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Ms Pamela Cross

PositionResearch Student
LocationPhoenix SW 1.21
DepartmentArchaeological Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 23 5732
EmailP.J.Cross@student.bradford.ac.uk
Blog AddressVisit my blog

Study History

MSc Human Osteology & Palaeopathology, BA History, AA Animal Science

Research Areas

Thesis Title

Horses of Men and Gods: the Physical and Ritual Horse in 1st millennium AD Britain

Supervisors

Dr Julie BondProf Ian ArmitProf Timothy Taylor (Universitaet Wien)

Funding

AHRC Collaborative Grant

Grant partners: National Trust, Sutton Hoo Society, Bernard Cornwell (Author) & Museum of London (LARCC)

Additional support: University of Aberystwyth Equine Science, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Project, the Hungarian National and Natural History Museums, and many others

Abstract

The aim of this project is to understand the horse, its physical reality, use and cultural position in 1st millennium AD Britain based primarily on burial material. The research will include identification of burial sites and deposition types, osteological examination of skeletal material, and literature review. Analysis of the depositional data will show if, and how, different practices change over time and geography. Osteological evaluation of skeletal remains from a selection of sites, as well as similar data from the literature will be synthesized to provide a picture of the 1st millennium horse: its types, variety, health, injuries, use, care, and the use of the equine body in ritual and funerary culture. Combining this archaeological and osteological data with cultural information from literature sources (ethnology, linguistics, folklore studies and history) and comparative Eurasian data will contribute to our understanding not only of the horse during this period, but also to a number of cultural attributes and interactions, including trade, war, social organisation and religious/ritual practices. Initial research confirms significant parallels and differences between horse-related culture in different parts of Britain, and in Ireland, Scando-Baltic, Belgic and other areas of Europe. In addition, particular horse-human funerary practices appeared in Britain around the 5th century AD, which may suggest cultural impacts from the Hunnic invasions and offer new insights into the development of Anglo-Saxon identity during this volatile but poorly documented era.

The project is planned to conclude in 2014, the year of the horse, with a joint exhibition involving the project partners and possibly others, such as local schools and other museums. A number of media will be used to inform and involve both the academic world and the public, including live talks, workshops, internet sites, electronically accessible data, and other presentations.

Research Collaborations

British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) April 2011 conference, Manchester UK. The Nikumaroro Bones & Amelia Earhart Found or Still Missing?, Co-author Prof. Richard Wright. Student prize winner.

Publications

Papers

  • CROSS, P. J. 2012. - The ritual of horse burial - Sutton Hoo and beyond. Saxon 55(July): 8-10.
  • CROSS, P. J. 2011. - Horse Burial in First Millennium AD Britain: Issues of Deposition. European Journal of Archaeology 14(1-2): 190–209. ISSN 1461-9571, Online ISSN: 1741-2722. Cover photograph: ‘Pegasus’ central horse burial, Sedgeford.

Presentations

2013

  • Fifth International Conference International Council of ArchaeoZoology Animal Palaeopathology Working Group 1/6/13: Spinal/Pelvic Pathology and its Role in Interpreting Riding Use: a Cautionary Tale.
  • The Druid Pub, Wales 23/05/13: One in the Mound, Two in the Bog and how many Legs?An Illustrated Talk on Ritual, Sacrifice, Magic and the Horse.

  • Synthesys Presentation, Hungarian Natural History Museum 13/04/12: The Equine Skeleton: Sexual Morphology & Bacterial Disease in the Hungarian Natural History Museum Collection.

  • Sutton Hoo Society AGM 15/2/13: Patterns of Horse Burial & Ritual: Linking Anglo-Saxon Britain with Europe. http://www.suttonhoo.org/news.asp#53.

  • Viking Society for Northern Research Student Conference 2013, University of Leeds: experimental archaeology: Practical Niðstang poster.

2012

  • Schools Art Projects: Hipperholme & Lightcliffe High School Anglo-Saxon Culture & Horse Imagery. 2012-13. Selected outcomes to be published on project website.
  • Synthesys Presentation, Hungarian Natural History Museum 13/04/12: The Horse in English burial traditions: Parallels with Hungarian practices & the influences of Attila?

2011

  • Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project 2011 public lectures (1/8/12): The Lady and the Horse: Horses in the Sedgeford Anglo-Saxon Cemetery.
  • Association of Social Anthropologists, 2011 conference, Lampeter, Wales. Understanding humans understanding horses: constructed and co-created cultures Session: Who’s Buried with Who? The Horse in Human Burials in Northwest Europe: Status Symbol, Companion, Transport or Divinity?

  • British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) April 2011 conference, Manchester UK. The Nikumaroro Bones & Amelia Earhart Found or Still Missing?, Co-author Prof. Richard Wright. Student prize winner.

  • Young Archaeologists Club (Council for British Archaeology). Workshops in 2010, 2011 on human bones and animal bones, Skipton, North Yorkshire.

2009-2010 (Pre-project related presentations)

  • International Council of ArchaeoZoology 2010 conference: Transforming the Dead: Human-Horse Burial Tableaus in Iron Age & Early Medieval Europe.
  • European Association of Archaeologists 2010 and 2009 conferences: Horse Burial in First Millennium AD Britain: Issues of Deposition. Best Student Paper award winner.

 

Online Resources

  • Horses of Men & Gods Wordpress website - In process, online hopefully by end of 2013.

Other

  • SHARP, SNELLING, T. & CROSS, P. J. 2011-2013. – Cover Photo: ‘Pegasus’ central horse burial, Sedgeford from the article: Horse Burial in First Millennium AD Britain: Issues of Deposition. European Journal of Archaeology 14(1-2): 203 & cover. European Journal of Archaeology covers. ISSN 1461-9571, Online ISSN: 1741-2722.

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