Sheffield Anglo-Saxon Cross Shaft

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3D Image

James Blake Wiener
by The British Museum
published on 12 December 2018

The Sheffield Cross Shaft is a sandstone Anglo-Saxon cross-shaft dating to the early ninth century AD. The back of the cross-shaft has been hollowed out at a later period. Decorated free-standing stone crosses played an important part in the Anglo-Saxon Christian church. The iconographic scheme of this example carries stylized vine scroll decoration which, in Late Antique and Early Medieval Christian tradition, symbolized Christ as the ‘True Vine’ (Saint John’s Gospel 15: 1-7). The main surviving face also bears a vine, its branches drooping with heavy fruit, and in which an archer is concealed as he stalks his quarry. Like other similar representations in Anglo-Saxon art, he is probably intended as an image of the Divine Word, seeking its target. Hunting by archery was important in Anglo-Saxon culture, both as an aristocratic sport and as a source of food. Created by Mary Chester-Kadwell from 90 images taken with a Sony A6000 and assembled in Photoscan Pro

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Museum, T. B. (2018, December 12). Sheffield Anglo-Saxon Cross Shaft. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Museum, The British. "Sheffield Anglo-Saxon Cross Shaft." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified December 12, 2018.

MLA Style

Museum, The British. "Sheffield Anglo-Saxon Cross Shaft." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 12 Dec 2018. Web. 05 Feb 2023.