Shields were arguably the most crucial and universal tool of the Anglo-Saxon battlefield, and their degraded remains - mainly iron fittings - are fairly frequent finds from early Anglo-Saxon graves. While most shields appear. at least in terms of metal fittings, to have been relatively plain, the famous kingly shield from Sutton Hoo Mound 1 was enormously elaborate and ostentatious, with fierce and glittering golden animal fittings, a bronze rim, and an elaborately decorated shield boss integrating embossed foils and garnets. Between these extremes its fair to assume the visual impact of shields reflected the status of its owner, but what of the shields from the other famous treasure-filled princely burials? Were they similarly impressive?
Detailed examination of the remains of these lesser-known 'princely' shields reveals a number of surprises....
Exploring the history, archaeology and cultures of the "Anglo-Saxon Period" (encompassing the Migration and Viking Ages).