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Image by Avinash Kumar



The West 

What a fabulous discovery made at our Weekend Wanderers Summer Rally at West Hanney in Oxfordshire! 

News reached the recording marquee that called for one of the onsite archaeologists to examine. The finder had dug an unusual bronze object with what t seemed to be bone fragments. Here is the photographic journal of what followed next.

The Weekend Wanderers
Summer Rally 2009

Saxon Grave

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Image by Avinash Kumar

On the morning of Sunday 20th September 2009 at the Weekend Wanderers Summer rally at West Hanney in Oxfordshire, Chris Bayston from Sherburn in Elmet made this superb discovery using his Minelab Explorer.

Image by Avinash Kumar


Two hours into day two of the West Hanney rally and Chris Bayston had reached a remote part of the rally site.


He headed for rising ground and found his instincts proved to be correct as his Minelab Explorer indicated a good target at a depth of about 14 inches. 

Unearthing the strange mud encased object, Chris was not quite sure at first what it he had discovered.

This became apparent with a closer look and I am sure he must have been quite astounded when he recognized red gems gleaming through the earthy disc. Realizing that this could be something special, he careful examined the find spot again.


Fragments of red/brown material in the side of the hole looked like pottery but amazingly a closer inspection indicated molars and part of the lower jaw. Full credit must go to Chris who on realizing that he had unearthed a skull immediately stopped digging and contacted the rally organizers.  

We always have a team of FLOs at our rallies and Anni Byard was close at hand. Anni crammed her trowels & recording tools into a bag and jumped into the WW truck and without delay headed up the long dusty track looking out for a distant gathering of people.

Image by Avinash Kumar

Anni Byard in Action

Anni Byard, Finds Liaison Officer for Oxfordshire with Paula and John Paula, Anni excavating the Saxon skeleton. 

The team stayed on for days after the rally had ended, working tirelessly to carefully excavate, examine and record this very important discovery.

The skeleton was female with one leg slightly longer that the other. She was named Eileen.

Image by Avinash Kumar