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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 69  1955  page 36


Saxon burials.1 The quality of the decoration on the Lyminge brooch ensures that it must take a high place artistically amongst that group of objects which are usually cited as examples of naturalistic animal ornament in the earliest Anglo-Saxon period.2 Chronologically the brooch must stand very early in this group for only the "bearded beaks" have yielded to any degree of stylization. This may well have been the sort of ornament which was being worn in Kent (or on the Continent) at about the time when the earliest invaders were making their penetrations in the west.3
   The saucer brooches must also be comparatively early in date belonging to the earlier half of the sixth century A.D. That from grave 10 is the first applied saucer brooch to be found in Kent. Its association with the decorated penannular brooch suggests that the applied saucer brooch has a history at least as old as the cast and the star-fish decorative pattern is in fact an early feature of Saxon geometric design, possibly to be linked with late Roman ornament.
   The "S" shaped and radiate-head brooches are undoubtedly Frankish imports and the association of the radiate-head with the gold bracteate of Montelius group D shows that this type with lozenge-shaped foot-plate was being imported before A.D. 600. The small equal-armed brooches from grave 24 are unusual but their decoration in Style 1 places them in the second half of the sixth century A.D., as also the button brooch from grave 16.

   The square-headed and circular brooches from grave 44 probably represent the latest deposit in the cemetery so far excavated. The circular brooches fall into Leeds Class1 of Kentish circular brooches4 about the end of the sixth century A.D. and the two large square-heads may be referred to the same date. The U- shaped cells across the bow of the brooch have already been discussed. The decoration of the head-plate in Style I linked with this particular shaped cutting of the stones would seem to confirm the above date for this grave. These two brooches have so many individual characteristics that it would be difficult to place them into any of the groups which are discussed by Alberg.5 The truncated triangles surmounted by part-circles are not a normal Kentish characteristic but the general disposition of the garnet
   1 See, for example the schematic divisions of a flat annular brooch from Holywell, grave 10. T. C. Lethbridge, op. Cit, and also an example from Marston St. Lawrence, Northants, Archaeologia, XLVIII, Pl. XXIII.
2 N. Aberg, op. Cit., p. 161; G. Baldwin Brown, The Arts in Early England, Vol. IV, p. 548 ff.; E. T. Leeds, Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology, Cap. 1.
   3 The style of the animals on the Lyminge brooch is very close to that of a group of "horse brooches" from Germany and N. Italy, in the Ashmolean Museum, nos. 1927, 435-37. See Proc. Soc. Antiq., Second series, Vol XXII, p. 65, figs. 2-10.
   4  E. T. Leeds, op. Cit., p. 115.
   N. Aberg, op. Cit., p. 61 ff.

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