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6. Anglo Saxon grave goods

Complete glass beaker, gold pendant and sleeve or wrist clasp.

Very few Anglo Saxon settlements have been found; most of what we know about these people comes from finding their dead. Apart from the evidence from the human remains, another main form of evidence comes from grave goods. The Anglo-Saxons may have believed death was like a journey, and the dead were given goods to help them on their way. From grave goods we learn about how they dressed, and what tools and weapons they used. The grave goods may have defined you as a man or a woman, as rich or poor.

This complete glass beaker is a rare and beautiful survival. Don’t be fooled by the colour though, as it was originally clear glass. When glass has been buried in the soil for many years it begins to delaminate, where the layers of glass begin to separate and change colour. Only wealthier people would have used a beaker like this one, cups made from pottery, wood, horn and leather were more common. The beaker was found amongst a group of objects in a grave. It suggests the grave would have been that of a high status woman.

This gold pendant found at Horncastle has a garnet inlay and is in the shape of an insect. This pendant is unusual because the stylised “fish scale” inlay is very rare. The inlay dates to the 5th Century but the object was turned into a pendant in the 7th Century. This type of reuse is very uncommon.

Sleeve or wrist clasps were found in women’s graves. They were sewn on to sleeves that were slit at the wrist. They could be hooked together to act as a closure. These clasps were found at a Saxon cemetery site at Ruskington, and they are gilded copper alloy.

Look Out For


OPEM exhibition at The Collection

28 January - 2 May 2017

Exhibition Opening Times: 10:00am - 4:00pm


OPEM 4 is the fourth biennial open exhibition hosted by The Collection and Usher Gallery, and will showcase the work of local and regional artists who were chosen by a pair of industry experts (writer/curator Elinor Morgan and artist Brian Griffiths) based on the quality and originality of their work. Hundreds of artists from around Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and more entered into the competition, hoping to have their work featured centre-stage at a professional art exhibition.


The winning artists are:

• Reece Straw

• Jake Kent

• Stephanie Douet

• Jake Moore

• Selina Mosinski

• Matthew Chesney

• Ellen Brady

• Colette Griffin


This will be the first time some of these artists have exhibited with a professional institution. By winning the competition these artists will each receive money and supplies to fund the creation of an all-new original piece of work for this particular show. Other prizes include a £3000 purchasing/commissioning prize which has been sponsored by the Heslam Trust, while another artist will receive their own solo exhibition in The Usher Gallery.


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Last updated: 22 February 2011

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