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7. Anglo Saxon hanging bowls

Hanging bowl from Loveden Hill

The museum has an important collection of these mysterious and beautiful artefacts. The escutcheons in particular show the amazing craftsmanship of the Anglo Saxons. More have been discovered in Lincolnshire than any other county.

The early Anglo Saxon peoples had two methods of burying their dead: inhumation - the burial of a body in a grave, and cremation - the burial of burnt remains. In Lincolnshire, the practice of cremation seems to have been the most popular. At Loveden Hill, near Grantham, over a 1000 cremations were found in one cemetery. Cremated remains were usually buried in ceramic urns, and the museum has many examples of these, but several cremations have been discovered unusually inside hanging bowls.

This hanging bowl from Loveden Hill is one of the best examples of its type. It dates from the 7th Century and is made of thin beaten bronze. The decorative escutcheons display a classic trumpet-spiral design of four spirals. Projecting from the escutcheons are hooks, three in total, which would have been used to hang the bowl. The purpose of these bowls remains shrouded in mystery, but it is possible they were used to hold holy water.

Customer Notice: Viewing images and Online Ordering

As of January 2021, Adobe Flash Player is no longer supported and therefore browsers are disabling and blocking the software for security reasons. Lincs to the Past can still be used as a catalogue to search our collections for documents of interest, but you will be unable to browse through our digital image collections or view photographs. We are aware of this issue, and work is underway to make the contents of Lincs to the Past available by other means. We aim to complete this project during Summer 2021.

Thousands of object records are still available to view on the website and images can be ordered offline. For instructions on how to place an order please visit the 'Buy Images' page. Please do not use the online ordering system. For any queries about ordering digital images please email archive.copies@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Members of Lincolnshire Libraries can access a number of online resources that may be of use. For more information please visit Lincolnshire Libraries. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.

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Last updated: 22 February 2011

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