I have, unfortunately, been very busy the last week or so finishing up some things and working towards my first (hopefully) proper publication. Whilst that is all very exciting, it means I have let darkage-ology slide a little. I will endeavour to finish the second part of Dark Age Warfare very soon but, in the meantime, I would like to wish you all a happy, if a little delayed, Winter solstice.
If you’ve ever read Beowulf you’ll know that fighting was an integral part of Dark Age society. The text is full of descriptions of martial virtue and the importance of warfare. Early in the book, when Beowulf and his men approach the great hall known as Heorot, they are described as powerful men, wearing mail coats and helmets and wielding long spears and broad shields.
The time has come, at last, to talk a little bit about one of the best aspects of Anglo-Saxon archaeology: the bling. People come to the British Museum from all over the world just to see the incredible objects from Sutton Hoo. Similarly, the ‘Prittlewell Prince’ of 7th century Essex caused a storm of interest when he was found buried in a tomb in 2003, particularly because of his gold cross and grand belt buckle.