Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Stafforshire Hoard

Have you all heard about the Staffordshire Hoard?? Not textile, of course, since it’s been buried for 1200 years or so, but the craftsmanship is absolutely incredible!
Discovered in a field near Lichfield in Staffordshire, England on 5 July 2009 this is the largest hoard to ever be found. In archaeology, a hoard is a collection of valuable objects or artifacts, sometimes purposely buried in the ground. This would usually be with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder; hoarders sometimes died before retrieving the hoard, and these surviving hoards may be uncovered by metal-detectorists, members of the public and archaeologists much later. Archaeologists are dating this hoard to the 500-600s AD.This hoard is perhaps the most important collection of Anglo-Saxon objects found in England. It compares and perhaps exceeds those objects found at Sutton Hoo.

The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship show the highest
achievement, this was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good. Tiny garnets were cut to shape and set in a mass of cells to give a rich, glowing effect, it is stunning. Its origins are clearly the very highest-levels of Saxon aristocracy or royalty. It belonged to the elite!
Despite their war-like nature the decoration on these objects is delightful; Some are decorated in what is known as 'Anglo-Saxon Style II' which consist of strange animals, interlaced around each other, their long jaws intertwined, there is a joy to it. Many objects are inlaid with garnets and even covered in earth the colour is still breath-taking.

Oh on another completely different note- I am truly my father's child! I officially played my first Christmas carol on Monday November 2! My dad listened to Christmas music in July sometimes! Sting just released an album of old English Carols and some other things as well and I went and bought it!
And yes it is lovely-I think-very restrained and bears listening repeatedly.

Talk to you later,
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)

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