An Anglo-Saxon burial site containing the remains of more than 140 people, including jewellery, knives and a personal grooming kit, has been discovered by archaeologists working on the High Speed 2 route.

Dan Snow said that the site near Wendover contained a "stunning set of discoveries". The period has been seen as a dark age. Archaeology has filled the gaps

Pieces of spine and iron spear point

The skeleton was found with an iron spearpoint imbedded into the thoracic vertebra. Photograph: HS2/PA

He said that the findings would show us more about how our predecessors lived. One of the best and most revealing post-Roman sites is here.

A man who was between 17 and 24 years old at the time of his death was found with a sharp object in his back. A weapon was thrust into his body from the front and lodged in his spine, according to experts.

There was a blue stain on his collarbone. Many of the site's skeletons were kept in place with two collarbone brooches.

An ornate pale green glass bowl, thought to have been made around the turn of the fifth century, was one of the many items found with a female skeleton. Rings, brooches, iron belt fitting and ivory objects were found with her remains.

One of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial grounds in Britain was found at the site. There were more than 2,000 beads, along with 89 brooches, 40 buckles, 51 knives, 15 spearheads, and seven shield bosses.

Dr Rachel Wood said it was a once in a lifetime discovery.

Dan Snow with spearhead uncovered in HS2 excavations

Dan Snow with spearhead uncovered in HS2 excavations. Photograph: HS2/PA

It's rare to find an Anglo-Saxon cemetery with so many people and so many grave goods. We found a lot of unique objects, including glass and amber beads, swords, shield bosses, and pottery jewelry.

We don't know a lot about the fifth and sixth centuries, and the objects we found will tell us a lot about them. We get a great snapshot of society.

Most of the individuals seem to have a lot of money and were able to import items from all over Europe. The uncovered glass cone beakers would have been used to drink the wine. Some of the beakers were also made in England at the time.

Personal grooming items, such as ear wax removers, toothpicks, tweezers, combs, and a tube that may have contained eyeliner are among the discoveries.

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A team of archaeologists worked on the site for a year and a half. Evidence of Neolithic, bronze age, iron age and Roman activity was found.

Archaeological finds have been found along the route. Over the past three years, more than 1,000 archaeologists have worked on 60 different sites.

Many objects that have been found will be displayed in museums. The new rail line will necessitate the bulldozing of larger finds.