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Anglo-Saxon Treasure: Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard

The great gold folded cross on show in the British Museum

with Dr Morn Capper

at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 13th April, 2013.

An examination of the material from the Staffordshire Hoard and Sutton Hoo following work on the new museums displays.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day)
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The rise of the warlords: conquest, plunder and tribute in the world of the seventh century. An introduction to the fearsome reputation of warlords like Rædwald and Penda of Mercia, looking at sources from Bede to princely burials like Sutton Hoo. At a time when armies led by kings decided the fate of other kingdoms we will look at the place of the warrior and attitudes to the remaining British populations. As five East Anglian kings were killed in 30 years of confrontation we will explore the motives behind warfare and ask how regional kings proved themselves.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Christianity and Power: how later seventh and early eighth century kings combined Christianity and bloodshed. As the sons of Penda attempted to forge a Christian kingdom, the brutal realities of warfare and conquest gained a veneer of civility through the development of trade and sanctity. Many of these ideas were not Mercian in origin, but adapted from conquered regional allies such as East Anglia, Northumbria, Kent and Essex. But did Christianity really change Mercian behaviour and what do we really know of East Anglia at this time?  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 The conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard – new discoveries and old problems. As new research begins on the Staffordshire Hoard we look at some of the methods being used to investigate the finds. We will look at what conservation and analysis is underway and what the early discoveries may tell us? Can we predict what sorts of questions the Staffordshire Hoard can answer? By acknowledging what we do not know, will developing research open up new possibilities about the Hoard?  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Interpretation and display: what are the stories of Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard and how is each a record unique record of the Anglo-Saxon period? Both sites have finds which show the skill of smiths and the uncertainties of the conversion period, but how do these stories differ? We will look behind the scenes at what goes into looking after and interpreting the finds for display and how some modern museum displays are designed. We will assess how the different stories of Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard offer us different perspectives on the story of the Anglo-Saxons and ask why will these stories lend themselves to being told differently?  
  16:20 Close  

About Dr Morn Capper

Dr Morn Capper is a Leverhulme Research Associate investigating Anglo-Saxon metalwork in the midlands for the Impact of Diasporas project at Leicester University and Curatorial Advisor to the Staffordshire Hoard Birmingham Museums Trust. She enjoys combining research and teaching in Anglo-Saxon Studies whilst encouraging public engagement with the past. For the last year she has combined working on the Staffordshire Hoard Project with studying for a British Museum curatorial diploma. Before this she taught at the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham and worked in the learning team at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield - location of the famous Benty Grange helmet. In 2008 she completed her inter-disciplinary PhD research investigating regionalism within the Mercian Supremacy through the use of written, archaeological and coinage evidence. This research investigated how regional kingdoms attempted to negotiate first Mercian and then Viking conquests in the 7-10th centuries. She is interested in adding value to research by networking between researchers and museum collections, local amateur enthusiasts and the academic sphere.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Blair, J., The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford, 2005).
Brown, M., & C. Farr (eds), Mercia, An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (London, 2001).
Carver, M. O. H., Sutton Hoo, Burial Ground of Kings? (London, 1998).
Campbell, J. (ed.) The Anglo-Saxons (London, 1982).
Fleming, R. Britain after Rome: The Fall and Rise, 700-1970 (London, 2010).
Kirby, D.P., The Earliest English Kings (London, 1991).
Lapidge, M., J.Blair, S.Keynes.,& D. Scragg D., (eds), The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1999).
Leahy, K., & R.Bland, The Staffordshire Hoard (London, 2009).
Marzinzik, S., The Sutton Hoo Helmet (London, 2007).
McClure, J. & R.Collins, (eds), Bede: the Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford 1999) or www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/bede-book1.html
Stenton, F. M., Anglo-Saxon England, 3rd edn (Oxford 1971), pp. 206-12.
Swanton, M., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1996; Phoenix 2000) or online at The Online Medieval and Classical Library http://omacl.org/Anglo/
Webster, L., & Backhouse, J., The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (London, 1991).

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send payment to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

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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