Archaeologists in England have uncovered a trove of treasure, including a stunning gold necklace they say is likely 1,300 years old and belonged to a devout and very wealthy Medieval woman.
On Tuesday, the Museum of London Archaeology team (MOLA) revealed the amazing discovery — now known as the "Harpole Treasure" — that occurred in April during a dig in Northamptonshire.
Dig leader Levente Bence Balázs said the team was searching "a suspected rubbish pit" when he spotted teeth sticking out of the ground. "Then two gold items appeared out of the earth and glinted at me," he recalled, according to The Guardian.
What Balázs encountered wasn't trash at all — but rather "the most significant early medieval female burial ever discovered in Britain."
"These artifacts haven't seen the light of day for 1,300 years, and to be the first person to see them is indescribable," he said of the items believed to be from the years 630-670 AD. "But even then, we didn't know quite how special this find was going to be."
The gold the team initially spotted at the site was from a necklace, which MOLA said is "the most ornate of its kind ever found." The piece features semi-precious stones and decorated glass pendants set in gold as well as gold Roman coins and gold "bead spacers."
A large rectangular pendant made of red garnets and gold with a cross motif is at the center of the necklace, according to MOLA.
"It is an archaeologist's dream to find something like this," Balázs said, per the Guardian report.
"Lots of necklaces with similar pendants have been found in female burials dating to around this time," MOLA said on its site. "However, only the Harpole Treasure necklace has this incredible variety of pendants."
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A similar necklace, known as the Desborough necklace, was also found in Northamptonshire in 1876, according to the post. It can now be found at the British Museum.
Two decorated pots made in the Frankish style, a copper dish and a large cross were also found at the site, according to CNN.
"At the end of two arms of this cross we even found some unusual depictions of human faces cast in silver," MOLA said in its post.
The size of the cross suggests the person buried at the site might have been an early Christian leader.
The teeth fragments are all that remain of her, but archeologists believe the fully decomposed skeleton was female because necklaces with similar pendants have been found at female burial sites that date to the same time period.
According to The Guardian, experts believe she must have been a woman of great wealth — perhaps both a princess and abbess.