The background behind England’s earliest literary masterpiece, the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, is being explored in a major archaeological investigation in Denmark.
Sounds like it was quite the place to partay!
The team has also confirmed that the halls were indeed used for vast feasts. In a study completed earlier this year, analysis of feasting debris – particularly from the area around the site of the feasting hall that dates from the era associated with Beowulf – has pointed to the
remains of hundreds of individual animals including suckling pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, deer, chicken, geese, ducks and fish.
I went and reread it....It is an awesome work.
[..]Hall-folk fail me,
my warriors wane; for Wyrd hath swept them
into Grendel's grasp. But God is able
this deadly foe from his deeds to turn!
Boasted full oft, as my beer they drank,
earls o'er the ale-cup, armed men,
that they would bide in the beer-hall here,
Grendel's attack with terror of blades.
Then was this mead-house at morning tide
dyed with gore, when the daylight broke,
all the boards of the benches blood-besprinkled,
gory the hall: I had heroes the less,
doughty dear-ones that death had reft.
-- But sit to the banquet, unbind thy words,
hardy hero, as heart shall prompt thee."