Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Buckets

Project Description:

This site has been created as a companion to the monograph by Jean Cook and edited by B. Brugmann (2004) Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Buckets Oxford University School of Archaeology Monographs. Entries in the database are cross-referenced with this monograph. Jean Mary Cook, F.S.A. (1927-2001) was a teacher, archaeologist, museum curator and university administrator. Her archaeological work included excavation of Anglo-Saxon burial sites. In the 1950s, she began compiling data on wooden buckets, a specific type of Anglo-Saxon grave goods. Jean's particular interest was in the technical details of their manufacture. She continued to collect information on Anglo-Saxon buckets thoughout her varied career until shortly before her death. ‘Buckets’ are an enigmatic and relatively rare type of object found in 5th to 7th-century Anglo-Saxon graves. The term ‘bucket’ suggests a utilitarian vessel holding c. 10 litres of liquid, and therefore is misleading in more than one respect. The Anglo-Saxon vessels are constructed of wooden staves and copper-alloy or iron bindings, some of them no more than mug-sized, and few are as large as 20 cm in diameter. The fact that some ‘buckets’ have elaborately decorated bindings and that they were mostly found in well-equipped graves of both men and women suggests that buckets were status symbols rather than every-day household equipment. As a tribute to Jean Cook, this web-site is an introduction to the Anglo-Saxon bucket. General bucket terminology is listed and the typical parts of a this composite artefact are labeled on a photograph of the restored Mill Hill, Deal bucket. A simplified version of the bucket database is also presented here. The buckets can be sorted by location (Spatial Distribution) in modern county boundaries. Or the database can be interegated for such things as type, parts, material, specific findspot and associated objects. References are cited in individual entries and a complete bibliography is also available.