Anglo-Saxons 4: bit of bling
It’s a silver disc brooch, covered in gold and decorated with deep red, semi-precious stones called garnets and white sea shell.
It was found in the grave of a wealthy woman at Dover Hill Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
Made by a skilled jeweller it was created sometime between AD 580-600.
Brooches were practical objects used by men, women and children to fasten their clothes. They were also fashion accessories to be admired and show off a person’s wealth. Many are thought to have been gifts from Kentish royalty to reward loyalty.
The brooch shows the extent of trade routes in Anglo-Saxon times. The garnets come from Sri Lanka (the large Island off the southern coast of India).
Cowrie shells and purple amethyst, found on other items of jewellery from the Dover Hill Anglo-Saxon cemetery, came from the Red Sea coast of Egypt, and Persia.