Science: Barbaric Palace

The sophisticated Romans built of enduring stone, brick, concrete and mosaic, and Britain is strewn with the ruins of their villas and fortifications. But the barbarian Anglo-Saxon bands that invaded Britain after the Roman legions withdrew in the 5th century lived in crude timber buildings that rotted away with the centuries, leaving only the faintest of traces. Last week Archaeologist Brian Hope-Taylor reported the discovery and exploration of the biggest early Anglo-Saxon structure yet found in Britain—one of the rectangular great halls described in Beowulf, where a leader's thegns gathered to tell tall stories or quaff themselves torpid on mead or...

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