Credo, Paderborn archaeological exhibition
The major 2013 exhibition, Credo: Christianisierung Europas im Mittelalter, exhibited in the German town of Paderborn, across three venues (the Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, the Museum in der Kaiserpfalz and the Städtische Galerie am Abdinghof). Credo, meaning ‘I believe’, explored religious and cultural transformation from the early medieval period onwards, as Christianity swept across Europe.
The remarkable material from the Prittlewell princely burial povides understanding of the transition to Christianity in the early medieval period.
The exhibition embraced archaeological artefacts, rare documents and papyri, Christian treasures, elaborate furnishings, idols and works of art. Featured in the display were items from excavations at Prittlewell, near Southend in Essex. Our finds specialist, Lyn Blackmore, who has been leading analysis of the Prittlewell finds, worked with the German team on the display and interpretation of the remarkable objects.
Archaeological investigations at Prittlewell were carried out by MOLA a decade ago, on behalf of Southend on Sea Borough Council, on the site of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. An extraordinary princely burial dating to the 7th century AD was discovered in a fully furnished chamber, originally under a burial mound. Although the burial followed pagan traditions in the richness of the accompanying burial goods, there were several objects with Christian associations. The clearest of these are two gold-foil crosses which had lay in the head area of the body, possibly on the eyes. The crosses are among the amazing finds from Prittlewell and were presented within a reconstruction of the chamber and coffin in the Credo exhibition.