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Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon Ship-Burial Site. Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the 6th and early 7th centuries Sutton Hoo is near Woodbridge in Suffolk Sutton Hoo.

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Presentation on theme: "Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon Ship-Burial Site. Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the 6th and early 7th centuries Sutton Hoo is near Woodbridge in Suffolk Sutton Hoo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon Ship-Burial Site

2 Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the 6th and early 7th centuries Sutton Hoo is near Woodbridge in Suffolk Sutton Hoo is the name of an area spread along the bluffs on the eastern bank of the River Deben opposite the harbour of Woodbridge The word "hoo" means "spur of a hill." It consists of a group of around 20 earthen burial mounds The rivers of the area formed paths of entry to East Anglia during the continental migrations to Britain of the 5th and 6th centuries, following the end of Roman imperial rule, and their control was important both in Roman and Anglo-Saxon times.

3 It was excavated in 1939, the finding, so evocative and illuminating of the origins of the English nation, was made on the very eve of the Second World War It is of a primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history which is on the margin between myth, legend and historical documentation It is central to understanding of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and of the period in a wider perspective. This burial site had escaped from being totally plundered, a fact that was another of the wonderful coincidences of the Sutton Hoo legend. The treasure was buried on the property of Mrs Edit May Pretty She decided to bequeath the treasure as a gift to the whole nation, so that the meaning and excitement of her discovery could be shared by everyone. The Sutton Hoo area has been a rich source of Roman archeological findings Within thirty years after the use of the Sutton Hoo cemetery culminated in the ship-burial, an important early monastery was founded by royal grant By the early tenth century the entire region was part of an early administrative region or regio known as the "Wicklaw'.

4 This was no general burying- ground, but was reserved for a select group of individuals buried with objects denoting unusual wealth or prestige. Most had been cremated, and each barrow was raised to commemorate one particular person. It was used in this way for about 50–60 years during the last quarter of the sixth and the first quarter of the 7th centuries. Most of the barrows include ashes of a man and a horse Some of the buried died in battle (warriors), others were executed (servants, sacrifices)

5 objects imported from the eastern Mediterranean area Bronze ewer (vizeskanna) Bowls Iron cups Ivory boxes Gaming-pieces Drinking vessels Belt-buckels (övcsat) Leather bags Chatelaine (övlánc) Pattern welded swords Shields Cauldrons(üst) Animal ribs, remains of food offerings Bronze brooches Dress fasteners Fragments of embroidered cloth English bue glass cups Shoulder-clasps (válpánt) Shields and shield-fittings Drinking horns and mounts Helmets Silver spoonsleather shoes Cushion/pillos stuffed with feathers Maplewood cups The mounds furthermore contained

6 Illustrations of some of the findings

7 Inhumation graves containing a man and horse together, signifying an equestrian role, are known from England and Germanic Europe Mound 7 was the remains of a grand cremation, in which horse, cattle, red deer, sheep and pig had been burnt with the deceased Although the material evidences reveal that rituals were not identical in all of the sites, the association of these objects and the ship in the grave shows an immediate connection between them

8 The Ship-burial site Although practically none of the original timber survived, the excavated form of the ship in Mound 1 presented a very perfect image A stain in the sand had replaced the wood but had preserved many details of the construction, and nearly all of the iron planking rivets remained in their original places. The ship was about 27 m long, widening to about 4.4 m in the beam with an inboard depth of about 1.5 m. It had been a seagoing craft of excellent craftsmanship

9 Who was in the ship? This question is unanswerable But given… – the exceptionally high quality of the materials (imported and commissioned) and the resources needed to assemble them – the imperial authority which the gold body equipment was intended to convey – the community involvement required in this unusual ritual at a cemetery reserved for an elite – the nearness of Sutton Hoo to a near-contemporary centre of royal power at Rendlesham – and the probable date-horizons the identification with Raedwald (Riler of East Anglia from c 600 AD until his death in c 624 AD. ) still has widespread popular acceptance.

10 Origins of the precious burial ornature The findings are very similar to Swedish examples, but are of superior quality The gold and garnet objects found in the upper body space are among the true wonders of Sutton Hoo. Precious metal objects are the works of a master-goldsmith of his age who had access to an East Anglian armoury containing the objects used as pattern sources. In some graves there were coins places in a purse. Possibly like the Roman obolus they were to pay the forty ghostly oarsmen in the afterworld, or were a funeral tribute, or an expression of allegiance. In one of the graves a silver dish probably of Italian origin was found, with the relief image of a female head in late Roman style worked into the bowl There were also exotic coloured hangings or spreads, including some (possibly imported) woven in patterns using a Syrian technique

11 From the gathering together of such possessions, and the combination or transformation of their themes and techniques in new productions, the synthesis of Insular art emerges. Drawing on Irish, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, native British and Mediterranean artistic sources, Insular art is a fusion more complex than the purely Anglo-Irish expressed by the term "Hiberno-Saxon" art.

12 Sandinavian connections It is debated whether the custom of furnished burial was explicitly pagan, or whether it was reaching a natural culmination when Christianity began to make its mark Beowulf, the great surviving example of heroic Old English poetry, describes funerals that are similar to the Sutton hoo one Beowulf is a work of heroic lore, not a scholarly history. However, the real eastern Swedish connections of the Sutton Hoo material reinforce this link The selection and arrangement of goods in these graves come to suggest that the Scandinavian connections of the Sutton Hoo ship- burial is more direct than the general overlap between English and north continental art of the period A possible explanation for these Swedish connections lies in the well-attested northern custom by which the children of leading men were often brought up not at home, but by some distinguished friend or relative

13 And a proof Above you see a helmet of a warrior found in Sutton Hoo Below is a Vendel era helmet from Sweden

14 And another one Shield from Sutton Hoo with shield fitting reassembled Vendel era shiled from Sweden directly comparable to the British finding

15 The treasure from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial site is exhibited in… The British Museum in London The Ipswich Museum, Suffolk, in an Anglo- Saxon Gallery The Sutton Hoo House (now Tranmer House) The National Trust visitor centre near the Sutton Hoo cemetery

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