Oxbow Books, £35
Review Amy Brunskill
This book presents the first ever national survey of all 2,847 fragments of glass vessels known in England dating from the 7th to 11th centuries. Beyond simply recording these fragments, Rose Broadley quantifies and compares different vessel types and analyses their geographical distribution, presenting a new insight into both glass vessels and life in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period.
The study highlights the potential of glass vessels as indicators of social activity, with different vessel types found at sites with different functions. Particularly interesting is the contrast between the types of vessels found at ecclesiastical and trading sites. The book also looks at glass vessels as an indicator of trade and communication in Britain and further afield, with analysis of intra-site connections, as well as a discussion of parallels between glass vessels in Britain and continental Europe.
This well-illustrated and impressively thorough volume is a significant contribution to the study of Anglo-Saxon material culture, settlements, and society.