civilizations and centuries.
The stolen pieces had been given as gifts or bequests to the museum, with some experts estimating the artifacts to be worth approximately £18 million (about $28.7 million Cdn). None of the artifacts has been recovered. Read more.
Renowned Bronze Age archaeological site Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire will host a first-of-its-kind dig that makes the public integral to the project.
The idea combines both “crowdfunding” and “crowdsourcing”; for contributions starting at £125, donors can get their hands very dirty and dig for a day.
The venture’s website will also stream live video from the dig as well as host lectures and interviews with experts.
The aim is to fully explore the site before it dries out and is destroyed.
Flag Fen was discovered in 1982 by archaeologist Francis Pryor, who uncovered part of a one mile (1.6km) causeway across the Fenland marshes in Cambridgeshire.
The site lies largely underground, preserved for 3,000 years beneath a layer of peat that keeps artefacts from decaying.
An exposed part of the site, called the preservation hall, shows some of the thousands of timbers that make up the site poking up through the ground, and these are regularly watered to stave off decay. Read more.
Archaeologists have opened a dig site in Cambridgeshire to the public for one day before new homes are built over it.
The dig is in the village of Longstanton which is in an area that has already thrown up Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and mediaeval finds.
A team from Birmingham University are carrying out the dig before house building begins.
Pottery, bone and stone tools have recently been found at the site which is open to visitors on Thursday.
"This most recent dig has uncovered an Iron Age enclosure which will be on display during the day," said project manager of Birmingham Archaeology, Samantha Paul. Read more.