Sutton hoo By leni layburn

Sutton Hoo farm, in Suffolk, has recently been declared the site of a 6th and 7th century graveyard. The burial site contains a ship burial, including many Anglo-Saxon artefacts. There is a very interesting story of this discovery.

It started when the owner of the land, Edith Pretty dreamt of ghosts parading around the hills in her garden. She hired an archaeologist, Basil Brown, to unearth the treasure beneath. There are 18 mounds at Sutton Hoo, some tiny and some the size of 15 grown men but most were ransacked before they could be excavated by trained archaeologists.

It wasn't until a year after being hired that Basil Brown began to dig the eleventh mound. It was under this that he made his amazing discovery. He says "I could hardly believe it!" The longboat uncovered would have taken over a hundred men to carry and it was filled with jewellery and weapons.

A ghost image of the ship during excavations in 1939

This helmet was found on the ship. The ship almost certainly belonged to a important person or warrior. The ship was hauled up the river to the burial site by hundreds of men. The man buried here must have therefore been well respected.

Many historians have concluded that Raedwald the ruler of East Angels was the person who was buried with the ship. However, we will never be able to say for definite.

Fragments of various textiles were found in a chamber in the longboat including blankets and bright coloured cloths.

Credits:

Created with images by AMB Brescia - "anglo_saxon_warrior 02"

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