Projects carried out under the ASLab trading name include a report on a Viking woman's grave in Yorkshire, published in Medieval Archaeology (Speed and Walton Rogers 2004), a national survey of costume (metalwork and textiles) on behalf of English Heritage, Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England, AD 450-700 (Walton Rogers 2007), and a study of metal garment accessories from Saltwood, Kent, published on-line in 2006 (and now available through Pangur Press). Penelope was also team-leader for the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Flixton, Suffolk, published in East Anglian Archaeology in 2012, and managed the final stages of the report on the cemetery at Tittleshall, Norfolk, published in EAA 2013. A paper concerning the context of these two sites has been published in the ACE conference proceedings (Walton Rogers 2012).
We have been collaborating with Patricia Sutherland and the Canadian Museum of Civilization on the Helluland Project, investigating Norse activity in the area of Baffin Island, for thirteen years: our part in this study is now approaching its conclusion. We are pleased to be working with Henrica Annaert (Flemish Heritage Agency) on the large Merovingian cemetery at Broechem, Belgium, and we continue to provide advice and technical back-up for a number of institutes in Germany and the Low Countries. Academic research projects currently include Craft Networks in Viking Towns (CNVT), where Penelope is working alongside scholars from Britain and Scandinavia on the investigation of social, economic and geographic links between urban craft-working communities. All of this helps to inform our smaller pieces of consultancy work: individual brooches, for example, can be placed within the broader context of European research.
Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian bird brooches. These were worn by women, often in pairs one above the other, to fasten the vertical front-opening on a gown. Each region produced its own variants of the bird brooch: note the sleek lines of the Anglo-Saxon birds on the left and the angular appearance of the Continental examples on the right. Continental birds always face to their left (the viewer's right), but Anglo-Saxon ones can face in either direction. The two birds from Kent have an animal motif worked into their wings – another example of the Anglo-Saxon love of visual riddles and hidden messages.
Photographs from left to right: bird brooches from (i) Saltwood cemetery, Kent, courtesy of Oxford-Wessex Archaeology Joint Venture and CTRL (UK) Ltd ; (ii) Buckland, Kent, courtesy of Canterbury Archaeological Trust; (iii)-(v) Broechem, near Antwerp, Belgium, courtesy of Flanders Heritage Agency.