Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, in the English county of Suffolk, is the site of two 6th- and early 7th-century cemeteries. One contained an undisturbed ship burial including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, now held in the British Museum in London.
The most significant artefacts from the ship-burial, displayed in the British Museum, are those found in the burial chamber, including a suite of metalwork dress fittings in gold and gems, a ceremonial helmet, shield and sword, a lyre, and many pieces of silver plate from East Roman (Byzantium).
Of the two grave fields found at Sutton Hoo, one (the "Sutton Hoo cemetery") had long been known to exist because it consists of a group of approximately 20 earthen burial mounds that rise slightly above the horizon of the hill-spur when viewed from the opposite bank. The other, called here the "new" burial ground, is situated on a second hill-spur close to the present Exhibition Hall, about 500 m upstream of the first, and was discovered and partially explored in 2000 during preparations for the construction of the hall. This also had burials under mounds, but was not known because they had long since been flattened by agricultural activity.
Carver believes that the cremation burials at Sutton Hoo were "among the earliest" in the cemetery. Two were excavated in 1938.
Under Mound 3 were the ashes of a man and a HORSE placed on a wooden trough or dugout bier, a Frankish iron-headed throwing-axe and imported objects from the eastern Mediterranean, including the lid of a bronze ewer, part of a miniature carved plaque depicting a winged Victory and fragments of decorated bone from a casket.
Under Mound 4 was the cremated remains of a man and a woman, with a HORSE and perhaps also a DOG, as well as fragments of bone gaming-pieces.
In Mounds 5, 6, and 7, Carver found cremations deposited in bronze bowls.
In Mound 5 were found gaming-pieces, small iron shears, a cup, and an ivory box.
Mound 7 also contained gaming-pieces, as well as an iron-bound bucket, a sword-belt fitting and a drinking vessel, together with the remains of HORSE, cattle, red deer, sheep, and pig that had been burnt with the deceased on a pyre.
Mound 6 contained cremated animals, gaming-pieces, a sword-belt fitting, and a comb.
The Mound 18 grave was very damaged, but of similar kind. 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. In level areas between the mounds, Carver found three furnished inhumations. One small mound held a child's remains, along with his buckle and miniature spear. A man's grave included two belt buckles and a knife, and that of a woman contained a leather bag, a pin and a chatelaine.
The most impressive of the burials without a chamber is that of a young man who was buried with his HORSE, in Mound 17.
The HORSE would have been SACRIFICED for the funeral, in a ritual sufficiently standardised to indicate a lack of sentimental attachment to it.
Two undisturbed grave-hollows existed side-by-side under the mound. The man's oak coffin contained his pattern welded sword on his right and his sword-belt, wrapped around the blade, which had a bronze buckle with garnet cloisonné cellwork, two pyramidal strapmounts and a scabbard-buckle.
By the man's head was a firesteel and a leather pouch, containing rough garnets and a piece of millefiori glass. Around the coffin were two spears, a shield, a small cauldron and a bronze bowl, a pot, an iron-bound bucket and some animal ribs. In the north-west corner of his grave was a bridle, mounted with circular gilt bronze plaques with interlace ornamentation.
Although the grave under Mound 14 had been destroyed almost completely by robbing, apparently during a heavy rainstorm, it had contained exceptionally high-quality goods belonging to a woman. These included a chatelaine, a kidney-shaped purse lid, a bowl, several buckles, a dress-fastener, and the hinges of a casket, all made of silver, and also a fragment of embroidered cloth.
Sutton Hoo link:
Purse lid from the Sutton Hoo ship burial
SUTTON HOO AND SCYTHIAN ART
Sutton Hoo : 6th-7th c AD...!
Scythian : 6th-5th c BC...!
at the time of the Turks in Central Asia:
"At that time we must remember, there was hardly such a thing as a town in Anglo-Saxon England...." H.G.Wells...link
"and history is written not by scholars, but by partisans impersonating scholars.!"