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Anglo Saxons

A fascinating phase of English history from 5th to 11th century, between the departure of the Romans and the arrival of the Normans.

Coinage evolved from clipped late Roman coins to imported Frankish gold tremisses in the 6th and 7th centuries, then locally minted gold scillingas in what is now Yorkshire and Kent. The gold content decreased during the 7th century until silver paeningas became the predominant coinage at the end of the 7th century and throughout the 8th century. In Northumbria, copper alloy stycas, often issued by bishops, were in use until late in the 9th century. 10th and 11th century portrait pennies are complemented by Viking issues in York and East Anglia, some including hammers and swords in their designs.

Early iconography (5th and 6th centuries) is pagan and associated with runes, whereas later iconography is Christian.

The York-minted 1066 Harald II penny shown here marks the end of both the Anglo-Saxon and Viking ages.
Cruciform brooch with horsehead foot terminal, 106 mm long, from Lincolnshire. Probably 5th Century
Cruciform brooch with horsehead foot terminal, 106 mm long, from Lincolnshire. Probably 5th Century
Florid Type 4 cruciform brooch with Salin's Style 1 ornament, 11.3 cm, 6th century, East Anglia.
Florid Type 4 cruciform brooch with Salin's Style 1 ornament, 11.3 cm, 6th century, East Anglia.
Cruciform brooch zoomorphic ornament detail
Cruciform brooch zoomorphic ornament detail
Cruciform brooch anthropomorphic ornament detail
Cruciform brooch anthropomorphic ornament detail
Anglo-Saxon shield boss, handle and spear head. Found near Barrington, Cambridgeshire, England. 6th-7th century.
Anglo-Saxon shield boss, handle and spear head. Found near Barrington, Cambridgeshire, England. 6th-7th century.
Migration Age iconography on a late 5th-early 6th century Anglian bracteate (IK584), published Behr (2010)
Migration Age iconography on a late 5th-early 6th century Anglian bracteate (IK584), published Behr (2010)
The Migration Age bracteate from Brinton, shaded to highlight component elements of the design
The Migration Age bracteate from Brinton, shaded to highlight component elements of the design
Brinton bracteate design isolating head (inferred to represent Woden) and prone figure (inferred to represent Balder)
Brinton bracteate design isolating head (inferred to represent Woden) and prone figure (inferred to represent Balder)
The fallen and bleeding Baeldaeg (Balder), an image from one and a half millennia ago
The fallen and bleeding Baeldaeg (Balder), an image from one and a half millennia ago
Geltorf (Schleswig-Holstein, German) bracteate head design (IK 255) showing stylistic parallels with the Brinton bracteate head
Geltorf (Schleswig-Holstein, German) bracteate head design (IK 255) showing stylistic parallels with the Brinton bracteate head
Migration Age iconography on a late 5th-early 6th century Anglian bracteate (IK584), published Behr (2010)
Migration Age iconography on a late 5th-early 6th century Anglian bracteate (IK584), published Behr (2010)
X-radiograph revealing threads in textile used during strike
X-radiograph revealing threads in textile used during strike
Amuletic Male figurine (fertility god Frey) in the round, 7th C, 51 mm, gilded eyes, from Friston, Suffolk
Amuletic Male figurine (fertility god Frey) in the round, 7th C, 51 mm, gilded eyes, from Friston, Suffolk
BOSOFECIT, imported 7th century anchored cross Frankish tremissis, published SCBI 69.1089
BOSOFECIT, imported 7th century anchored cross Frankish tremissis, published SCBI 69.1089
DUNOFITU, imported 7th century anchored cross Frankish tremissis, published SCBI 69.1089
DUNOFITU, imported 7th century anchored cross Frankish tremissis, published SCBI 69.1089
Early Anglian gold shilling, 7th century, Kilham, East Yorkshire. RS.A587.
Early Anglian gold shilling, 7th century, Kilham, East Yorkshire. RS.A587.
Early Anglian gold shilling, 7th century, Kilham, East Yorkshire.
Early Anglian gold shilling, 7th century, Kilham, East Yorkshire.
Runic silver paeninga,  (675-704), Series E, type 105, ∆THILI | R∆D, Published SCBI 69, 295, found 2011 Isle of White
Runic silver paeninga, (675-704), "Series E", type 105, ∆THILI | R∆D, Published SCBI 69, 295, found 2011 Isle of White
The first Scandinavian coin type from Ribe, Denmark, early 8th C, published SCBI 69, 345.
The first Scandinavian coin type from Ribe, Denmark, early 8th C, published SCBI 69, 345.
Eclectic Series (710-760), paeninga, Series R4/type 51 mule, Saltire standard, variety P1e, Runic EPA. Published SCBI 69, 713
Eclectic Series (710-760), paeninga, Series R4/type 51 mule, Saltire standard, variety P1e, Runic EPA. Published SCBI 69, 713
Whitby (found 2008) paeninga, Secondary Series (710-760), published SCBI 69, 791.
Whitby (found 2008) paeninga, Secondary Series (710-760), published SCBI 69, 791.
Secondary Series (710-760) paeninga, published SCBI 69, 312. Found north of Driffield, East Yorkshire, September 2007.
Secondary Series (710-760) paeninga, published SCBI 69, 312. Found north of Driffield, East Yorkshire, September 2007.
Archbishop Ecgberht (first archbishop of York) with Eadberht, paeninga, 757-758
Archbishop Ecgberht (first archbishop of York) with Eadberht, paeninga, 757-758
The Kingdom of Northumbria, Eanred copper styca (810-841), from the Bolton Percy Hoard, found 1847.
The Kingdom of Northumbria, Eanred copper styca (810-841), from the Bolton Percy Hoard, found 1847.
The Kingdom of Northumbria, ∆thelred II copper styca from Bolton Percy hoard found in 1847.
The Kingdom of Northumbria, ∆thelred II copper styca from Bolton Percy hoard found in 1847.
Edward the Elder, Vatican Hoard
Edward the Elder, Vatican Hoard
Edward the Elder, Vatican Hoard
Edward the Elder, Vatican Hoard
Aethelstan portrait on silver penny. He conquered York in 927.
Aethelstan portrait on silver penny. He conquered York in 927.
Aethelstan presents a book to St Cuthbert. Aged pigment colour digitally restored in Aethelstan's face
Aethelstan presents a book to St Cuthbert. Aged pigment colour digitally restored in Aethelstan's face
Silver penny of Aethelred II (978-1016), Long Cross type (c.997-c.1003), York, Hundulf. ∆–ELRED REX ANGLO, Viking peck marks.
Silver penny of Aethelred II (978-1016), Long Cross type (c.997-c.1003), York, Hundulf. ∆–ELRED REX ANGLO, Viking peck marks.
Silver penny of Aethelred II (978-1016), Long Cross type (c.997-c.1003), York, Hundulf. ∆–ELRED REX ANGLO, Viking peck marks.
Silver penny of Aethelred II (978-1016), Long Cross type (c.997-c.1003), York, Hundulf. ∆–ELRED REX ANGLO, Viking peck marks.
Cnut (1016-35), Penny, Short cross type (c.1029-35/36), York Mint, moneyer Crucan
Cnut (1016-35), Penny, Short cross type (c.1029-35/36), York Mint, moneyer Crucan
Harold I, 1035-1040, silver penny, jewel cross type, London/GODMAN
Harold I, 1035-1040, silver penny, jewel cross type, London/GODMAN
Silvered Trewhiddle strapend with animal head and Trewhiddle beast in profile. 9th century. Group A1 (Thomas 2000).
Silvered Trewhiddle strapend with animal head and Trewhiddle beast in profile. 9th century. Group A1 (Thomas 2000).
9th century Anglo Saxon strap end, bronze with silver and niello inlays, Thomas Class A Type 5, found Norfolk.
9th century Anglo Saxon strap end, bronze with silver and niello inlays, Thomas Class A Type 5, found Norfolk.
Anglo Saxon strap end with fine niello-enhanced interlace beast. Thomas (2000) Group A1a. Found near Colchester.
Anglo Saxon strap end with fine niello-enhanced interlace beast. Thomas (2000) Group A1a. Found near Colchester.
Anglo Saxon strap end with fine niello-enhanced interlace beast. Thomas (2000) Group A1a. Found near Colchester.
Anglo Saxon strap end with fine niello-enhanced interlace beast. Thomas (2000) Group A1a. Found near Colchester.
Interlace beast design on preceding strap end
Interlace beast design on preceding strap end
Backward looking beast disc brooch, 9th-10th C, Yorkshire
Backward looking beast disc brooch, 9th-10th C, Yorkshire
Anglo Saxon enamelled disc brooch in champlevť, 9th Century, with a green cross defined by the four red circles. Norfolk.
Anglo Saxon enamelled disc brooch in champlevť, 9th Century, with a green cross defined by the four red circles. Norfolk.
Copper alloy crucifix brooch, ca 8th-10th century, found near Durham, UK.
Copper alloy crucifix brooch, ca 8th-10th century, found near Durham, UK.
Strap end (Thomas 2000 Class I), 11th century, 37 mm with beast head.
Strap end (Thomas 2000 Class I), 11th century, 37 mm with beast head.
Horse and rider dagger chape in copper alloy, 32 x 30 mm, late Anglo-Saxon, 11th century. Found in Norfolk, UK.
Horse and rider dagger chape in copper alloy, 32 x 30 mm, late Anglo-Saxon, 11th century. Found in Norfolk, UK.
Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), Penny, Hammer Cross type, Hastings
Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), Penny, Hammer Cross type, Hastings
The last Anglo-Saxon ruler, Harold II, York, 1066. This is an artefact marking the end of an age.
The last Anglo-Saxon ruler, Harold II, York, 1066. This is an artefact marking the end of an age.