The Mid Saxon ‘Final Phase’

Martin Welch

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Mid Saxon ‘Final Phase’

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Whether the terms Final Phase or Conversion Period should be assigned to the mid Saxon period, as implied in the heading of this article, is open to question. This article highlights the continuity of early Saxon furnished burial and use the term Final Phase to represent burial practices that have their origins towards the end of the sixth century and disappear early in the eighth century. The initial finding that women buried with ‘classic’ Final Phase dress fittings seem to belong to a single generation centred on the third quarter of the seventh century. For the Anglo-Saxon political elite, a recently established norm was barrow burial accompanied by the symbols of power and of the lifestyle of the warrior caste. Cremation was already going out of fashion during the sixth century and, where it survived, conversion to Christianity assured its disappearance.

Keywords: Final Phase; Conversion Period; mid Saxon period; dress fittings; cremation; political elite; Christianity; burial practices

Article.  9197 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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