Study Days January to March 2015
Go to ‘Current Study Days‘ for the current list
|Jan 17thMore details||Sutton Hoo and the Golden Age of Ænglaland
(Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
An exploration of the artistic and technical wonders found at Sutton Hoo and related early Anglo-Saxon treasures-sites, such as the Staffordshire hoard. We shall see that, far from being “The Dark Ages”, this was truly a Golden Age.
|Jan 24thMore details|| The Fall of the Roman Empire: What actually fell and what came out of the ruins?
(Charles Freeman, Independent Scholar)
The date 476 is etched in our memories as marking ‘the fall of the Roman empire’. Yet much of the empire’s structure had disintegrated in western Europe before then and other parts, notably the hierarchy of the Church, persisted through the next centuries. The Ostrogoth Theodric was actually restoring Rome in 500! In this study day I will try and untangle what survived of classical culture and what vanished in the years 400 to 750.
|Jan 31stMore details||Reconstructing the Landscapes of Medieval Villages, Their Fields & Pastures before 1300
(Dr Sue Oosthuizen, University of Cambridge)
Physical and documentary evidence for the layout of medieval villages, their fields and pastures frequently survives – not only in medieval buildings like houses and churches, but also in property and parish boundaries, rights of way, hedgerows and so on. This Study Day takes a practical approach both to recognizing such clues in the landscape and, through worked examples, demonstrates how they can be used (often in conjunction with maps and documentary evidence) to establish some initial explanations for their medieval origins and development.
|Feb 7thMore details||The Vikings at Home: The History and Culture of Scandinavia (800-1066)
(Dr Elizabeth Ashman Rowe, University of Cambridge)
The world of the Vikings was complex and involved far more than raiding. This study day will explore key developments of the Viking Age through runic inscriptions, myths, poetry, sagas, and first-hand accounts of encounters with the Vikings
|Feb 14thMore details||Pre-Christian Fertility Cults in Britain and the Origins of St Valentine’s Day (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
We begin by considering how the Old English calendar has enhanced our understanding of the pre-Christian beliefs associated with the management of the farming year. We shall then examine recent research into the Romano-British treasure hoard from Thetford, which has revealed some fascinating insights into the belief system of the Iceni. Prominent in the Thetford Treasure is evidence for the practice of the cult of the Roman fertility spirit Faunus, whose ancient rite of Lupercalia was celebrated in the middle of February. We shall see how these curious rites may underlie the traditions of St Valentine’s Day.
|Feb 28thMore details||King Rædwald and the Temple of the Two Altars
(Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
On the Eve of St Felix’s Day, first official bishop of the Eastern Angles, we shall reconsider the history of King Rædwald and his temple of the two altars, one to his family’s old gods and one to the new Christian god of the Gregorian mission.
Note change of date from 7 March
|Mar. 7thMore Details||Understanding Wealth and Status in Post-Roman Europe
(Dr Angela Evans, former Curator of Anglo-Saxon Antiquities, British Museum, & Dr Noël Adams, Deputy Curator, Furusiyya Art Foundation)
Dr Evans will look at the differing status of burials in the Sutton Hoo cemetery and consider their interpretation both in relation to each other and to contemporary burials beyond the cemetery. She will also examine graves of high status across Anglo-Saxon England and consider their relation to the status of graves, particularly mound 1, in the Sutton Hoo cemetery. Dr Adams will survey the components of high status burials on the continent. She will begin with a look at high status burials of the late 3rd and 4th centuries AD in Germania and Scandinavia, and object types such as hanging bowls and suites of silver vessels. She will then deal with grave goods in princely graves from the 5th to the 7th centuries with an eye to what they can reveal about Sutton Hoo Mound 1.
|Mar. 14thMore details||Anglo-Saxons, Romans and Carolingian Frankia
(Professor Rosamond McKitterick, University of Cambridge)
This Study Day will explore the connections and activities of Anglo-Saxons on the Continent, the context for their visits to Rome, their missionary activities east of the Rhine, and the contributions English scholars made at the court of Charlemagne.
|Mar. 21stMore details||Monasteries in the Landscape
(Dr Richard Hoggett, Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
Monasteries were one of the most important and influential features of the medieval landscape. To mark the feast day of St Benedict, this Study Day examines the monastic landscapes of Britain throughout the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. In particular, we will be looking at the development of the monastic cloister and precinct, the management of monastic estates and the effects of the dissolution.
|Mar. 28thMore details||Medieval Church Graffiti:The hidden history of the Parish church.(Matthew Champion, Project Director, Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey)
Based upon the findings of the multi-award winning Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Surveys, this study day will introduce you to one of the newest and most exciting areas of buildings archaeology currently being undertaken in the UK.