1,300-Year-Old Gold Necklace Found at Development Site

Last year we reported on a range of historically important Roman finds that had been uncovered on a development site that GRM had been working on in Northamptonshire. Our ground investigation uncovered a previously unknown Roman temple along with at least 10 bread ovens and related features for drying the wheat (before being made into bread or beer). The full article can be found here.

More recently we have been working on another site in the same county for a separate developer. An archaeological survey suggested potential remains of interest, and a subsequent investigation by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) has just confirmed the discovery of a “once in a lifetime” gold necklace dating back to 630-670 AD. The Early Medieval 1,300-year-old object was found in a grave of a woman who was likely to have been of high status, possibly royalty. The necklace has at least 30 pendants and beads made of Roman coins, glass, garnet stones, and other semi-precious stones. It is set in gold.

Details of the object and other finds from the site (already coined the ‘Harpole Treasure’) have been widely reported both nationally and internationally:

BBC News: Medieval necklace found near Northampton ‘internationally important’

CNN: Harpole Treasure: Gold necklace reveals unexpected role for women

The Guardian: Medieval female burial site is ‘most significant ever discovered’ in UK

The full story of the finds is also set to feature on BBC Two’s Digging for Britain in January, with Professor Alice Roberts investigating the discovery and subsequent research by the Museum of London Archaeology.

If you have any development or construction projects, then please get in touch to find out how we can help save both time and costs. Please use your main point of contact at GRM or for new enquiries email richard.upton@grm-uk.com or call 01283 551249.

First Discovery of Necklace by Museum of LondonArchaeology at the development site in Harpole near Northampton
Artist impression of the grave by Museum of London Archaeology
Roman Temple uncovered during GRM investigations at a different site close to Northampton
Roman bread ovens uncovered during GRM investigations at a different site close to Northampton