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Kinship, community and identity
Author: Duncan Sayer

Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries are well-known because of their rich grave goods, but this wealth can obscure their importance as local phenomena and the product of pluralistic multi-generational communities. This book explores over one hundred early Anglo-Saxon and some Merovingian cemeteries and aims to understand them using a multi-dimensional methodology. The performance of mortuary drama was a physical communication and so needed syntax and semantics. This local knowledge was used to negotiate the arrangement of cemetery spaces and to construct the stories that were told within them. For some families the emphasis of a mortuary ritual was on reinforcing and reproducing family narratives, but this was only one technique used to arrange cemetery space. This book offers an alternative way to explore the horizontal organisation of cemeteries from a holistic perspective. Each chapter builds on the last, using visual aesthetics, leitmotifs, spatial statistics, grave orientation, density of burial, mortuary ritual, grave goods, grave robbing, barrows, integral structures, skeletal trauma, stature, gender and age to build a detailed picture of complex mortuary spaces. This approach places community at the forefront of interpretation because people used and reused cemetery spaces and these people chose to emphasise different characteristics of the deceased because of their own attitudes, lifeways and lived experiences. This book will appeal to scholars of Anglo-Saxon studies and will also be of value to archaeologists interested in mortuary spaces, communities and social differentiation because it proposes a way to move beyond grave goods in the discussion of complex social identities.

Duncan Sayer

Each early Anglo-Saxon cemetery was unique, the product of multiple agents working at different times, in different spaces and with different visions. Each grave was the end result of a funeral situated within specific chronological and community circumstances, influenced by social agents and their relationships to the deceased and to each other. In many ways each grave was the product of both a social context and of interpersonal relationships. Inhumation graves were cut into the soil and cremation pyres were built by hand. Together some participants had to

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Johanna Kramer

this motif, 1 is a distinctly Anglo-Saxon innovation that first appears early in the eleventh century in a group of insular manuscript illuminations, spreads to the Continent by the twelfth century and across western Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 2 The figure of the disappearing Christ introduces a particularly ‘liminal’ way of depicting the Ascension by focusing on the moment when Christ crosses from earth into heaven. Moreover, the feet in the visual iconography invite a comparative reading with the footprints of Christ in the Old English

in Between earth and heaven
Joanne Parker

2 Medievalism, Anglo-Saxonism and the nineteenth century Before it is possible to understand the particular appeal of Alfred to nineteenth-century Britain, it is necessary to have some idea of the broader cultural contexts in which the cult of the Saxon king germinated. As part of the Alfred Millenary commemorations in 1901, the historian Frederic Harrison – as was discussed in Chapter One – gave a speech at the British Museum. During this he asserted, ‘if ours was the age of progress, it was also the age of history’.1 The Victorian mania for Alfred was

in ‘England’s darling’
Duncan Sayer

expressing and transmitting human social relationships (Lupton, 1998 : 143). In archaeology, as with many other social sciences, these structures can be understood to exist in the relationships between people. Archaeologically, we might consider the physical and the material remains of the past as an invention of interpersonal interaction. Thus we should consider that funerary decisions were the result of complex or incomplete social negotiations, with multiple layers and mutable agents presiding over different agendas and influence. Grave 78 from the early Anglo-Saxon

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Series: Artes Liberales
Author: Lindy Brady

The Welsh borderlands were a distinctive territory where two peoples came together throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. It was here that men skilled at law drew up the Dunsate Agreement, to solve the impending problems with cattle theft. This book explores what sets the Dunsate Agreement apart from other Anglo-Saxon law codes grappling with cattle theft, highlighting that creators of this document, and the community that it concerns, included both Anglo-Saxons and Welsh. It argues that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle represents the military culture of the Welsh borderlands in a distinctive way which aligns its inhabitants with outlaws. The book articulates a discernible culture in the Welsh borderlands prior to 1066. Bede's The Historia Ecclesiastica has long been interpreted as a narrative of Anglo/British strife. His rancour towards the pagan Mercians provides substantial information about the life of Penda of Mercia, whose entire reign over this borderlands kingdom was defined by consistent political and military unity with Welsh rulers. Expanding on the mixed culture, the book examines the various Latin and Old English Lives of the popular Anglo-Saxon saint, Guthlac of Crowland. Vernacular literary tradition reveals a group of Old English riddles that link the 'dark Welsh' to agricultural labour through the cattle they herd, and who have long been understood to show the Welsh as slaves. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is frequently cited as a paradigm of Anglo/Welsh antagonism. The book reveals that the impact of the Norman Conquest on the Anglo-Welsh border region was much greater than previously realised.

Lindy Brady

5 •• The Welsh borderlands in the Anglo‑Saxon Chronicle The previous chapters of this book have proposed that the Welsh borderlands had a culture of their own and were understood as a distinct region by the authors of those early Anglo-Saxon texts that mention this territory. This chapter moves forward chronologically to the tenth and eleventh centuries and suggests that political alliance in the Welsh borderlands during the later Anglo-Saxon period was a significant pattern across time. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a major historical source for the later

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
R.M. Liuzza

Long before the invention of the mechanical clock, the monastic computes offered a model of time that was visible, durable, portable and objectifiable. The development of ‘temporal literacy’ among the Anglo-Saxons involved not only the measurement of time but also the ways in which the technologies used to measure and record time — from sundials and church bells to calendars and chronicles — worked to create and reorder cultural capital, and add new scope and range to the life of the imagination. Techniques of time measurement are deeply implicated in historical consciousness and the assertion of identity; this paper proposes some avenues of exploration for this topic among the Anglo-Saxons.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Britain in the Nordicist/Mediterraneanist debate
Jacopo Pili

Ch a pter 4 ‘The Racial Inferiority of Anglo-Saxons’ Britain in the Nordicist/Mediterraneanist Debate T he Fascist representation of Britain in racial terms has received little attention in the literature.1 No previous study has taken into consideration the fact that Italian racism was divided among factions with different worldviews, goals, allies and enemies, and how that influenced the choice of the themes used by this racist discourse. Whereas previous works treated the racist attitude towards Great Britain as monolithic, this work aims to provide a more

in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy