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Sutton-Hoo – Anglo-Saxon Burial Grounds.

Area Map

Mrs. Pretty, a landowner in Sutton-Hoo decided to investigate the sand mound in her land that she received from her ancestors.

The Burial Grounds

She arranged for people to excavate one of those sand mounds and what was found was a ship with the undisturbed remains of the Anglo-Saxon king.

Reconstructed Mound after the removal of what was inside

The spectacular artifacts that emerged from the ship burial are unique in England for their magnificence, comprised what is considered the greatest treasure ever discovered in the UK.

The recreated burial-ship at Sutton Hoo

The cemeteries are located close to the River Deben estuary and other archaeological sites. The newer burial ground is situated on a second hill-spur about 500 meters (1,600 ft) upstream of the first.

They appear as a group of approximately 20 earthen mounds that rise slightly above the horizon of the hill-spur when viewed from the opposite bank of the nearby river.

The dead king was buried in a ship with some treasures and his artifacts. Historians believe that the most likely person buried in the ship could be King Rædwald of East Anglia.

A so-called ‘ghostly’ image of the buried ship was revealed during excavations in 1939.
The ‘ghost’ effect was the result of sand discolored by the organic matter which had rotted away

The site was at first excavated under the auspices of the landowner, but when its significance became apparent, national experts took over. During the 1960s and 1980s, the wider area was explored by archaeologists and many other individual burials were revealed.

The site is important in understanding the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia and the early Anglo-Saxon period.

The nearby visitor centre contains original artifacts, replicas of finds, and a reconstruction of the ship-burial chamber. The site is in the care of the National Trust.

A similar 7thcentury ship-burial graves were found in Vendel in Sweden.

A Swedish shield from Vendel