The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure [Hardback]

Chris Fern FSA(Editor); Dr. Tania Dickinson PhD, FSA(Editor); Professor Leslie Webster PhD, FSA(Editor)

ISBN: 9781527233508 | Published by: Society of Antiquaries of London | Series: Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London | Year of Publication: 2020 | 1 | 640p, H11 x W8.5, 355 color images
Status: Out of Stock, Available in 6-8 weeks

The Staffordshire Hoard


The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure tells the story of the Hoard’s discovery, acquisition for the nation, and the six-year research project that pieced its fragments back together, identified its objects and explored their manufacture. Written by a team of specialists in Anglo-Saxon archaeology and history, and expert conservators with unparalleled access to the Hoard, the text is illustrated throughout with full-colour photographs, maps and explanatory drawings. Key chapters discuss the decoration and meaning of the Hoard’s intricate ornament, the techniques of Anglo-Saxon craftsmen, the religious and historical background, and hoarding practice in Britain and Europe, to place this most exceptional find in context. Finally, the text explores the impact that the find has had locally, nationally and internationally in the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of online tables
Map 1 The major kingdoms of mainland Britain in the seventh century and battles mentioned in the text
Map 2 Main places mentioned in the text

Part One: The Hoard
Chapter 1. From discovery to acquisition
Fieldwork of 2009 and 2010
Fieldwork methodology
Fieldwork results
Aerial photography assessment
Fieldwork in 2012
Acquisition, funding and project organisation
The conservation programme
Investigative conservation methodology
Garnet cloisonné objects
Filigree decorated objects
Rejoining and reconstruction
Die-impressed silver sheet
The reliability of the finds context

Chapter 2. Characterising the objects
Fittings from weaponry
Pommels and sword-rings (cat. 1–84)
Hilt-collars and hilt-rings (cat. 85–242)
Hilt-plates and hilt-guards (cat. 243–409, 696–7)
Hilt mounts and other small mounts (cat. 410–537)
Fittings from weapon-harness (cat. 572–87)
The typological and functional significance of the weapon fittings
Helmet parts, decorated silver sheet, reeded strip and edge binding
Cast helmet parts with animal ornament (cat. 589–92)
Silver helmet-band and decorated silver sheet (cat. 593–604 and 606)
Reeded strip (cat. 609–13)
Edge binding (cat. 614–15) n
The form, social context and date of the helmet
Large mounts not from weaponry and harness-mount 698
Sets of mounts in garnet cloisonné (cat. 542–66)
Mount with fish and birds (cat. 538)
Set of silver mounts with niello (cat. 567–71)
Harness-mount with interlace (cat. 698)
Discussion of the large mounts and harness-mount 698
Christian objects
Great gold cross (cat. 539)
Socketed-base and pins (cat. 607/8 and 676)
Inscribed strip (cat. 540)
Head-dress mount (cat. 541)
Cross pendant (cat. 588)
The Christian objects, function and significance

Chapter 3. Workshop practice
Analysing the resource
Silver, copper alloy and other metals
Unidentified inlay
Organics and pastes
Other materials
Sheet and foil
Surface-enrichment of gold
Die-impressing on sheet and foil
Reeded strip
Incising and punching
Cloisonné and other lapidary work
‘Assembly’ marks and other marks

Chapter 4. The lives of objects: wear, modification, repair and damage
Modification and repair

Chapter 5. Styles of display and revelation
Style and substance
Animal ornament in the Hoard
Ornament of the helmet and die-impressed sheet
Animal ornament
Figural ornament
Interlace and knots
Early Insular style
Geometric ornament and symbols

Chapter 6. Date and origin
Dating the Hoard
Hoard Phase 1: sixth-century silver fittings from weapons
Hoard Phase 2 (gold): Anglo-Saxon early Style II, contemporaneous styles and objects, c 570–c 630
Hoard Phase 3 (gold): Anglo-Saxon late Style II, and contemporaneous styles and objects, c 610–c 650
Hoard Phase 4 (silver with gold mounts): Early Insular style objects, c 630–c 660
Kent, East Anglia or Greater Northumbria

Part Two: The Broader Context

Chapter 7. The historical context: local, regional and national
The historical background Barbara Yorke
Early medieval Britain in the seventh century
The early Mercian kings
Religion in early Mercia
The findspot of the Staffordshire assemblage and the history of Mercia
The Church and warfare: the religious and cultural background to the Hoard
The contemporary context
Christian and pagan culture in the early seventh century
Anglian connections

Chapter 8. The archaeological context: matters of material and social significance
John Hines
The early Anglo-Saxon period: graves and grave goods
Social hierarchy and its visibility
Resources and their use: the contemporary value of the Hoard
The archaeology of early Mercia

Chapter 9. Hoards and hoarding
Hoarding in later Roman Britain and beyond Peter Guest
The hoarding of Roman objects in Britain in the fourth and fifth centuries
The status of gold and silver in the later Roman world (and beyond)
Dating hoards of late Roman objects
Fragmentation of Roman gold and silver objects
The hoarding of late Roman objects in post-Roman Britain
Hoarding in continental Germanic Europe Matthias Hardt
Royal treasure, gift exchange and tribute
Precious metal of provincial Roman origin
Gold and silver: coins, ingots and rings in Migration period hoards in eastern Central Europe
Brooches from deposits in the Carpathian Basin
Tableware in hoards from the Danubian area
Hoard finds in Italy, Burgundia and Visigothic Spain
Hidden treasure in texts from the early medieval period
Scandinavian hoarding Svante Fischer
Imagining Scandinavia
Ways of hoarding
War booty sacrifices
Precious metal hoards and central places

Chapter 10. What does it mean?
The exceptionality of the assemblage
Key characteristics
Comparable assemblages?
Towards a biography of the Staffordshire Hoard
A ‘last gathering’
Final selection and disassembly
Conclusion: multiple explanations and narratives

The impact of the Hoard
Impact on knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon world
Future research
Impact on public engagement with the past Jenni Butterworth

Part Three: Catalogue and Guide to the Digital Component

Abbreviated catalogue
Guide to the digital component of the publication


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