the art

"ond þe þæt selre geceos, ece rædas; oferhyda ne gym"

"choose what is better, the eternal wisdom; heed not the blinding pride"

Monday, April 2, 2012

a mysterious ring from medium aevum ,

The craftsmanship is amazing, 90% of the ring is made of pure gold

In Anglo-Saxon archeology, the Staffordshire hoard and the burial site of Sutton Hoo are, by far, the most significant excavations.  But in April 2009, just three months before the discovery of Staffordshire, a small ring was found in Yorkshire by a railway technician who is also a metal detector enthusiast.  The ring's extraordinary and exotic composition makes approximating a date problematic for historians, archeologists, and gemologists alike.    

The inset red glass is clearly inherited from the Anglo-Saxon tradition.  But the prominent sapphire is a mystery, and scholars have suggested India or Sri Lanka as a possible origin.  While we rarely consider the implications, the commitment to nautical voyaging by the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings gave both cultures access to vast trading networks.  
The ring could simply be a piece that was reworked over centuries until finally being lost in a field just south of Yorksire.  But if this artifact suggest a composite of traditions, then we may have to reassess our understanding of the Viking conquests.

Read more here: Rare Ring on Ansax is a great resource for anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon England - it is a community of scholars who frequently share and discuss the most current research in AS history and literature.

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