This paper is an update of previous reviews by Bekker et al.
(2010, 2014) that will improve the quantitative framework we use to interpret IF deposition.
Conversely, the historian Brian Branston argued for the use of Old Norse sources to better understand Anglo-Saxon pagan beliefs, recognising what he perceived as mythological commonalities between the two rooted in their common ancestry.
It is not clear why such names are rarer or non-existent in certain parts of the country; it may be due to changes in nomenclature brought about by Scandinavian settlement in the Late Anglo-Saxon period or because of evangelising efforts by later Christian authorities. Shaw has however warned that many of these sites might not have been named by pagans but by later Christian Anglo-Saxons, reflecting spaces that were perceived to be heathen from a Christian perspective.
Much of this archaeological material comes from the period in which pagan beliefs were being supplanted by Christianity, and thus an understanding of Anglo-Saxon paganism must be seen in tandem with the archaeology of the conversion.
Based on the evidence available, the historian John Blair stated that the pre-Christian religion of Anglo-Saxon England largely resembled "that of the pagan Britons under Roman rule... However, the archaeologist Audrey Meaney concluded that there exists "very little undoubted evidence for Anglo-Saxon paganism, and we remain ignorant of many of its essential features of organisation and philosophy".
Further suggestions regarding the nature of Anglo-Saxon paganism have been developed through comparisons with the better-attested pre-Christian belief systems of neighbouring peoples such as the Norse.