Today’s image for Day 268 of the VM_365 project shows four amethyst beads excavated in 1982 from a grave containing a female buried at the Monkton Anglo Saxon cemetery.
These four roughly almond shaped amethyst beads were found as part of a necklet along with two shell beads probably cut from a cowrie shell. The beads formed part of an early 7th century burial and are imports from Byzantium having been traded along the route from Aquelia, over the Alps, down the Rhine and then on to Kent.
If you look carefully at these beautifully translucent beads you can see the finely drilled holes, which show opaque, through which fine cord was passed to string them into a necklet. If you look very closely you can even identify the spirals caused by the rotation of the drilling implement.
Graves from the Monkton cemetery were first identified during the laying of a gas pipeline in 1971 when 22 were identified. A further 12 graves were identified during the laying of a second pipeline in 1982.