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Anglo Saxon Death Stuff


Steven Hardcastle

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of Anglo Saxon Death Stuff

Anglo Saxon Funeral Practices A funeral would include:

1) A eulogy.
2) Placement of grave goods.
3) A dirge sang by a female relative.
4) The burial of the body or ashes or spreading of ashes.
5) Songs of praise for the deceased done by 12 people circling the grave. Then they feasted.
The funeral feast served two purposes. The first was to honour the dead, and the second was to give the heirs a chance to exert their rights to inherited property. Lícthenung or The Funeral Rite The women of the family washed and prepared the body for burial or cremation. The ancient Heathens sent their dead off with "Hel shoes" so that they could walk to the afterlife in relative comfort. They were also buried with some of their worldly possessions, things like jewelry, tools, weapons, and even the remnants of ships, Slaves and livestock, such as horses and mules, as the Anglo-Saxons believed that these would be needed in the afterlife. The Wake or Waecce Funerals were a solemn event. Totally lacking of joy or celebration. Instead, it was a practice of moving a body onto the afterlife, with particular emphasis only on those who accomplished much during their life.
Princely burial was usually located under a mound. where as the higher the mound, the higher the quality of grave goods and thus status of the buried. Practiced by many of the Germanic peoples across northern Europe. In many cases it seems that the corpse was placed within a ship which was then either sent out to sea or left on land, but in both cases then set alight. Boat Burials at Sea Burial Urns Typically hand-made out of pottery which had in many cases been decorated with various motifs. These have included bosses, stamps and linear incised marks, as well as freehand designs. Urns became more elaborate as time went on. Warriors were buried in full war gear. To die at war was the greatest honor. Gear worn included chain metal armor and a helmet. Additionally swords and other weapons were laid beside the body, for protection in the afterlife.
Bodies were buried in rectangular graves, they were buried with weapons and grave good according to status. Sussex regions prefered inhumation while Aglion regions prefered cremation Inhumation Changes Funeral practices changed in the seventh century because of Christianity. Cemetaries lacked pagan objects such as swords. Also Christian inhumation evolved into leaving the bodies only in a shroud, instead of full protective gear. Works Cited
1.)"The Anglo-Saxon Pagan Afterlife." Welcome to Wednesbury Shire of White Marsh Theod. 5 June 2005. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.englatheod.org/afterlife.htm>.
2.)"Anglo-Saxon Pagan Funeral." Welcome to Wednesbury Shire of White Marsh Theod. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.englatheod.org/funeral.htm>.
3.)"Death and Burial in the Anglo-Saxon World." WDP: Art and Design in a Friendly, Collaborative Environment. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.wdog.com/rider/writings/death_and_burial_in_the_anglo.htm http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory/images/anglo_saxons/anglo-saxon_beliefs/as_burial_urn.jpg The Anglo-Saxons were fanatical in their belief that fate, what they called the wyrd, decided who would live and who would die.
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