Sutton Hoo treasure trail is sought in England

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have discovered an Anglo-Saxon settlement that most likely relates to the famous ship burial.

During excavations near Randlesham (Suffolk County, UK), archaeologists found a village, which, according to preliminary estimates, is at least 1400 years old. Such settlements are not uncommon in the east of England, but the newly discovered one is located less than five kilometers from the famous Sutton Hoo mound necropolis. And researchers believe that there is a direct link between these two archaeological sites.

Recall that the Sutton Hoo necropolis began to be excavated at the initiative of the owner of the site in 1938-1939. And this did not happen because of the passion of the English lady for archeology: after the death of her husband, she became interested in spiritualism and believed that objects from the burials could be useful to her.

Edith Pritty herself did not want to dig the mounds and turned to the Ipswich Museum for help, where she was advised to ask an amateur archaeologist for help (the museum was not interested in the prospect). As a result, Basil Brown, a self-taught archaeologist, made perhaps the most important discovery in the history of England.

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He found in the burial mound a trace of a buried ship with the richest grave goods. Then Brown was joined by professional archaeologists from the University of Cambridge. As a result, they discovered a ship burial unparalleled in the UK. Dating it – VI-VII centuries AD.

The ship itself, about 30 meters long, has not survived, only its imprint in the soil. There were no remains of a buried person, which led to the hypothesis that Sutton Hoo is a cenotaph. But we do not know of examples of cenotaphs with such rich gifts. So, most likely, the bones just completely collapsed – the surrounding soil is very acidic.

A sword and shield decorated with gold, precious filigree buckles, a unique helmet, a purse with Merovingian coins – an extremely incomplete list of finds from the mound. The funeral rite itself was clearly not easy: imagine how much effort it takes to carry a 30-meter ship overland and bury it.

Obviously, the man buried in Sutton Hoo was not an easy man. There is an assumption that Redwald of the Wuffing dynasty , the ruler of the Kingdom of East Anglia, which existed on the lands of modern Suffolk and Norfolk in the 6th-10th centuries , was buried there . But there is no evidence of this hypothesis yet.

The discovery of Sutton Hoo turned the view of historians about early medieval England. At the beginning of the last century, it was believed that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were, to put it mildly, backward. In the 5th-6th centuries, the Anglo-Saxons conquered England, formed their kingdoms – and scholars believed that such a process was necessarily accompanied by barbarism, a reduction in trade ties, a contraction of the money supply, an increase in the importance of subsistence economy and – usually – a reduction in complex ritual activities. The finds at Sutton Hoo canceled this performance. Some of the objects found in the burial mound were of foreign origin – right up to Byzantium. But many were clearly made locally. But where?

Perhaps the new discovery will answer this question. During recent excavations at Randlesham, archaeologists have found not only the remains of ordinary residential buildings, but also structures that probably played the role of workshops. The molten metal fragments and slag found there indicate that the workers were engaged in blacksmithing and crafting items from a copper alloy.

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Other artifacts found at Rendlesham include spindles and looms used in spinning and weaving, as well as garments and jewelry such as a copper alloy brooch and buckle. They also found earthen vessels for cooking and storing food and bones of slaughtered cattle, sheep and pigs. The dishes are of particular interest: there were also earthen vessels in the Sutton Hoo mound, and analysis of new finds and comparing them with old ones can provide interesting information.

It should be noted that in 2008-2014 in the same Suffolk county, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a large structure, which was considered the palace of the kings of East Anglia. If this is the case, then the workshops found now were located practically in the center of the kingdom and their workers could well meet the needs of the country’s rulers – including making what was then included in the funeral gifts.


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