Burial and Belief in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia
with Dr Richard Hoggett


at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo
on Saturday, 8th February 2014.

This study-day uses the rich East Anglian burial record to explore the rites and religions of the Anglo-Saxons and examine the impact which the coming of Christianity had on attitudes towards the dead in Anglo-Saxon society. The day incorporates the results of several recent research projects and much newly excavated material.

The day begins with a session examining the nature of the East Anglian Anglo-Saxon burial record, highlighting the relevant classes of material that are available for us to study. The second session focuses on the cremation rite, which was prevalent in the eastern region and which can be reconstructed in some detail from often very meagre remains.

After lunch, the focus moves to the inhumation rite and the use of grave-goods in particular, from which a great deal can be inferred about the changing nature of Anglo-Saxon beliefs. The final session looks at the impact of the conversion to Christianity on Anglo-Saxon attitudes towards the dead, and the many different ways that this is reflected in the East Anglian burial record.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day)
10:00 Coffee on arrival
10:15 “A Long Time Dead”: The Anglo-Saxon Burial
11:15 Coffee
11:45 “A Well-Urned Rest”: The Cremation Rite
12:45 Lunch break
14:00 “Matters of Grave Importance”: The
Inhumation Rite
15:00 Tea break
15:15 “Getting Cross”: The Impact of Christianity on
Burial Rites
16:20 Close

About Dr Richard Hoggett

Richard is an Archaeological Officer for the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. He has taught extensively for the University of East Anglia and has given lectures and day-schools for many other institutions. He is the author of The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion (Boydell 2010) and is currently writing about the Anglo-Saxon churches of East Anglia.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Brothwell, D., Digging Up Bones, 3rd edn (London, 1981)
Browne, T., Hydriotaphia, Urne-Buriall, or, A Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes lately found in Norfolk (London, 1658)
Carver, M.O.H., Sutton Hoo: A Seventh-Century Princely Burial Ground and its Context (London, 2005)
Filmer-Sankey, W. and Pestell, T., Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery: Excavations and Surveys 1824–1992, East Anglian Archaeology 95 (Ipswich, 2001)
Geake, H., The Use of Grave-Goods in Conversion-Period England c.600–c.850, BAR British Series 261 (Oxford, 1997)
Hills, C. and Lucy, S., The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, vol. 9 (Cambridge, 2013)
Hines, J. and Bayliss, A. (eds), Anglo-Saxon Graves and Grave Goods of the 6th and 7th Centuries AD: A Chronological Framework (London, 2013)
Lee, C., Feasting the Dead: Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon Burial Rituals (Woodbridge, 2007)
Lucy, S., The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death (Stroud, 2000)
Mays, S., The Archaeology of Human Bones (London, 1998)
Owen, G., Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons (London, 1981)
Penn, K. and Brugmann, B., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Inhumation Burial: Morning Thorpe, Spong Hill, Bergh Apton and Westgarth Gardens, East Anglian Archaeology 119 (Gressenhall, 2007)
Semple, S. and Williams, H. (eds), Early Medieval Mortuary Practices, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (Oxford, 2007)
Williams, H., Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain (Cambridge, 2006)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are £36 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send payment to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
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