A SYMBOL OF KINGSHIP?
Offa’s Dyke, which bears the name of King Offa of Mercia (757– 796 AD), is an earthwork which winds a sinuous course through the Welsh Marches.
Over the course of twelve centuries, time, weather and erosion have taken their toll, and today Offa's Dyke in many places is scarcely visible, but when newly-constructed it was a substantial and impressive monument, presenting on its western side a barrier with an average height of twelve feet from ditch bottom to bank top.
Historians and archaeologists have traditionally emphasised the importance of the earthwork’s practical utility but, in fact, the dyke’s primary purpose may have been its symbolic and ideological value, as a representation of Offa’s imperial kingship.
KEYWORDS: Anglo Saxons, Mercia, Offa's Dyke, BooksDownload the Full Article (PDF)