Abstracts of Papers


Catherine Karkov, University of Leeds, UK.

“The Nunburnhome Cross: A Visual Palimpsest.”


The Nunburnhome Cross was originally a piece of limestone worked to become part of a Romano-British building building somewhere near York. It was reused as a cross-shaft and carved with figural scenes by an Anglian sculptor at some point in the ninth or tenth century. It was recarved by an Anglo-Scandinavian sculptor later in the tenth century, and finally a carving of a centaur was added by an Anglo-Norman sculptor shortly after the Conquest. For some reason this stone remained a field for cultural expression for approximately 700 years, and deliberately or not it offers us a layering of ornament that maps the spaces between and across cultures at the same time that it presents us with an expression of cultural hybridity. This paper will take an in depth look at the different carving campaigns in an attempt to clarify just what they reveal and/or mask about the different artists and cultures that produced them, with particular attention to the role of the visual in the narration of nation.