Type: Cemeteries, Grave goods, Plates, Ceremonial weapons and armor, Spoons, Drinking vessels, Liturgical objects, Belt buckles
Date: Sixth and early seventh centuries
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): United Kingdom
Medium: Gold, Garnet, Glass, Silver, Gilt-silver
Description: This Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Suffolk, England, was the site of twenty burial mounds, the largest of which was a 30-meter ship-burial excavated in 1939. The various mounds contained coins that help with dating the burials, as well as symbols of power (e.g., decorative weapons, helmets, buckles, shoulder clasps), domestic items (e.g., food and drink containers), liturgical objects (spoons, plates), gaming pieces, musical instruments, and much more. Many of the items have zoomorphic interlace typical of the local metalwork, but other items offer evidence of trade and distant travel.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 3
Repository and Online Resources: • Watch the British Museum's video reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo burial chamber. • Watch the British Museum's archival footage of the Sutton Hoo excavation. • Read more about the ship burial on the British Museum website. • Listen to a podcast on the Sutton Hoo helmet in the BBC series, "A History of the World in 100 Objects." • Read "Decoding Anglo-Saxon Art" on the British Museum blog for help untangling interlaced imagery.
Image Credits: © Trustees of the British Museum
Tags: Status and identity, Weapons, Metalwork, Burial and tombs, Treasure, Western European, Scandinavian, Northern European, Polytheist, Christian, Greek, Coins, Works in focus, Works in textbook