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Raising the Dead: Death and Burial in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia

Snape Grave 47 under excavation (Dr Sam Newton 1991)

with Dr Richard Hoggett

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 28th November 2009

For those who have attended my sessions before, it should be emphasised that this study-day incorporates the findings of much new research and many newly excavated sites, many of which have yet to be published.

Today we shall use funerary evidence to explore the history of East Anglian archaeology, the rites and religions of the Anglo-Saxons, the coming of Christianity and examines the regional context of the burials at Sutton Hoo.

The day begins with a session examining the nature of the archaeological record of Anglo-Saxon East Anglia, highlighting the relevant classes of material that are available for us to study and explaining why we are so lucky to be living and working in the eastern region. The second session focuses on the discovery of the region’s Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, examining the various practices which brought the material to light and looking at the underlying patterns which tell us as much about the history of archaeological research in the region as they do about the Anglo-Saxons.

After lunch, the focus moves to the structure of individual burials and examines in detail what can be inferred from the archaeological record about the burial practices and beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons and how these changed over time. The final session takes a step back and examines the wider context of cemeteries in the landscape and looks at the spatial relationships between the living and the dead apparent during the Anglo-Saxon period.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon East Anglia  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Discovering the East Anglian Cemeteries  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Burials and Beliefs  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Cemeteries in the Landscape  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Richard Hoggett

Richard is an archaeologist who for nearly 15 years has directed fieldwork throughout southern England and in France . He currently works for NAU Archaeology (formerly Norfolk Archaeological Unit), where he manages the post-excavation process and the company’s published output. He has taught extensively for the University of East Anglia and has given lectures and day-schools for many other institutions. Richard’s PhD examined the historical and archaeological evidence for the spread of Christianity throughout the East Anglian landscape. His book based on this research is due to be published by Boydell in 2010.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Blair, J., The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford, 2005)
Brothwell, D., Digging Up Bones, 3rd edn (London, 1981)
Browne, T., Hydriotaphia, Urne-Buriall, or, A Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes lately found in Norfolk (London, 1658)
Carver, M.O.H., Sutton Hoo: A Seventh-Century Princely Burial Ground and its Context (London, 2005)
Carver, M.O.H., Sutton Hoo: Burial Ground of Kings? (London, 1998)
Chester-Kadwell, M., Early Anglo-Saxon Communities in the Landscape of Norfolk, BAR British Series 481 (Oxford, 2009)
Filmer-Sankey, W. and Pestell, T., Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery: Excavations and Surveys 1824–1992, East Anglian Archaeology 95 (Ipswich, 2001)
Geake, H., The Use of Grave-Goods in Conversion-Period England c.600–c.850, BAR British Series 261 (Oxford, 1997)
Lee, C., Feasting the Dead: Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon Burial Rituals (Woodbridge, 2007)
Lucy, S., The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death (Stroud, 2000)
Mays, S., The Archaeology of Human Bones (London, 1998)
Meaney, A., A Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites (London 1964)
Morris, R., Churches in the Landscape (London, 1989)
Owen, G., Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons (London, 1981)
Parker Pearson, M., The Archaeology of Death and Burial (Stroud, 1999)
Penn, K. and Brugmann, B., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Inhumation Burial: Morning Thorpe, Spong Hill, Bergh Apton and Westgarth Gardens, East Anglian Archaeology 119 (Gressenhall, 2007)
Plunkett, S., Suffolk in Anglo-Saxon Times (Stroud, 2005)
Rippon, S., Beyond the Medieval Village (Oxford, 2008)
Semple, S. and Williams, H. (eds), Early Medieval Mortuary Practices, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (Oxford, 2007)
Taylor, A., Burial Practice in Early England (Stroud, 2001)
Turner, S., Making A Christian Landscape (Exeter, 2006)
Williams, H., Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain (Cambridge, 2006)
Williamson, T., England’s Landscape: East Anglia (London, 2006)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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