Metcalf (eds.), Sceattas in England and on the Continent (British Archaeological Reports [hereafter BAR], Brit.
Luxury goods found on rural sites -- a cowrie shell at Puddlehill in Bedfordshire, north French pottery at Chalton in Hampshire -- suggest wealth, exchange, and more than subsistence agriculture;(117) sceatta finds at hillforts point to the marketing of livestock;(118) the warriors who travelled in search of ring-giving kings are likely to have moved from one royal vill or high-status site to another;(119) bishops, if they did their duty, took the Gospel into remote countryside;(120) a travelling Briton, passing through a settlement, could join the locals in a feast.(121) There were a dozen forms of mobility to provide the putative means of transport for the infected fleas of bubonic plague and to link separated settlements via the infected humans of pneumonic plague.
Whitby and Jarrow, with their sceatta coins and craft products, may be cases in point.(126) At others, the reputation of a saint's shrine such as Cuthbert's might be expected to draw in `fugitives and guilty men', probably more intent on sanctuary than religious experience.(127) Of course, not all regions were thickly planted with monasteries and not all monasteries filled all these functions.
That artefact is the sceatta, the commonest of all Anglo-Saxon coins.