The Taplow drinking horn: gripping-arm gestures and female performance in the migration period

Brundle, L. (2018) The Taplow drinking horn: gripping-arm gestures and female performance in the migration period. In: Semple, S., Orsini, C. and Mui, S., eds. Life on the Edge: Social, Political and Religious Frontiers in Early Medieval Europe. Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum with the Internationales Sachsensymposion. pp. 373-381 ISBN 9783932030772

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In the past two decades human representational art in migration-period Scandinavia and early Anglo-Saxon England has been recognised as an important research topic, illuminating novel ways to explore performance and enactment (e.g. Gunnell 1995; Simek 2000; Watt 2004; Back Danielsson 2007; Hedeager 2011; Helmbrecht 2011; Brundle 2013). Largely, however, explorative research on bodily postures has been confined to full-bodied human representation. Little is known about gestural expressions in early Anglo-Saxon art.

In this paper I investigate the gripping-arm posture: a rare gesture rendered on the large drinking horns from the high-status male barrow burial at Taplow (Buckinghamshire), dating to the early 7th century.

Past research has established similarities between contemporary drinking vessels across Scandinavia and continental Europe (Holmqvist 1951; Hårdh 2004). Remarkably, however, this gesture is also portrayed on a small collection of 6th-century relief brooches from Norway; this connection and the potentially meaningful role of this gesture is explored here.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Brundle
Date Deposited: 25 May 2018 15:50
Last Modified: 25 May 2018 15:50

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00