Within a short time, following discussions with the Ipswich Museum, the British Museum, the Science Museum, and Office of Works, Phillips had taken over responsibility for the excavation of the burial chamber.  The pagan custom of furnished burial may have reached a natural culmination as Christianity began to make its mark. The three volumes of Bruce-Mitford's definitive text, The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial, were published in 1975, 1978 and 1983.. Grimes and H.M. Chadwick, This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 19:00. 1.3. a purse lid framed in gold with plaques executed in garnet and millefiori. At Sutton Hoo's visitor centre and Exhibition Hall, the newly found hanging bowl and the Bromeswell Bucket, finds from the equestrian grave, and a recreation of the burial chamber and its contents can be seen. Not quite as grand as the ship burials, these were the graves of residents from a variety of low to relatively high status families. Weighing more than 400 grams, the buckle is actually a hollow box that opens at the back on a hinge beneath the loop. This appears to have been the final occasion upon which the Sutton Hoo cemetery was used for its original purpose. Finds from Mound 17. There are boars' heads on the end of each eyebrow and a dragon head above the nose. The nearby visitor centre contains original artefacts, replicas of finds and a reconstruction of the ship burial chamber. Insular art drew upon Irish, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, native British and Mediterranean artistic sources: the 7th-century Book of Durrow owes as much to Pictish sculpture, British millefiori and enamelwork and Anglo-Saxon cloisonné metalwork as it does to Irish art.  In the same area stood a set of maplewood cups with similar rim-mounts and vandykes, and a heap of folded textiles lay on the left side. In the 1990s, the Sutton Hoo site, including Sutton Hoo House, was given to the National Trust by the Trustees of the Annie Tranmer Trust. Here are some facts about Sutton Hoo, the burial site of an Anglo-Saxon king. Sutton Hoo revealed In 1938, Mrs Edith Pretty, owner of the Sutton Hoo estate, invited local archaeologist Basil Brown to excavate a group of low grassy mounds on the edge of a 30m-high bluff above the Deben estuary in Suffolk, England. The burial chamber was evidently rich in textiles, represented by many fragments preserved, or by chemicals formed by corrosion. British Museum London, United Kingdom. In 1934, Pretty died, leaving a widow, Edith Pretty, and young son, Robert Dempster Pretty. Whilst Basil was to discover that each of the mounds had been robbed, still they revealed hints of the glorious finds to come. Having had the previous year’s experience, he felt ready to take on Mound 1, the largest of the burial mounds. Sort by: Top Voted.  In Mound 2 he found iron ship-rivets and a disturbed chamber burial that contained unusual fragments of metal and glass artefacts. Their artistic and technical quality is quite exceptional.. As a result of his interest in excavating previously unexplored areas of the Sutton Hoo site, a second archaeological investigation was organised. Using genealogical data, he argues that the Wuffing dynasty derived from the Geatish house of Wulfing, mentioned in both Beowulf and the poem Widsith. Over time, the remnants of the pre-existing Brittonic population adopted the culture of the newcomers. So what was found at Sutton Hoo in 1939? 1.3.1. the purse of leather has disappeared, it contained 37 Merovingia… Sutton Hoo was used as a training ground for military vehicles. Sutton Hoo is England's Valley of the Kings, and the Anglo-Saxon ship burial found in the King's Mound is the richest burial ever found in northern Europe. Later archaeological campaigns have solved mysteries left by the original dig and revealed more about life in this Anglo-Saxon kingdom.  They scientifically analysed and reconstructed some of the finds. Repairs were visible: this had been a seagoing vessel of excellent craftsmanship, but there was no descending keel. He possessed spoons which might have been Christian objects.  This contained a series of small burr-wood cups with rim-mounts, combs of antler, small metal knives, a small silver bowl, and various other small effects (possibly toilet equipment), and including a bone gaming-piece, thought to be the 'king piece' from a set. These are the work of a master-goldsmith who had access to an East Anglian armoury containing the objects used as pattern sources.  The similar selection and arrangement of the goods in these graves indicates a conformity of household possessions and funeral customs between people of this status, with the Sutton Hoo ship-burial being a uniquely elaborated version, of exceptional quality. One theory suggests that the spoons (and possibly also the bowls) were a baptismal gift for the buried person. One burial lay in an irregular oval pit that contained two vessels, a stamped black earthenware urn of late 6th-century type, and a well-preserved large bronze hanging bowl, with openwork hook escutcheons and a related circular mount at the centre. For the original discovery and finds, and their analysis, see Bruce-Mitford 1975, 104–117, 110–111. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in …  South of the sceptre was an iron-bound wooden bucket, one of several in the grave. The burial goods from Sutton Hoo are remarkable - gold weapons and armour, inlaid ornaments, silver and tableware.  A ship-burial at Snape is the only one in England that can be compared to the example at Sutton Hoo.  Beginning in 1928, another gravefield containing princely burials was excavated at Valsgärde. No other Anglo-Saxon cuirass clasps are known. However, the soil at Sutton Hoo is very acidic.  Pretty decided to bequeath the treasure as a gift to the nation, so that the meaning and excitement of her discovery could be shared by everyone. Carver argues that pagan East Anglian rulers would have responded to the growing encroachment of Roman Christendom by employing ever more elaborate cremation rituals, so expressing defiance and independence. Late 500s to early 600s CE. a Saxon cemetery.  Carver's re-investigation revealed that there was a rectangular plank-lined chamber, 5 metres (16 ft) long by 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) wide, sunk below the land surface, with the body and grave-goods laid out in it. Its picture of warrior life in the hall of the Danish Scylding clan, with formal mead-drinking, minstrel recitation to the lyre and the rewarding of valour with gifts, and the description of a helmet, could all be illustrated from the Sutton Hoo finds. Shoulder clasps from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo 550/650. He had possessions covered in gold and jewels.  They included quantities of twill, possibly from cloaks, blankets or hangings, and the remains of cloaks with characteristic long-pile weaving. The burial chamber had collapsed and reduced the helmet to a pile of fragments. When the topsoil was removed, early Anglo-Saxon burials were discovered in one corner, with some possessing high-status objects. The Sutton Hoo treasure from Mound 1 is extensive. This is when the curators get out some of their great treasures and allow members of the public to hold and touch them. The site is important in understanding the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia and the early Angl… Whilst we didn’t uncover anything to rival previous discoveries, the finds told the long history of Sutton Hoo, from prehistoric flints and evidence of Anglo-Saxon camp fires right up to a bread packet from the 1980s! It was used in this way from around 575 to 625 and contrasts with the Snape cemetery, where the ship-burial and furnished graves were added to a graveyard of buried pots containing cremated ashes. The cemetery also contained bodies of people who had died violently, in some cases by hanging or decapitation. It is one of the most famous Anglo-Saxon finds. He uncovered five rivets in position on what turned out to be the prow of a ship. In May 1939, Brown began work on Mound 1, helped by Pretty's gardener John (Jack) Jacobs, her gamekeeper William Spooner, and another estate worker Bert Fuller. The "great" gold buckle is made in three parts. The article speaks about a "momentous find" on the Sutton Hoo estate on the banks of the River Deben, opposite Woodbridge. ODNB, Basil John Wait Brown. There were two gilt-bronze discs with animal interlace ornament, a bronze brooch, a silver buckle, and a gold-coated stud from a buckle. The BBC, ITV and Radio 4 all came along to enjoy the palpable sense of anticipation as we dug knowing that there was a real possibility of finding something incredible. Visitors are not allowed to stand on the mounds without a guide. Mound 4 was the last of the 1938 season, and whilst it had a very shallow pit, and also showed signs of having been robbed, careful excavation revealed some tantalising fragments of bronze, high-quality textile and bone. Alex Burghart looks back to the discovery of the fabulous Anglo-Saxon burial at Sutton Hoo, and ponders how far we've come in our knowledge of the period since 1939 October 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm The year 1939 saw a rare a ray of light shine into the Dark Ages, and made people realise that the Anglo-Saxon period did not deserve that gloomy moniker. The Conservatives' privatisation policies signalled a decrease in state support for such projects, whilst the emergence of post-processualism in archaeological theory moved many archaeologists toward focussing on concepts such as social change. , Archaeological site near Woodbridge, Suffolk, The cremations and inhumations, Mounds 17 and 14, The head area: the helmet, bowls and spoons, The weapons on the right side of the body, Upper body area: purse, shoulder-clasps and great buckle, Basil Brown and Charles Phillips: 1938–1939, A full description of the locality and environment has been produced by, Archaeological studies of this region include the East Anglian Kingdom project and, since 1974, the Ipswich Excavation Project, undertaken for, The example from Eschwege, Niederhonen in the Lower Werra valley, a tributary of the River Weser, is displayed at, The fragments were used first in 1945–1946. Inhumation graves of this kind are known from both England and Germanic continental Europe,[c] with most dating from the 6th or early 7th century. Evans 1986, 85–88.  The Sutton Hoo helmet differs from the Swedish examples in having an iron skull of a single vaulted shell and has a full face mask, a solid neck guard and deep cheekpieces. Above these was a silver ladle with gilt chevron ornament, also of Mediterranean origin. , In the south-west corner was a group of objects which may have been hung up, but when discovered, were compressed together. The team also determined the limits of Mound 5 and investigated evidence of prehistoric activity on the original land-surface. The identification and discussion of these burials was led by Carver. One small mound held a child's remains, along with his buckle and miniature spear. Which religion was emerging during the time period Sutton Hoo was created? Also found within the ship was a purse containing 37 gold Merovingian (Gaulish) gold coins dating from the 620s.  Attached to this and lying toward the body was the sword harness and belt, fitted with a suite of gold mounts and strap-distributors of extremely intricate garnet cellwork ornament.  On this plate was deposited a piece of unburnt bone of uncertain derivation. They dug small pits that contained flint-tempered earthenware pots. Sutton Hoo, in Suffolk, is the home to an important Anglo-Saxon archaeological site. Described by Jon Newman in Carver 2005,483–487. Gallery facts By AD 500, invasions, religious infighting and political strife had disrupted life in the Roman Empire and it eventually broke down, only enduring in the east as the Byzantine Empire. One cemetery had an undisturbed ship burial with a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts; most of these objects are now held by the British Museum. Over two weeks in May 2018, Sutton Hoo staff and volunteers helped archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) with their investigations. Since 1940, when H.M. Chadwick first ventured that the ship-burial was probably the grave of Rædwald, scholarly opinion divided between Raedwald and his son (or step-son) Sigeberht. In many of the male graves were found a spear and a shield. The ship impression was re-exposed and found to have suffered some damage, not having been back-filled after excavation in 1939. Phillips, T.D. After being appointed by landowner Edith Pretty, local archaeologist Basil Brown’s initial excavation at Sutton Hoo took place in June and July of 1938, and focused on three of the burial mounds. It is very important to historians because it tells them a great deal about the … In 1935–1936 Phillips and his friend Grahame Clark had taken control of the society. The burial chamber had collapsed and reduced the helmet to a pile of fragments. The maker derived these images from the ornament of the Swedish-style helmets and shield-mounts. They were deliberately collected. Casts were taken of several of these. Where did the set of silver bowls come from? At first it was undecided as to whether they were Early Anglo-Saxon or Viking objects. The origin of the term 'Viking' is uncertain, perhaps coming from Old Norse words for pirates, seaborne expeditions, or an area in south-eastern Norway called Viken. At one side of the heaps lay an iron hammer-axe with a long iron handle, possibly a weapon. There were also three blank coins and two small ingots. Twenty-six wooden frames strengthened the form. Test your knowledge of Early Medieval art. The inclusion of drinking-horns, lyre, sword and shield, bronze and glass vessels is typical of high-status chamber-graves in England. The ship was about 27 meters (89 feet) long and 4.2 meters (14 feet) wide amidships and would have been powered by 40 oarsmen. The mound was later restored to its pre-1939 appearance. Compare, for instance, the. The curator, Mr Maynard then turned his attention to developing Brown's work for the museum.  Those found in the burial chamber include a suite of metalwork dress fittings in gold and gems, a ceremonial helmet, a shield and sword, a lyre, and silver plate from the Byzantine Empire.  Two cremations were found during the 1960s exploration to define the extent of Mound 5, together with two inhumations and a pit with a skull and fragments of decorative foil. It was eventually abandoned and became overgrown. Through painstaking work, we’ve carefully cleaned and reshaped each bucket fragment into its original form. Sutton Hoo, estate near Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, that is the site of an early medieval burial ground that includes the grave or cenotaph of an Anglo-Saxon king. Bruce-Mitford 1978, 536–563; Evans 1986, 8991; Plunkett 2001, 73–75. At its centre was a ruined burial chamber the size of a small room. These curved gold shoulder clasps are feats of astonishing craftsmanship. Much of what we know about the Anglo-Saxons comes from graves like the one discovered at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Its proximity is near the parish of Sutton. The Ashmolean's involvement convinced the British Museum and the Society of Antiquaries to help fund the project. Scholars believe Rædwald of East Anglia to most likely be the person buried in the ship. A ship was buried here and is thought to be the tomb of an Anglo-Saxon king. , Sutton Hoo's name describes an area spread along the bank of the River Deben at the small Suffolk village of Sutton and opposite the harbour of the small town of Woodbridge, about 7 mi (11 km) from the North Sea, overlooking the tidal estuary a little below the lowest convenient fording place. Main Exhibition of reproduced and original objects important tombs made out of that there still... 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