THE remains of what is currently thought to be a seventh century Anglo-Saxon warrior discovered near Goring are on display at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock.  

The Lowbury man is currently available to view but will soon come off display on Monday, October 31 for six weeks as a research team seeks to learn more about him.

The work will include DNA and radiocarbon testing to confirm his sex, when he lived and his ancestry.

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Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “I’m excited to find out what more we can learn from the remains and what it may tell us about the Lowbury Hill site.

“It’s clear that the site was a beacon of activity for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but up to now, we appear to know very little about the area.

“I hope that our modern testing will discover more about who this man was and just why he ended up buried at Lowbury Hill near Goring”

He was discovered at what is believed to have been the site of a Roman-era enclosure and Anglo-Saxon burial mound.

Analysis so far suggests the man was a seventh-century warrior that lived in Cornwall or western Ireland before being buried on Lowbury Hill.

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His grave contained elaborate items, including a sword, shield, enamelled spearhead, knife, shears, a bronze hanging bowl and a bone comb – all on display in the museum.  

His discovery within a burial mound on Lowbury Hill and the items he was buried with indicate he was a high-status individual from the early medieval (Anglo-Saxon) time period, with some suggesting he may have been a warlord.

He was also discovered alongside a woman. She is believed to have been about 40 years old. Her remains have been radio-carbon dated to about 550 to 650 AD. Unfortunately, she was buried without grave items, and very little is known about her.

The DNA data and CT scans will also help to explore questions about their ancestry and what diseases they may have suffered from.

The research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via its South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

The DNA analysis will be undertaken in collaboration with Professor Stephan Schiffels at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

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All data produced during the research will be provided to the Oxfordshire Museum Service, and updated information regarding both individuals will be included in the display at the Oxfordshire Museum.

For more information, visit the museum’s service’s website.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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