Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
Anglo-Saxon England

Urn with swastikas

Height: 22.000 cm

M&ME OA 233

Urn with swastikas

From: North Elmham, Norfolk
Date: 5th-6th century AD

In early Anglo-Saxon times most people were pagans, worshipping a number of gods to do with nature. People often had their bodies burned (cremated) after they died, and the ashes put into a pot like this one, called an urn. The urn was then buried alongside others in a cemetery.

This urn is decorated with swastikas. This symbol was used by Hitler's Nazi party in Germany last century, but it has been around for thousands of years, and has been used by many different groups of people. We are not sure what it stands for on this pot - it could just have been used as a decoration.