Alfred’s new longships
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Alfred’s new longships book
Many attempts have been made to decipher the enigmatic description of Alfred’s longships in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 896.1 This interpretation follows ten years of our research on the characteristics of Saxon ships,2 including the building and sailing of half-scale models of the well-recorded remains of two vessels: the magnificent 27-metre Anglian ship found in Mound One at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk built about 600 (Fig. 26) and the modest 14-metre Graveney trader (Fig. 27), from Kent of c. 900. Although 350 years separate them, the construction methods and the characteristic shapes of the hull cross-sections of these two ships are so alike (Fig. 28) that we can assume a continuous tradition of ship-building throughout this period in south-east England.