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Prof John Hines 


John Hines [with Alex Bayliss, Karen Høilund Nielsen, Gerry McCormac and Christopher Scull] (2013) Anglo-Saxon Graves and Grave Goods of the 6th and 7th Centuries AD: A Chronological Framework. Society for Medieval Archaeology.

Abstract - The Early Anglo-Saxon Period is characterised archaeologically by the regular deposition of artefacts in human graves in England. The scope for dating these objects and graves has long been studied, but it has typically proved easier to identify and enumerate the chronological problems of the material than to solve them. Prior to the work of this project, there was no comprehensive chronological framework for Early Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, and the level of detail and precision in dates that could be suggested was low

The evidence has been studied afresh using a co-ordinated suite of dating techniques, both traditional and new: a review and revision of artefact-typology; seriation of grave-assemblages using correspondence analysis; high-precision radiocarbon dating of selected bone samples; and Bayesian modelling using the results of all of these. This integrated strategy was focussed primarily on the later part of the Early Anglo-Saxon Period, starting in the 6th century. The work has produced a new chronological framework, consisting of sequences of phases that are separate for male and female burials but nevertheless mutually consistent and co-ordinated. These will allow archaeologists to assign grave-assemblages and a wide range of individual artefact-types to defined phases that are associated with calendrical date-ranges whose limits are expressed to a specific degree of probability.

Important unresolved issues include a precise adjustment for dietary effects on radiocarbon dates from human skeletal material. Nonetheless the results of this project suggest the cessation of regular burial with grave goods in Anglo-Saxon England two decades or even more before the end of the seventh century. That creates a limited but important discrepancy with the current numismatic chronology of early English sceattas.

The project report comprises this monograph together with a digital data-set freely accessibl via the ADS (doi:10.5284/1018290). This data-matrices and tables in spreadsheet form that are too large for paper publication, and a project database, which can be downloaded in Microsoft Access format, or used on-line.


John Hines (2004) Voices in the past: English Literature and Archaeology. D. S. Brewer.

Abstract - This book seeks to lay both theoretical and methodological foundations for a thoroughly interdisciplinary and integrated study of literature and material culture. It does so by exploring topics such as the material semantics of language, the transmission and performance of literary texts in real time and space, the literary work as artefact, the professionalization of authorship, and the commodification of the book. This study takes the form of a series of case studies running from the Anglo-Saxon Period and its Old English poetry, through Middle English literature, Chaucer and Gower in London, the archaeology of the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatres and Shakespeare’s plays staged there, Bunyan, Dryden and the Restoration Period, and Dickens and the Great Exhibition of 1851.


John Hines (1998) The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Edix Hill (Barrington A), Cambridgeshire. Council for British Archaeology.

Abstract - The Anglo-Saxon cemetery known for many years as Barrington A in Cambridgeshire was first excavated in the mid-19th century and was relocated and partially excavated to examine its extent and the level of preservation in the late 1980s.

This report has been described as setting new standards in Early Anglo-Saxon cemetery publication. It includes a detailed osteological report on the generally well-preserved human skeletons, from which demographic data on age at death and sex are compared with artefactual evidence. Correspondence Analysis of these finds allowed the definition of contemporary ‘costume groups’ amongst the femaled buried for the first time. The critical technical studies of the materials and artefacts proved controversial, but form the basis for new concerns to explore the resources and contacts of these communities in greater detail. The historical implications of the site and other regional evidence are used to discuss the development of this area up to the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086/7.


John Hines (1997) A New Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Great Square-Headed Brooches. Society of Antiquaries of London.

Abstract - A study that was in fact completed in 1987 and publication delayed. A replacement of E T Leeds’s important Corpus of 1949, which was itself a crucial plank in his attempts to correlate a chronological scheme for the Saxon and Anglian areas of England with that he had proposed for Kent in 1935/6. A larger corpus of finds was included, with a finer classification of the brooches and significantly corrected chronology, both relative and absolute. The study also extends to important analyses of the production, distribution and use of these large and complex brooches, both socially and regionally. The book has now become a key reference point for Anglo-Saxon artefact studies, which are undergoing a new transformation under the impact of the great influx of new, but fragmentary, finds reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.


John Hines (1993) The Fabliau in English. Longman

Abstract - The first comprehensive study of a genre relatively sparsely represented in Middle English literature although at the same time very familiar as a result of the well-known examples included by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales. The history of the fabliau is traced amongst the French, Dutch, German, Italian and other examples of the type, including many analogues and parallels to the Middle English examples. It is demonstrated that the French origins widely attributed to the genre are probably mistaken and that the earliest examples were probably Flemish. Critical readings of the extant Middle English specimens show the interest in the genre amongst medieval literati, and support a new interpretation of its social associations as being principal amongst the urbane and literate clerks, which in turn may modify our reading of the apparently amoral attitude the fabliaux display. Further study of the evolution and transformations of fabliau-tales into the Early Modern Period forms a basis for a review of how ‘literary genre’ may be conceived.


John Hines (1993) Clasps-Hektespenner-Agraffen: Anglo-Scandinavian Clasps of the Third to Sixth Centuries AD. Typology, Diffusion and Function. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien.

Abstract - The definitive typological study of an artefact-type unique to Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England with the Late Roman and Early Medieval Periods, and the first corpus of such finds ever to be attempted. It includes detailed discussion of the function of these dress-fasteners, revealing significant shifts in gender association both over time and between different regions.


John Hines (1984) The Scandinavian character of Anglian England in the pre-Viking period. British Archaeological Reports.

Abstract - The author’s DPhil thesis, which provided the first detailed demonstration of close material parallels and direct links across the North Sea between Scandinavia and eastern England at least three centuries before the start of the historical Viking Period.

These conclusions are based upon precise analyses of a series of artefact-types and their distributions. Two of those studies have since formed the basis for other, more detailed monographs.

This study has proved an important step in the definition of a new chronological scheme for Early Anglo-Saxon archaeological finds and its integration with Continental and Scandinavian sequences. It was also a critical stage in the re-establishment of studies of migration and of the construction of large group (‘ethnic’) identities in Early and Middle Anglo-Saxon England.