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Anglo-Saxon settlement found in Northumberland

The remains of an Anglo-Saxon settlement, dating between the 6th-8th centuries, has been unearthed in Northumberland, England.

It comprised of at least six rectangular post-built halls – each thought to house a family unit – two buildings with sunken floors and a system of enclosures, fences and trackways.

Anglo-Saxon pottery, loom weights and metalworking residues have all been recovered from the site.

The archaeological investigations on the surface coal mine also revealed a number of other sites including several Iron Age roundhouses, ditches and pit alignments – which were used as land divisions.

The potential of the site was recognised by Northumberland County Council archaeologists but despite the extensive preliminary work, the council said the remains came as a surprise.

Karen Derham, Northumberland County Council Assistant County Archaeologist, said: “We know Northumberland was at the heart of the early medieval Kingdom of Bernicia and yet archaeologists have so far only discovered a very small number of settlement sites, all previously in the north of the county.

“The surface mine at Shotton has given us the first direct evidence of Anglo-Saxon settlement in this part of the county and has confirmed its potential for making important archaeological discoveries.”

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