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Beowulf – in the Times and Independent

27 August 2013

Both The Times and the Independent newspapers have posted pieces on the Beowulf connection with Danish excavations at Lejre, 23 miles west of Copenhagen. See for example www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/features/feasting-and-fig…

The discovery of hundreds of animal bones at Lejre are testimony of feasting, and include suckling pig, beef and mutton, goat, venison, goose and duck, chicken, and fish. In the Beowulf story it is hinted the early hall was abandoned and the excavators say this is suggested by the fact the earliest feasting hall is 500 metres to the north of the others (rebuilds and renovations). In the tale a young nobleman from southern Sweden goes to Denmark to save the ruling elite from a monstrous giant, the Grendel. Why this is commonly known as Anglo-Saxon literature is unclear as it is clearly Scandinavian and written in a language unlike the English of the medieval period. It is claimed as the earliest piece of Anglo Saxon work because it was associated with the Angles, a Scandinavian tribe that ended up in Britain in the dark age period. See Appendix 2, page 190, P McCafferty and M Baillie, The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish Mythology, Tempus:2005 where the idea is explored that the Grendel was in fact a comet and all the action took place in a celestial feasting hall, the vault of the sky. If this is so what implication can we make about the date assigned to Beowulf in relation to the events described in the poem?

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