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date: 06 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Whether the terms Final Phase or Conversion Period should be assigned to the mid Saxon period, as implied in the heading of this article, is open to question. This article highlights the continuity of early Saxon furnished burial and use the term Final Phase to represent burial practices that have their origins towards the end of the sixth century and disappear early in the eighth century. The initial finding that women buried with ‘classic’ Final Phase dress fittings seem to belong to a single generation centred on the third quarter of the seventh century. For the Anglo-Saxon political elite, a recently established norm was barrow burial accompanied by the symbols of power and of the lifestyle of the warrior caste. Cremation was already going out of fashion during the sixth century and, where it survived, conversion to Christianity assured its disappearance.

Keywords: Final Phase, Conversion Period, mid Saxon period, dress fittings, cremation, political elite, Christianity, burial practices

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