Williams, H. (2016). Tressed for Death in Early Anglo-Saxon England. Internet Archaeology 42. Vol 42, https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.42.6.7.

Title
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Title:
Tressed for Death in Early Anglo-Saxon England
Issue
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Issue:
Internet Archaeology 42
Series
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Internet Archaeology
Volume
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Volume:
42
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Journal
Abstract
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Following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, 'barbarian' communities across Britain and north-west Europe employed rich and vibrant metalwork (including cruciform, square-headed, saucer and button brooches, wrist-clasps, pendants, buckets and drinking horns) that sometimes included striking representations of humanoid heads with exaggerated beards and flowing locks. Variously interpreted as ideal representations of contemporary elites, cultic masks, legendary heroes, protective spirits, and/or pagan deities, such images remain enigmatic. Despite uncertainty over their interpretation, they might well be taken to reveal communities in which head hair - its display and transformation - were linked to important rites of passage and practices in constituting, communicating and commemorating dimensions of personhood in life and death (see Brundle 2013). However, a systematic and widespread review has yet to be written about early medieval grooming practices and hair management, fully integrating such representations with the far broader evidence for artefacts used in grooming and their archaeological contexts between the 5th and 7th centuries in southern and eastern Britain (but see Geake 1995, 143-6; Ashby 2014). Fortunately, explorations of the varying and shifting significance of grooming as both practice and metaphor in dealing with the dead have recently begun (Williams 2003; 2007; Ashby 2014).
Author
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Author:
Howard Williams ORCID icon
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2016
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Hair Care Equipment (FISH England)
Hair Ornament (FISH England)
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ADS Library (ADS Library)
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.42.6.7
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Created Date:
10 Jul 2019