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Episode 446

Shorwell helmet
Wed, 2018-Jul-25 00:50 UTC
Length - 2:23

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Wednesday, 25 July 2018 is Shorwell helmet.

The Shorwell helmet is an Anglo-Saxon helmet from the early to mid-sixth century AD found near Shorwell on the Isle of Wight in southern England. It was one of the grave goods of a high-status Anglo-Saxon warrior, and was found with other objects such as a pattern-welded sword and hanging bowl. One of only six known Anglo-Saxon helmets, alongside those from Benty Grange, Sutton Hoo, Coppergate, Wollaston, and Staffordshire, it is the sole example to derive from the continental Frankish style rather than the contemporaneous Northern "crested helmets" used in England and Scandinavia.

The grave was discovered by members of a metal detecting club in May 2004, and excavated by archaeologists that November. Ploughing had destroyed much of the surrounding Anglo-Saxon cemetery, leaving this as the only individually identifiable grave. The helmet had fragmented into around 400 pieces, perhaps in part because of the subsoiling, and was originally identified as a "fragmentary iron vessel". Only after it was acquired by the British Museum and reconstructed was it identified as a helmet. It remains in the museum's collection, but as of 2018 is not on display.

Exhibiting hardly any decoration other than a speculative exterior leather covering, the Shorwell helmet was a utilitarian fighting helmet. It was simply and sturdily designed out of eight pieces of riveted iron; its only decorative elements were paired with functional uses. The helmet's plainness belies its significance, for helmets were rare in Anglo-Saxon England, and appear to have been limited to the higher classes. The recovery of only six Anglo-Saxon helmets despite the excavation of thousands of graves suggests that their owners had some status.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:50 UTC on Wednesday, 25 July 2018.

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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