Tutankhamun might sound like a Southend nightclub to rival the old Zero 6 or the Canvey Island Goldmine, but it seems that Prittlewell is now home to Britain's version of the Valley of the Kings. A massively important archaeological find, descrived as "Britain's Tutankhamun", has been made — an Anglo Saxon burial chamber between an Aldi and a pub. Years of research on the tomb, discovered in 2003, suggests that Essex was at the heart of Anglo-Saxon culture and clearly this top geezer had much better bling than Sutton Hoo.
Dating back to AD 616, this powerful man (who might have been Seaxa, brother of King Sæberht and son of Sledd) was buried with a copper-alloy flagon, a lyre, drinking horns and elaborate blue glass drinking cups. An indication that Essex Man back then was also into drinking, music and a bit of flash gear. It would have taken 25 people a week to build the tomb. It would have been a natural spot for a prestigious monument — what great man wouldn't want good afterlife access to Aldi, an Essex boozer and the Arches cafes at Southend?
The Observer suggested that Southend might be on the way to becoming the new Cairo — though business at Southend Central Museum has been a little slow so far. Still, give it time, and soon Southend will surely be on every cruise ship's itinerary.