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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know. And feel free to stop by History Buff's ** Author Interviews** for Q&As with authors of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author

As an historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
large quantity of time searching for news in archaeology and history. Once in a great while a new archaeological discovery will act as an inspiration for what I'm currently writing. But most of the time the news stories I read are simply interesting tidbits of history. Unfortunately, I have disallowed comments because I travel so frequently that I can neither monitor nor respond to them. But I would still love to share the history that I find fascinating each day. So welcome! And feel free to visit my website at www.michellemoran.com.

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3.25.2008

Anglo-Saxons honoured their dead with household objects

MUNDANE household objects were used by our distant ancestors to honour their dead according to an expert from Chester University.

Combs, tweezers and razors were among the distinctive artefacts used by the Anglo-Saxons.

According to new research conducted by an international expert at the University of Chester, the popular perception that the early Anglo-Saxons would mark death with grandiose gestures is untrue.

Senior Lecturer in Archaeology Dr Howard Williams has conducted research suggesting that it was more modest items which were particularly important to those in the fifth and sixth centuries. Dr Williams, who has an international reputation as an expert in mortuary archaeology, presented his findings at the British Museum to representatives of the museum, University College London, and other professional archaeologists.

He said: “The latest discoveries from cemeteries show that portable and quite modest artefacts, such as carefully wrought combs made of deer antler, and small tweezers, shears and razors made of iron or bronze, were of clear importance in the commemoration of the dead.

“Some of the objects were miniatures especially made for the funeral, and many were deliberately broken, with only a portion interred in the cinerary urns, with the rest perhaps kept as mementoes for the living.

“Combs, tweezers, shears and razors were objects intimately connected with the presentation of the body in life, and so placing them with the dead was a way for pagan Anglo-Saxons to create continued bonds with their ancestors following the spectacle of open-air cremation.”

Read the rest here.