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Two Saxon urns from Ickwell Bury, Beds., and the Saxon penetration of the Eastern Midlands

  • J. N. L. Myres

Extract

The two Saxon urns from Ickwell Bury (pl. xxi, b and c) belong to a small group of special interest to the historian both because it can be closely dated to the earliest years of the Saxon settlement in this country and because its continental connexions are precisely located in the Old Saxon territory between the Elbe and the Weser. Only about a dozen urns exactly of this continental type appear to be known from this country. It is remarkable that, while no more than two or three specimens at most occur among the hundreds of urns from great cemeteries like Lackford or St. John's, Cambridge, the only examples of Anglo-Saxon pottery known from Ickwell should both belong to this unusual and quite distinctive class.

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page 201 note 1 Plettke, A., Ursprung und Ausbreitung der Angeln und Sachsen (1920), 4647 , and pls. 33, 6; 35,7, 8; 36, 1-8.

page 201 note 2 Waller, K., Der Galgenberg bei Cuxhaven (1938), pl. 34, 6.

page 202 note 1 Kemble, J. M., Horae Ferales (1863), pl. xxx, 12 and p. 216.

page 202 note 2 C. I, as yet unpublished.

page 202 note 3 Proc. Norf. and Norwich Arch. Soc. xxvii, pl. 2, 7 and p. 193.

page 202 note 4 V.C.H. Suffolk, i (1911), pl. III , 1 (facing p. 334). The urn probably comes from the Pensthorpe cemetery, close by the Fakenham, Norfolk. See Proc. Norf. and Norwich Arch. Soc. xxvii, 202.

page 203 note 1 Lethbridge, T. C., A Cemetery at Lackford (1951), fig. 1, nos. 48 , 2288, and 50, 54: fig. 2, no. 48, 2491 (with fifth-century cruciform brooch).

page 203 note 2 V.C.H. Oxon. ii (1939), pl. XXVIIIe (facing p. 355).

page 203 note 3 An admittedly marginal case is the fine urn from Newark (Notts.) now at Hull, (Antiq. Journ. xvii (1937), 429) . I have not included this because the emphasis of its design is primarily on linear and stamped ornament rather than on bosses, grooves, and finger-tipping. But, though in this sense derivative, it is unlikely to be far removed in date from the group here under discussion.

page 203 note 4 A remarkable feature of the distribution is the apparent lack of pots of this type both on the Continent and in England south of a straight line joining Bremen and Oxford. It looks as if this particular Saxon group made a direct crossing of the North Sea from somewhere north of the Zuider Zee to a landfall on the East Anglian coast.

page 203 note 5 See Leeds, E. T., ‘Early Saxon Penetration of the Upper Thames area’ (Antiq. Journ. xiii (1933), 229–51, esp. 241).

page 204 note 1 Anglo-Saxon England (1942), 2628.

page 204 note 2 Illustrated by Myres, J. N. L., ‘The Anglo-Saxon Pottery of Norfolk’, in Proc. Norf. and Norwich Arck. Soc. xxvii, pl. 2, 7, and p. 193.

Two Saxon urns from Ickwell Bury, Beds., and the Saxon penetration of the Eastern Midlands

  • J. N. L. Myres

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