Monday, November 26, 2018

The Staffordshire Helmet

The Staffordshire Hoard contained about 4,000 pieces. After careful examination the experts think 1,500 of them came from a single object: a magnificent helmet. The fragments were too fragile to be reassembled, so the conservators created a close-as-they-could-get-to-exact replica of each piece and then tried to fit those pieces together. This is the result.

This was fancier and had more gold than the Sutton Hoo helmet, which probably belonged to King Raedwald of East Anglia, so it likely also belonged to a king. Which gets me back to the weirdness of the Staffordshire Hoard; why was all this magnificent stuff hacked to pieces, then buried and lost? Quite likely we are looking at what was looted from a whole royal army; how could you lose that?

Ah, well, it was a good thing for us anyway that this great treasure was forgotten, so that we can see it today.

More at The History Blog.

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