Speculations on the Staffordshire Hoard

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  • #15841


    Stephen Dean the archaeologist interviewed in podcast 81 mentioned that he thought the name Hammerwich and the proximity to the hoard probably, in his opinion, had nothing to do with the hoard in that 'hammer' is more associated with blacksmithing (iron etc) rather than fine gold and silver work, but I think that 1/ If Hammerwich indeed has a connection to smithing then 2/ It could well have a connection to the hoard, as where were the blades?Wikipedia (I know, Wikipedia blah blah) says "The name may derive from the Old English hamor (by a hill) and wic (place)[citation needed], or possibly, 'a smith's workshop' or 'a hammer-making workshop'.[2]So imagine this: a battle is fought, swords are taken as booty (perhaps collected from the battlefield) and there's a pressing need for more blades. You can't hand out flash, gold encrusted swords to the hoi polloi, but you can remove the pommels, add standard ones in a village like Hammerwich, pass them out and meanwhile stash the hoard somewhere memorable for future use by a warlord – close to Watling St and perhaps marked by a site that may have spiritual significance, like a sacred tree.The hoard could easily have been forgotten as further strife swept the area. I think this is another possibility, anyway.

  • #19053


    First off, Jamie, that was an excellent job of interviewing!  I thoroughly enjoyed the podcasts.  I'm also quite impressed that you had that level of access to the senior members of the team.Second, mwebster, I agree.  I thought he dismissed that theory a little too rapidly.  Third, a theory of my own.  It was mentioned a few times about the minute patterns/lines/boxes on some of the pieces.  They currently do not know how the artisans could have done it.  Maybe they stamped it with something found in nature?  Mother Nature, I'm sure, has a leaf, or reed that could be dried and used to stamp tiny little lines/boxes on soft metal.  Just a guess.  I have seen no pictures that show the patterns, so this is just a wild guess.Again, outstanding job Jamie!

  • #19054


    I think this interview posed a lot of questions. Stephen Dean seems like a very interesting guy but I’m thinking he is on his own on a few of his ideas. The dating with the ‘gold-famine’ though seems like sound logic. I also like his comparisons to the Sutton Hoo site. From what he says the Hoard seems more like a ritual deposit of items than a more purposeful reason such as a high-brow burial. I remember reading about coin hoards in Roman Italy being seen as people hiding valuables during such events as the slave rebellions. Maybe the Hoard was more buried treasure than anything?Always good to listen to these podcasts.

  • #19055


    Always good to listen to these podcasts. I thought I'd join this forum after it was mentioned on podcast #81. I'm a big fan of the show and Jamie's approach. I particularly like his history-journalism interviews. Listening to the archaeologists/academics in England has been really interesting.My interest has always been in anything to do with Rome. Ignited at an early age by the Roman road in a local park which turned out to be a link from Mamucium to Ardotalia. Sat there in the shadows of the dark satanic mills of the Pennines. I’m enjoying all the Germanic tribe stuff too. Jamie gives it all such depth. Highly recommended.

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