Posted on 19 October 2012
Martin Carver features on BBC Radio 3's Anglo-Saxon Portraits, Thursday and Friday (18 and 19 October 2012) at 2245.
On Thursday evening, Martin speaks about what archaeology can reveal about the lives of women: "some say history has not been kind to women, but archaeology reports both sexes equally; and in their graves the Anglo-Saxons celebrated their women as much as their men - or more so". Describing in loving detail the graves of what he calls three "Anglo-Saxon Alpha Females", he re-animates the lives of a privileged pagan girl from the earliest period; a "cunning woman" with her bag of tools and healing herbs; and a princess buried in her bed. Through them, he recreates the lives of other women in the early era "before Christian government succeeded in clamping down on diversity and rewriting the rules."
On Friday evening, Martin will discuss the sensational story of the unearthing of Britain's richest ever grave, at Sutton Hoo, in spring 1939. He describes the role of his own team from the University of York in the second wave of excavations there, and vividly recreates the life, death and burial of its probable inhabitant, King Raedwald.