Piece 60

My piece of the Bayeux tapestry at first glance doesn’t look like a very important piece.  It is just men on horses followed by a few archers.  But after studying this section of the Bayeux tapestry, I learned that it’s contents were actually a very important part of the story.

This piece is of the Norman soldiers charging the English.  The archers behind them are providing cover for the men charging on horses, archers usually were the last in the army.   The archers wore much less armor than the cavalry men, if any at all. One thing i noticed about the archers were that their clothes were all different colors.  They all had the same color scheme, but different items of clothing on them were different colors.   One archer is covered in full armor like the men on the horses, but the rest were armor less.  I found this odd because I am sure archers were just as likely to get hit by opposing arrows as cavalry men. Maybe they didn’t have enough armor to give to all the archers.  Spears seemed to be the weapon of choice for the warriors charging on horses.  Spears were long and could stab people easily while riding by them, they could also throw the spears to try to hit further targets.  Upon further research i found out that this piece is actually quite important, it  is important because it is a transition piece.  The horses in the pieces prior to my piece are walking and in my piece they move to a gallop. This is significant because the cavalry are increasing speed riding into battle.The caption of this plate is that the battle has begun. So even though this section of the tapestry might seem uneventful, it actually is quite the opposite, it is the start of the action.  The bottom border of my piece contains animals, but in the next piece the bottom borders are filled with dead soldiers and mangled body parts.  In the piece after, all of the dead English are seen with arrows sticking out of them, thanks to the archers in my piece most likely, this leads me to believe that in my piece they are still far away from the English. I don’t see any men dead from spears yet, so at this point there still must be some distance between the armies.

The Battle has Begun

The Battle has Begun

Some more interesting things I found out about this piece were that the lower border and upper border contain animals that are thought to be fables.  I am not sure what specific fables they are suppose to represent, because some of the animals are unidentifiable, still to this very day nobody knows what some of the animals are. The archers in piece 60 are the first Norman warriors that are seen on foot. In all the pieces before where the Normans are traveling or marching to war, all have been on horseback, pr ships. I thought this was a significant piece because it is the last piece before combat, the war starts in the section after my section.  So piece 60 is a very important piece because it is a transition piece from non violence to violence.  Transitioning is a very important aspect in art, and I think they transitioned well in this tapestry.

The archers ready their arrows while behind the cavalry.

The archers ready their arrows while behind the cavalry.

Work cited


“Britain’s Bayeux Tapestry.” (2000-2004): n. page. <http://www.bayeuxtapestry.org.uk/&gt;.


Hicks, Carola. The Bayeux Tapestry. London: Vintage, 2007. Print.


Wilson , David. The Bayeux Tapestry. New York, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1985. Print.

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