Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anglo-Saxon brooches

Stunning 7th century gold Anglo-Saxon brooch found in South Norfolk, albeit a bit grubby.  Latest find by an archaeological student with a metal detector in a field, and properly excavated to boot.
I include the later 9th century Strickland brooch for comparison and also the 7th century Street House brooch, with the familiar Anglo-Saxon garnet inlays.  Four large garnets equally spaced occur in all three, though the central bosses are different.  The Strickland brooch has a quatrefoil cross in it's centre and being much later of course a thoroughly 'Christianised' piece of work, the Street House brooch also has a distinctive Christian gold cross pattern, lying behind  the central roundel.   Whereas the Norfolk brooch central area seems to be raised beneath the dirt but at the moment has no defining pattern due to its uncleaned state at the moment.
The visual messages and stories to be read, are there in the brooches, the status of the wearer in the use of gold and silver, religious significance, Christianity wrapped round the Scandinavian love of the natural world with it's animals and birds.  Woden/Odin may possibly be found, with his two ravens, protecting the wearer from possible dangers.   There is a text which we may not understand but like a book can be read.  Though this is only speculation it would appear that the four equally spaced large garnets  are to do with the four corners of the earth, not that they knew the earth was round, but if you contemplate your own body and vision, these four stations morphed somewaht boringly into N/W/S/E, would describe the known world then.


7th Century



 7th century - Street House excavation in Yorkshire @ Creative Commons

9th Century - Strickland Brooch

4 comments:

  1. These are exquisite - and in some ways so very similar. Wouldn't it be marvellous to find such a treasure?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it would be fun to find one, but honour bound you would have to pass it to the local museum..

      Delete
  2. Beautiful-the detail on these is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, I am convinced those must have used the keen eyes of children to place the garnets.

      Delete