Saxons and Vikings

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  • The Lakenheath Horse Burial

    Featured in a BBC Meet the Ancestors programme this high status burial of a Saxon warlord dates from the time when the Romano-British elite in East Anglia was rapidly being supplanted by its own mercenaries.

    With his gilded horse harness and long slashing sword, the man seemed to step straight out of the pages of Beowulf.

    'Beowulf put on his coat of mail, not fearing for his life... With its links all turned by hand and adorned with skill, it knew how to guard his body, the bone-chamber... so that his foe's grasp could not harm him, could not squeeze out his mortal life... Not least amongst his mighty gear was Hrunting, one of the finest swords ever handed down; its iron blade was engraved with lethal leaf-like patterning, tempered with battle-blood. No man had failed who'd held it in his hands...'

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