Grave, Goods, Gospels and Carvings


Mercia had a rich material culture during the six-hundred years of its existence. Artefacts, manuscripts, sculptures, friezes and crosses reflected the beliefs, perceptions and achievements of Anglo-Saxon society.

The most important objects for the earliest years come from burials and grave goods, found for instance, in Warwickshire cemeteries dating from between the late-fifth and the early-seventh centuries. Wasperton, Longbridge, Baginton and Bidford on Avon have provided impressive objects, among them brooches, weapons and a bronze-bound bucket, many with zoomorphic or animal-like decoration.

However, the mission of Pope Gregory that established the Roman Church in England brought profound change to English society and culture. Through this new religion the Germanic kings came into direct contact with the world of Roman civilisation, of which they stood in awe; not only did the Church provide models of kingship, it also introduced the tradition of written law, and with it the book.

KEYWORDS: Anglo Saxons, Mercia, Christianity, John Hunt, Books

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