The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World

Edited by Maren Clegg Hyer and Gale R. Owen-Crocker

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ISBN: 9780859898805

Publication: April 26, 2013

Series: Exeter Studies in Medieval Europe

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This illustrated book introduces serious students of Anglo-Saxon culture to selected aspects of the realities of Anglo-Saxon life through reference to artefacts and textual sources. Everyday practices and processes are investigated, such as the exploitation of animals for clothing, meat, cheese and parchment; ships for travel, trade and transport; manufacturing processes of metalwork; textiles for dress and furnishing and the practicalities of living with illness or disability. Articles collected in this volume illuminate how an understanding of the material culture of the daily Anglo-Saxon world can inform reading and scholarship in Anglo-Saxon studies. Scholarly and practical material presented inform one another, making the book accessible to any reader seriously interested in England in the early Middle Ages.

Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester. She is editor of Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (University of Exeter Press, 2009).

Dr Maren Clegg Hyer is Associate Professor of English at Valdosta State University (Georgia). She specializes in researching textiles and textile imagery in Anglo-Saxon culture. Some of her recent publications include 'The Material Culture of Daily Living in Anglo-Saxon England' (edited with Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Exeter 2011); 'The Material Culture of the Built Environment in the Anglo-Saxon World' (edited with Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Liverpool 2015); and 'Textiles, Text, Intertext: Essays in Honour of Gale R. Owen-Crocker' (edited with Jill Frederick, Boydell 2016), including a chapter in that volume, "Text, Textile, Context: Aldhelm and Wordweaving as Metaphor in Old English."

List of illustrations 1. Introduction: Material Culture and the Study of Anglo-Saxon England Maren Glegg Hyer 2. Prelude: Agriculture Through the Year David Hill 3. The True Staff of Life: The Multiple Roles of Plants C.P.Bigga, 4. Steep Vessel, High Horn-ship: Water Transport Katin Thier 5. 'To eat, to wear, to work': The Place of Sheep and Cattle in the Economy Christopher Grocock 6. Devil's Crafts and Dragon's Skins? Sheaths, Shoes and Other Leatherwork Esther Cameron and Quita Mould 7. Chanting upon a Dunghill: Working Skeletal Materials Ian Riddler and Nicola Trzaska-Nartowski 8. Eath's Treasures: Food and Drink Christina Lee 9. Woven Works: Making and Using Textiles Maren Clegg Hyer and Gale R. Owen-Cocker 10. Weland's Work: Metals and Metalsmiths David A. Hinton 11. 'Seldom ... does the deadly spear rest for long': Weapons and Armour Gale R.Owen-Cocker 12. Things of This World: Portable Antiquities and Their Potential Michael Lewis, Andrew Richardson and David Williams 13. Sight, Insight and Hand: Some Reflections on the Design and Manufacture of the Fuller Brooch Elizabeth Coatsworth and Michael Pinder 14. The Bright Cup: Early Medieval Vessel Glass Win Stephens 15. Body and Soul: Disease and Impairment Christina Lee Notes Suggested Reading Index List of contributors

"The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World is a detailed guide to living the “good life” in Anglo-Saxon England. It is an edited volume of refreshing works that provides a detailed schematic of Anglo-Saxon daily living and the intricacies of everyday tasks. This book highlights activities which may be simple and habitual but which define the traditions and practices of a society.
The book provides a balanced examination of both textual and archaeological evidence on a variety of fundamental topics including dress, illness, trade and production. This cleverly structured text provides an extra dimension of material culture, one that discusses the practices and technologies behind creations. The potential literary gap between the disciplines of archaeology and history is bridged with eloquent and thoughtful prose.
The layout is sophisticated, defined and easy-to-navigate. The structure and content choice are well selected with nicely linked topics. The well-chosen chapter topics playfully and succinctly examine key areas of Anglo-Saxon material culture and daily life, and the editors have used these to create an interesting taster text for the dedicated Anglo-Saxon student."
Rosetta, issue 13

This volume provides a helpful, clear, and practical overview of the key sites and objects in the Anglo-Saxon repertoire. It will be a valuable introductory textbook to the ways in which a knowledge of the physical evidence can enhance literary and historical readings of the period. The Medieval Review
  The Medieval Review, 12.10.34

Format: Paperback

Size: 248 × 174 mm

398 Pages

ISBN: 9780859898805

Publication: April 26, 2013

Series: Exeter Studies in Medieval Europe

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