ofer hleorbergan gehroden golde,
fah ond fyrheard,— ferhwearde heold
guþmod grimmon. Guman onetton,
sigon ætsomne, oþ þæt hy sæl timbred
geatolic ond goldfah ongyton mihton;
þæt wæs foremærost foldbuendum
receda under roderum, on þæm se rica bad;
lixte se leoma ofer landa fela.
–Beowulf, lines 303-311
Though early modern history is mostly what we write about on this blog, finds like this remind us all what wonder all periods of history hold – and for an undergraduate Anglo-Saxonist like myself, remind you of a good deal more. I read John Preston’s The Dig last year, and it’s marvellous to think Sutton Hoo is happening all over again. Inspiring, too, to consider all the ways our understanding of Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire and England will adapt and change to fit this new evidence. A friend of ours wrote his doctoral thesis on this county in this period, and we can only imagine the boggling currently going on in his brain. There’s a beautiful selection of images of items from the hoard on Flickr.
Anyway. Colour me very excited indeed. We’ll getting down to Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries, where the headline pieces from the find are being displayed until October 13th.