Sutton Hoo - Ballyhoo

Sutton Hoo - Ballyhoo

Postby CAP » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:10 am

Was watching this You Tube about the British Museum’s Sutton Hoo display and was struck by the feeble historical opportunism that surrounded the startling finds in 1939. I’ve forgotten the name of the British Museum spokeswoman that recounts how the burial mound of some Anglo Saxon king, beneath his long boat, was supposed to foster patriotic pride. It was promoted as anchoring England – if not the United Kingdom – in a home-grown monarchy, while on the brink of war with Germany.

Excuse me? Anglo-Saxon? A Long Boat? Warrior king? :lol: Surely it argues as much for embracing the barbaric hordes from the east as resisting them? Think of our heritage! Dr. Goebbels would have been right onto this, if he’d had time. Why should England be rooted in Anglo-Saxon colonization?

Wha’about the Celts, mate?

It’s funny the way the Angles and Saxons are somehow okay, while Romans, Vikings and Normans are just interlopers. Britons – enjoy your stay. Then again halfway through this programme (it comes in two parts) the historians are busy assigning decorative motifs to later Viking provenance – only begging the question of Anglo-Saxon culture. :lol:

We’re talking early to mid 6th century B.C. and pretty obviously those long boats for raiding and interweaving decorative motifs to tools and wearables were not unique to the Vikings – or even Scandinavia. These things were travelling well before then. In fact it would be a strong bet that much of it is inherited from continental Celtic culture – which is basically what Bronze and Iron Age Northern Europe was, pre Roman Empire. You get to the Book of Kells and you see how resilient that Celtic spiral motif really was. That stuff’s not Viking, not even filtered through Anglo-Saxon inspiration, or Proto-Viking.

So where does this leave a cornerstone for plucky little England? Well wearing a helmet is wisely foremost, going to bed in a big boat probably covered the obvious contingencies, burying the top dog with all of his valuables was banking on real estate in a John Bullish market. Hey we can all dig that, nicht wahr? 8-)
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