- Spong Hill
Spong Hill (
North Elmham, Norfolk, England) is the largest Early Saxon cemetery excavated in England with 2259 cremations and 57 inhumations. The site at Spong Hill consisted of two cemeteries, a large cremation cemetery and a smaller, 6th century cemetery of 57 inhumations. Several of the graves were covered by small barrows and others were marked by the use of coffins.
Extensive excavations of the Early Saxon cemetery and part of the associated settlement revealed evidence of Early Prehistoric occupation on the hill top, dating from the
Mesolithicto the Early Bronze Age. Excavation of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery also revealed extensive occupation evidence: late Iron Ageand Roman enclosuresand field boundaries, an early Roman kiln, and a small settlement of 'sunken huts' and post-hole buildings possibly contemporary with the cemetery.
"Spong Man", a pottery lid of a cremation urn in the shape of a seated figure. It was excavated in 1979, and is unique in Early Saxon archaeology, being the earliest English three-dimensional human figure that has ever been found. [ [http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=200.21.60x2 Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service: ] ] An image of the pottery lid can be seen here: [http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/default.asp?Document=200.21.60x2&
Three 5th century cremation
urns from the Spong Hill site bear the impression of the debated term "alu" by "the same runic stamp" in mirror-runes.Hines, John. "Grave Finds With Runic Inscriptions From Great Britain" as collected in Düwel, Klaus. (Editor) (2002) "Runeninschriften ALS Quelle Interdisziplinaerer Forschung: Abhandlungen DES Vierten Internationalen Symposiums Uber Runen Und Runeninschriften in Goettingen VOM 4.-9. August 1995", page 189. Walter de GruyterISBN 9783110154559]
* The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Norfolk, Parts I to VIII. See East Anglain Archaeol. 6, 11 (out of print), 21 (out of print), 34, 39, 67, 69, 73. England, Norfolk.:* No.6, 1977: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part I: Catalogue of Cremations, by Catherine Hills :* No.11, 1980: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part II: Catalogue of Cremations, by Catherine Hills and Kenneth Penn:* No.21, 1984: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part III: Catalogue of Inhumations, by Catherine Hills, Kenneth Penn and Robert Rickett :* No.34, 1987: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part IV: Catalogue of Cremations, by Catherine Hills, Kenneth Penn and Robert Rickett:* No.67, 1994: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part V: Catalogue of Cremations, by Catherine Hills, Kenneth Penn and Robert Rickett :* No.39, 1988: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part VI: Occupation during the Seventh to Second Millennia BC, by Frances Healy ::* Murphy P. 1988. Botanical evidence. 103 and fiche. In: Healey F. The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham. Part VI. Occupation during the 2nd millennia BC. ::* Murphy P. 1988. Plant impressions on pottery. 103. In: Healey F. The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham. Part VI. Occupation during the 2nd millennia BC. East Anglian Archaeol. 39. England, Norfolk:* No.73, 1995: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part VII: Iron Age, Roman and Early Saxon Settlement, by Robert Rickett:* No.69, 1994: The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Part VIII: The Cremations, by Jacqueline McKinley
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