This book is intended to give a general view of Anglo- Saxon culture as seen through the eyes of the archaeologist. No book of this length can hope to do more than sketch the broad outlines of the subject; consequently I have had to be selective in my approach and I am only too conscious of the many gaps that occur in this story of six hundred years of the most formative period of English history.
It would be impossible to give separate acknowledgments for all the help I have received during the writing of this book, but I cannot allow it to go to press without some indication of my indebtedness. My thanks are due to Mr G. Ashburner for providing me with so many brilliant photographs. I am grateful to Professor Holger Arbman, Mrs S. Hawkes, Dr Ole Klindt-Jensen and Mrs M. Saunders for long hours of discussion of the problems of Anglo-Saxon archaeology. The day- to-day contact with my colleagues in the British Museum has provoked discussion, which has naturally influenced my thoughts on the subject, and my debt to them, and to the institution itself, cannot be sufficiently acknowledged. I would particularly like to thank Mr Julian Brown, who has allowed me to read, before publication, his revolutionary theories concerning the Lindisfarne Gospels, and Mr R. H. M. Dolley who, over a number of years, has patiently answered many questions on numismatic subjects. Mr Rupert Bruce-Mitford and Mr Peter Lasko kindly read the typescript of this book and offered me much advice and help which I deeply appreciate. I must thank the Early English Text Society for permission to use their translation of the riddle on p.122 and the editors of Arms and Armour, for the use of the translations of the passages of poetry on pp. 108 and 121.