Sutton Hoo A Drama in Three Acts
IN 1939 a spectacular ship burial was exca vated at Sutton Hoo. An Anglo-Saxon king had been buried in his ship surrounded by the most spectacular treasure of gold, silver, and exotic regalia ever discovered in this country. But what about the rest of the ceme tery, the other mounds that surrounded the great ship burial mound? The Society of Anti quaries and the British Museum sponsored eight seasons of excavations directed by Mar tin Carver, now Professor of Archaeology at York University, and these have now finally come to an end.
The work culminated in what they scarcely dared hope to find - another untouched burial: a young warrior buried with his sword and his horse. Fortunately, perhaps, the mound under which he was buried was later ploughed flat, so that the grave robbers missed it, and it was only recognised by a detailed survey. This was an unexpected bonus. But as a result of the systematic examination of the other major barrows, all of them robbed, it has been possible to recover the outline of what each of them contained and to present the story of the
Left. The final season brought an unexpected bonus, two untouched burials under a single mound. On the left is the burial of a young warrior, while his horse is buried in a separate pit to the right. Photo: M. O. H. Carver.
Left. When the oak coffin was lowered into the grave it tilted over and the body came to rest to one side up against the sword to the left. Outside the coffin to the right was a bronze cauldron with a pot inside it, and a bucket adjacent. Bottom right are the remains of the haversack containing food. The horse harness is at the far end of the coffin.
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