In 2016, I was keynote at a day conference at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on ‘Exploring the Staffordshire Hoard’ coinciding with their ‘Warrior Treasuries: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition. See my reflections on this event here.
That was my first and only outing to address the Staffordshire Hoard, so I was surprised and delighted to be recently invited to speak for a second time about the Staffordshire Hoard, at a prestigious and important event at the Society of Antiquaries of London to mark the publication of the 10-year research project in the form of an illustrious monograph. At the ‘Publishing the Staffordshire Hoard: Impact and Implications’ conference organised by Professor Leslie Webster, Dr Sam Lucy and Dr Tania Dickinson, I spent a day listening to the latest ideas, implications and avenues for future research on the Hoard. For a review of the event see this link and here is my Twitter Moment for the event.
My contribution considered the landscape context of the Hoard, for which I offered a mnemonic perspective with my paper ‘Remembering or Forgetting? Landscape, Memory and the Hoard’. I presented 5 potential avenues for future research into the landscape context of the Hoard in terms of social memory, considering:
- the Hoard itself as a landscape;
- the significance of place;
- the landscape of movement, surveillance and power;
- a frontier landscape;
- comparative landscape analyses of depositional practice.
It will be interesting to see which of these ideas, if any, are taken forward in future research. In particular, I think we can perhaps gently ‘decolonise’ the Staffordshire Hoard from seeing it purely in terms of the ‘Anglo-Saxon kingdoms’, by which I mean that there are some fascinating western (British?) parallels to the location and martial associations of the Hoard that we should also factor into our discussions linked to a broad and fluid contested Mercian/Welsh frontier zone.
You can watch my talk on YouTube here and I want to thank Peter Reavill for his help and guidance on this talk.