Tuesday, 1 October 2013

New publication: Hills and Lucy's “Spong Hill: Volume IX"

The cemetery of Spong Hill in East Anglia is one of the best known early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in England, having been used for the deposition of over 2500 cremations and around 50 inhumations. Most of these date from the all-important fifth century, the period of the Anglo-Saxon Migration, when migrant communities from (what is now) Denmark and Northern Germany crossed the sea and arrived on British soil. In doing so they would shape British culture for centuries to come, bringing with them the Germanic language that soon became Old English and introducing their own cultural forms of fashion and architecture to the island.

Dora Kemp's cover design for Spong Hill IX: Chronology and Synthesis.
Authored by two of British archaeology's foremost Anglo-Saxonists, Catherine Hills and Sam Lucy (both of Cambridge University), the book is the ninth and final volume of monographs dedicated to the cemetery, being subtitled "chronology and synthesis." Published by Cambridge University's McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research with the aid of a grant from English Heritage, it has been brought out 36 years on from the 1977 publication of volume one. This is a hugely important work for the field of Anglo-Saxon archaeology, and will constitute an absolute must read for all those (myself included) who focus on the investigation of funerary archaeology in the early Anglo-Saxon period. However - and here's the *really* exciting bit for me - the front cover image, depicting the crest of the hill, is based on a photograph taken by yours truly. Several months ago, the McDonald Institute's Production Editor Dora Kemp requested that they use the image, something that I was only too happy to agree to. I hope that the authors and publishers are happy with the end result, and look forward to reading the contents !

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