London, May 9 A royal burial site found between a pub and a supermarket has been hailed as the UK's equivalent to Egypt's famous Tutankhamun tomb, said archaeologists.
The archaeologists on Thursday will reveal the results of years of research into the burial site of a rich, powerful Anglo-Saxon man found at Prittlewell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, the Guardian reported.
When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. But it is only now, after years of painstaking investigation by more than 40 specialists, that a fuller picture of the extraordinary nature of the find was emerging.
Sophie Jackson, director of research at Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), said it could be seen as a British equivalent to Tutankhamun's tomb, although different in a number of ways.
"It was essentially a sandpit with stains," she said. "It was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries we've made in this country in the last 50 to 60 years."
The remains of the timber structure, which would have measured about 13ft square and 5ft deep, housed some 40 rare and precious artefacts, the BBC reported.
Among them was a lyre - an ancient harp - and a 1,400-year-old box thought to be the only surviving example of painted Anglo-Saxon woodwork in Britain.
Gold coins, the gilded silver neck of a wooden drinking vessel, decorative glass beakers and a flagon believed to have come from Syria were also found.
It had been suggested the remains were those of Saebert, Saxon king of Essex from AD604 to AD616
But carbon dating and other tests have indicated the tomb was constructed between AD575 and AD605 - at least 11 years before his death.
After 15 years of research, archaeologists said their "best guess" was that the tomb belonged to Seaxa, Saebert's brother.
Some of the recovered artefacts will be displayed at Central Museum in Southend from Saturday.
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