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AD 700 - Sutton Hoo

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Author Topic: AD 700 - Sutton Hoo  (Read 738 times)
Roman Centurion
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 10:18:24 pm »



It is a long walk from the Visitor Centre to the Burial Ground - it is said to be only 500 metres, but it feels more like half a mile.

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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 10:18:59 pm »

On your right, notice Tranmer House. This is where Mrs Pretty lived, who sponsored the original excavations in 1939, and then gave the treasure to the British Museum. It is now an Educational Centre

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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 10:19:38 pm »



Then on your left, notice the glimpses of the River Deben, and imagine what it must have been like to haul a ship up from the river to the burial place
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 10:20:30 pm »

Eventually the cemetery appear, in the form of Mound 2.



It must be said, it is a little misleading in that Mound 2 is the only mound to have been 'restored' in the course of the recent excavations. It has been restored more or less to its original height, but since none of the other mounds have been restored, mound 2 dominates the whole cemetery.

Mound 2 was never as big, or as important, as Mound 1. It was nevertheless probably the second most important mound, for it too contained a ship burial (probably) though unlike Mound 1, it had been robbed, and therefore no trace remained of the original burial.

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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 10:21:13 pm »



The visitors are not allowed to go in among the mounds, but have to keep to the path and walk around the outside.

At first the mounds are barely visible, but gradually the outline of the low mounds become clear



 

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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2008, 10:21:54 pm »



Note the field on the other side of the pathway.

It has a most unusual crop - turf!

Every year it is sown to grass, the grass is mown and made into beautiful turf, which is them lifted and taken off to some lucky garden somewhere.

When the turf is growing it is a lovely grassy sight; after it has been harvested, the field is just bare earth.

 

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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2008, 10:22:41 pm »

The ship mound itself is, after all this, a little disappointing. There is a viewing platform from which it can be viewed - just so you know where it was. The ends of the ship are marked out by two thin posts - one of them can just be seen slightly left of centre. But this is where the greatest treasure ever discovered in Britain, was once buried.


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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2008, 10:23:44 pm »

The Excavations under the Visitor Centre

What was Sutton Hoo like, before the great ship burial? When the National Trust was given Sutton Hoo, they set about building a Visitor Centre. This meant that they had to carry out excavations under the Visitor Centre - presuming there would be nothing there. To their surprise, the excavations revealed a second, smaller and hitherto unknown Saxon cemetery

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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2008, 10:24:31 pm »

Excavations in progress

Excavations in progress under the proposed new Visitor Centre.



The most important grave was that of a warrior. He was buried covered by his shield, and these fierce images decorated his shield. The top image possibly represents a sea creature with his jaws to the right, the bottom one perhaps a bird of prey with a snake in his claws.

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« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2008, 10:25:04 pm »



There were not only burials (inhumations) in the cemetery, but also cremations. One of the cremations was in the splendid bronze hanging bowl, with 'Celtic' style decorations

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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2008, 10:25:40 pm »



In 1986, a local farmer, harrowing a field at Bromeswell, not far from the cemetery found three pieces of a shallow bronze bucket about the size of a casserole dish. There was an inscription around the top: "Use this in good health, Master Count, for many happy years". When the bowl was cleaned, they discovered a frieze of hunters, seen right. The bucket was probably made in a workshp in Antioch during the 6th century AD, and eventually made its way to the Anglo-Saxon world.

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Twilight of the Gods
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2008, 10:44:09 pm »

Two more artifacts from Sutton Hoo:

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