The Prittlewell Prince

The Prittlewell Prince 
with Professor Chris Scull FSA MIfA
at Sutton Hoo on Saturday, 26th April 2014.

prittlewellIn 2003 archaeologists from the Museum of London excavated a richly-furnished chamber grave at Prittlewell, near Southend in Essex, the first intact Anglo-Saxon princely grave to be excavated since the Sutton Hoo ship burial in 1939 . Work to publish this internationally-important find is now nearly complete and the Study Day will present the latest research, interpreting the burial and defining its local and wider contexts.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:                Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:                The Prittlewell Cemetery – The chamber grave was discovered on the site of a known Anglo-Saxon cemetery. In this session we look at the setting of the site and the finds from the cemetery to establish its immediate physical and social contexts.

11.15 – 11.45:                Coffee break

11.45 – 12.45:                The Chamber Grave and its Contents – Unusual preservation conditions and meticulous excavation allow us to understand exactly how the body and chamber were laid out and furnished. In this session we look in detail at the burial chamber and the rich assemblage of artefacts that was buried with the deceased.

12.45 – 14.00:                Lunch break

14.00 – 15.00:                 Princely Burials in England – The Prittlewell chamber grave needs to be understood against the wider picture of princely burial in its European context and look at comparable princely graves in England.

15.00 – 15.20:                Tea break

15.20 – 16.20:                Interpreting the Prittlewell Burial – What does the Prittlewell chamber grave tell us about society and belief in Essex and SE England, and who was buried here? In this session we explore what can be deduced from the burial about the identity of the deceased and the society that chose to bury him in this way.

c.16.20:                            Thanks and Close

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Higham, N., & M.Ryan, The Anglo-Saxon World (Yale University Press 2013)

Hines, J. (ed.), The Anglo-Saxons from the Migration period to the Eighth Century: an Ethnographic Perspective (Woodbridge: Boydell 1997)

Hirst, S., T.Nixon, P.Rowsome, & S.Wright, The Prittlewell Prince. The Discovery of a Rich Anglo-Saxon Burial in Essex (Museum of London Archaeology Service 2004)

Hoggett, R., The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion (Woodbridge 2010)

Kirby, D.P., The Earliest English Kings (London 1991)

Lucy, S., The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death (Stroud: Sutton 2000)

McClure, J. & R.Collins, (eds.), Bede: the Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford 1999)

Webster, L., and J.Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991)

Welch, M., Anglo-Saxon England (English Heritage 1992)

Yorke, B.,. Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (London 1990)

 About Chris Scull

Chris Scull studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. After postgraduate research at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford, he taught archaeology at the Universities of Durham and London before working in contract archaeology. He joined English Heritage in 1993 and was their Research Director between 2005 and 2010. Chris has particular research interests in early medieval burial, and in the emergence of the early English kingdoms. He has published many papers and reports on these and other aspects of early medieval archaeology, including Early medieval cemeteries at Boss Hall and Buttermarket, Ipswich, Suffolk (2009) and the co-authored monograph Anglo-Saxon graves and grave-goods of the 6th and 7th centuries AD: a chronological framework (2013). He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Department of Archaeology & Conservation, Cardiff University, and at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.