U.K. archaeologists unearth 7th century treasures owned by a woman who may have been Christian religious leaderCBS News
DECEMBER 6, 2022
“We are now looking at places we would never typically have looked at, and as a result, we are finding genuinely unexpected things.” Simon Mortimer
Liz Barham, senior conservator of the Museum of London Archaeology, displays an early medieval gold and gemstone necklace during a photo call, in London, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. KIN CHEUNG / AP
The Harpole Treasure – named for the village where it was found, about 60 miles northwest of London – was unearthed in April by archaeologists working with property developer Vistry Group on a neighborhood of new houses.
Researchers say the burial took place between 630 and 670 A.D., the same period as several other graves of high-ranking women that have been found around Britain. Earlier high-status burials were mostly men, and experts say the change could reflect women gaining power and status in England’s new Christian faith.
The Kingdom of Mercia, where the Harpole Treasure was found, converted to Christianity in the 7th century, and the woman buried there was a believer, maybe a faith leader. A large and ornate silver cross was placed on her body in the grave. It is adorned with tiny, astonishingly well-preserved likenesses of human heads with blue glass eyes, who may represent Christ’s apostles. Clay pots from France or Belgium, containing residue of an unknown liquid, were also found.
Remember the Bible passage about women should be “silent” in church? The following is from 1 Corinthians 14
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
Or how they left out women who also had the gift of prophecy?
14 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Yet also in 1 Corinthians 14, there was this.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
The truth is, there were many women with Jesus and thought history, as the ancient woman above, that were leaders in Christianity. Never, ever, doubt the gifts of your spirit are of any lesser value just because some think it is.