Late Saxon Burial Practice

D. M. Hadley

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

Late Saxon Burial Practice

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  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology



Written records has nothing to say about those seventh- and early eighth-century cemeteries that were apparently not located near to churches but which include artefacts incorporating Christian symbolism. The variety inherent in the form of graves within individual cemeteries is, perhaps, an indication of the involvement of the family and community in funerary preparations. There is considerable evidence from a wide array of sites to suggest that behaviour and status in life and anticipated fate in the afterlife informed burial provision in later Anglo-Saxon England. Archaeologists of the early Anglo-Saxon centuries have long since demonstrated the potential of incorporating burial evidence into the histories of early medieval society, and have elucidated the ways in which social, ethnic, and gendered identities were both reflected in, and constructed through, mortuary ritual. However, only recently have the cemeteries of the later Anglo-Saxon period been afforded the same level of scrutiny.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; mortuary ritual; graves; Christian symbolism; cemeteries; burial

Article.  8987 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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