WWW.SHROUDEATER.COM - The Skeleton of Harwell - UK
"The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Harwell. Grave 7"
in: Oxoniensia 32, 1967
"The Dangerous Dead in Early Medieval England"
in: Steven David Baxter (ed):
"Early Medieval Studies in memory of Patrick Wormald"
The Dangerous Dead - The Early Medieval deviant burial at Southwell, Nottinghamshire in a wider context"
MBArchaeology Local Heritage Series, 2012
Let us see what John Blair has to say:
"Staking or extraction of the heart are unlikely to be detected in normal cemetery excavations, but a sixth-century burial at Harwell (Berks.), where a spear was driven through the heart and left protruding from the body as it lay in the grave, seems a convincing parallel for the more elaborately constructed cases now recognised in Viking-age Scandinavia."
On to Mr. Brown then:
"Assuming that the relative positions of the parts remains unaltered from the time of death, the spearhead would appear to have entered on a level with the top of the heart, at a point close to the left nipple, and passed inwards to lodge against the backbone. Such a course would have taken it directly through the heart."
Both Matthew Beresford and John Blair list this case in their studies about "The Dangerous Dead". And even though I can see that this could be open to more than just one interpretation, who am I to disagree ?
We have been told that this skeleton dates back to the 6th Century.
Harwell is a village that can be found South of Oxford.
I have given you no less than three different titles to start with. There is much more information about this interesting case, detailed descriptions, maps, drawings... So go and find it.
© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014