A Talk on the “Prittlewell Prince”, 16th March 2017

A Talk on the "Prittlewell Prince", 16th March 2017

About 80 members of the Friends met at Roman Circus House for a talk on the discoveries made from the Prittlewell excavation in 2003.

The talk was given by Lyn Blackmore, Senior Finds Specialist, who is based at the Museum of London.

Fourteen years ago an archaeological survey was carried out near Priory Park, Prittlewell , ahead of planned roadworks.

The archaeologists discovered a set of remains which led to an important and undisturbed  7th century Saxon  chamber grave beneath a mound.

Finds included a hollow gold buckle a hanging bowl, a Coptic bowl and flagon,  a folding stool, three wooden tubs with iron bands, a sword and a lyre  - the tomb itself built from oak was 4m square the largest found in England.

Lyn showed slides of the individual finds comparing each with other similar artefacts from other sites such as Sutton Hoo, Taplow and some from France and Germany. The acidic soil had completely dissolved the body’s bones although traces of teeth were found. These were too decayed to be of any use in DNA testing.

The presence in the chamber of gold foil crucifixes suggest that the burial was Christian. The quality and presence of imported luxury items suggest a royal burial dated possibly to 600 –650 AD

It is hoped that the finds will eventually be returned to Southend Museum and exhibited there.