November 25 | Anglo-Saxon Teesside: 30 years on from the Norton Saxon Cemetery | Stephen Sherlock, Archaeologist Extraordinaire
Anglo-Saxon remains were initially found in a field beside Mill Lane, Norton in 1982 and the site was excavated in 1984-5. This proved to be the largest sixth-century cemetery to have been excavated in North East England and is frequently discussed as the northern example of Saxon cemeteries in England. Over the intervening period, the dates of some Anglo-Saxon objects have been reviewed and so one theme Steve will address in his lecture will be the date of the Norton cemetery.
Since 1984 other cemeteries have been excavated in the Tees Valley, for example at Ingleby Barwick in 2003. Furthermore, stray finds have been reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The second theme will be to update the known burial record for Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Tees Valley. This will incorporate the latest discoveries to include new finds and burials found in the area in 2013.
Silver pendants and bead from excavations at Norton Anglo-Saxon cemetery where revised dates are argued. Not to scale (courtesy Tees Archaeology). Header image is a re-used pendant from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Street House, Loftus (S. Sherlock).
The last theme for the talk will be the placement of objects within the grave. Anglo-Saxon burials have always interested people because of the range of attractive objects found in the grave. Traditionally these “grave goods” were seen as the personal possessions of the deceased. A more recent view considers some objects to be items placed by mourners at the grave side. Steve will also look at the role of heirlooms and antiques, possibly passed down from one generation to the next, that are for a short period of time in the seventh century, placed within graves.
Sherlock, S.J. 2011. Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in the Tees Valley and Association with Neolithic and Later Monuments, in S. Brooks, S. Harrington and A. Reynolds (eds) Studies in Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G Welch, BAR British Series 527, 112–120. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Sherlock, S.J. 2012. A Royal Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Street House, Loftus, North East Yorkshire. Hartlepool: Tees Archaeology Monograph 6.
Sherlock, S.J. and Simmons, M. 2008. The Lost Royal Cult of Street House, Yorkshire. British Archaeology 100, 30–37.
Sherlock, S.J. and Welch, M.G. 1992. An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Norton, Cleveland. London: Council for British Archaeology Research Report 82.
Sherlock, S.J. and Welch, M.G. 1992. Anglo-Saxon Objects from Maltby, Cleveland. Durham Archaeological Journal 8, 71–76.
See you there!
Spencer Carter | TAS Chair & eCommunications