Theres something about the web that narrows my view of the world, history seems to have taken a back seat and the masses of art and cultural images i imbibed as a child are sadly absent.
To make amends heres a link i found a few minutes ago ...
.....this provides a remedy to this, i was particularly glad to see again artifacts from Sutton Hoo, i have a book here 'Metalwork and Enamelling' written by Herbert Maryon that draws heavily on early work such as Sutton Hoo, i would read it twenty years ago and it deserves to be better known; written i think in the same practical outlook as Bernard Leech 'The Potters Book', both worth reading even if the field of activity is not your own.
I am talking here of the shear ability of hand and eye and simple tools to produce such stunning results, also you can browse on that link backwards and forwards to other work.
The added notes and quotes on the link are very worthwhile, for instance three or four pages further on we find ......
Anonymous 12th c. author: "God cannot be seen directly. The contemplative life that begins on earth will only be perfect once God has been seen face to face. When a gentle, simple soul has been elevated to speculative heights and when, breaking the ties of the flesh, it has contemplated what lies in heaven, it cannot remain long above itself, for the weight of the flesh pulls it back down to earth. Though it is struck by the immensity of the light on high, it is quickly reminded of its own nature; yet the little it has been able to taste of the divine sweetness is of utmost benefit to it, and soon thereafter, inspired by great love, it hastens to resume its upward flight."