Archaeologists Discover 5th Century Woman Buried With Cow - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Archaeologists working in an Anglo-Saxon graveyard in Cambridgeshire have made a curious find. Kate Smith, a 19 year old student, uncovered the skeleton of a woman buried next to what researchers initially thought to be a horse, but it turned out to be the skeleton of a cow. One of the Co-directors of the dig, Dr Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire, said: "This is the first animal to be discovered with a woman from this period - the late 5th Century - and it's really interesting that it's a cow, a symbol of economic and domestic wealth and power.”
Archaeologists working in the same area have found human remains buried next to animals before, but they were always men, believed to be soldiers, buried with a horse. “In the 5th century, a cow was a very important to a community’s survival, so to sacrifice one is highly significant and marks her down as having very high status not only in her community, but perhaps in a much wider geographical area,” said Dr. Faye Simpson, who is one of the lead archaeologists working on the excavation.