By Nick Higham

The variety of local Britons, and their function, in Anglo-Saxon England has been hotly debated for generations; the English have been obvious as Germanic within the 19th century, however the 20th observed a reinvention of the German 'past'. this day, the scholarly neighborhood is as deeply divided as ever at the factor: place-name experts have continuously most popular minimalist interpretations, privileging migration from Germany, whereas different disciplinary teams were much less united of their perspectives, with many archaeologists and historians viewing the British presence, in all likelihood at the least, as numerically major or maybe dominant. The papers accrued the following search to shed new mild in this complicated factor, by means of bringing jointly contributions from various disciplinary experts and exploring the interfaces among a variety of different types of data concerning the prior. They gather either a considerable physique of facts about the presence of Britons and provide a number of techniques to the valuable problems with the size of that presence and its importance around the seven centuries of Anglo-Saxon England. participants: RICHARD COATES, MARTIN GRIMMER, HEINRICH HARKE, NICK HIGHAM, CATHERINE HILLS, LLOYD LAING, C. P. LEWIS, GALE R. OWEN-CROCKER, O. J. PADEL, DUNCAN PROBERT, PETER SCHRIJVER, DAVID THORNTON, HILDEGARD L. C. TRISTRAM, DAMIAN TYLER, HOWARD WILLIAMS, ALEX WOOLF

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Charles Roach-Smith, Inventorium Sepulchre: an Account of Some Antiquities dug up at Gilton, Kingston, Sibertswold, Barfriston, Beakesbourne, Chartham, and Crundale … Kent, from AD 1757 to AD 1773, by Rev. Bryan Faussett (London, 1856), at p. ix. 30 HOWARD WILLIAMS  material culture. Regarding the artefacts recovered from Anglo-Saxon graves, many were regarded as distinctively ‘Teutonic’, such as weapons and pottery, but others were thought to demonstrate the transmission of craft skills and techniques from Romans to Saxons.

Ancestry seems to provide an unavoidable, predetermined – and therefore guilt-free basis for group definition, which is what makes it dangerous, and so worth investigating with as much critical detachment as we can muster (not much, unfortunately, if you follow my arguments). It is relatively easy to trace attitudes to Anglo-Saxons from the fifth century to the twentieth,31 and to work out how and why Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Matthew Parker, even J. N. L. Myres, and all the rest saw them differently.

E. Southworth (Liverpool, 1990), pp. 25–64; Howard Williams, ‘Heathen Graves and Victorian Anglo-Saxonism: Assessing the Archaeology of John Mitchell Kemble’, ASSAH 13 (2006), 1–18. FORGETTING THE BRITONS 29 insight into Victorian discoveries. Although these reports are often incomplete, imprecise and inaccurate by modern standards, archaeologists today continue to employ nineteenth-century archaeological publications as invaluable resources for their ongoing studies of early medieval mortuary practices and society.

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