What is Sutton Hoo?
Sutton Hoo is the site of two 6th- and early 7th-century cemeteries. One contained an undisturbed ship burial including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artifacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, now held in the British Museum in London. Sutton Hoo is of a primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history that is on the margin between myth, legend and historical documentation.
You should begin by learning a bit about Sutton Hoo – not because the site has specific connections to Beowulf, but because the artifacts and customs revealed there are very similar to those that existed in the culture of Beowulf.
1. When was the ship burial at Sutton Hoo unearthed? 1939 2. Why would archaeologists assume that the burial was likely from a time period around 620 AD? There were coins found dating to around 620 AD. 3. What country does the armor appear to originate from? Sweden 4. In what other countries are ship burials common? Denmark 5. Who is speculated to have been buried at the site? What is notable about this king? Redwald, coverted to Christianity 6. How was the ship buried? A large trench was dug on the top of a hill and the ship was dragged from the river and hallowed out where the treasures and coffin was put. The ship was then covered back up. 7. How big was the ship? 90 feet long 14 feet wide
8. What conclusions can you draw about the engineering skills of the people who created this burial site? Based on how savage and primitive you may have thought these people were, how does Sutton Hoo change your estimation of their accomplishments? They had a complex understanding of engineering and it completely changed my perspective of their accomplishments
http://www.archaeology.co.uk/specials/the-timeline-of-britain/sutton-hoo.htm 1. Describe the battle helmet in your own words. The battle helmet was recovered in pieces and was just reconstructed so you can see the welding marks 2. What items were placed near the body? Treasures like weapons pots and shields 3. How many burial mounds are at the site? 19
4. Who was buried in the two excavated graves in the picture under the picture of the aerial view? A horse and his rider 5. How did the pagans respond to the emerging presence of Christianity? They made more extravagant burials 6. On the shield of the “important warrior” what images are depicted? Sea creature and bird of prey 7. What did the farmer find in 1986? 3 pieces of shallow bronze bucket
1. What is in Mound 17? A horse and his rider
2. What is in Mound 7? A cremated burial in a bronze bowl 3. How did Mound 1 escape being robbed? The robbers missed the central chamber by a few feet because of removed dirt
Look at the pictures of the archaeological dig.
1. Choose the picture you find most interesting and describe in 2-3 sentences what the picture is of and why it is interesting to you. The picture of the ship is very interesting because it shows how huge of a project it was to excavate and how large the site was. It is an engineering marvel that people so long ago could accomplish things like this.
http://community.fortunecity.ws/victorian/eliot/722/Sutthoo.htm 1. Read the Beowulf passage describing the burial of Scyld Scefing. Who was Scyld? The king in the ship 2. Where did they lay out Scyld’s body? In the ship
3. What was put around the body? Treasures like shields weapons and pots 4. What was done in the last 6 lines? A prayer
5. What do the images of the artifacts from Sutton Hoo tell you about the people who created the artifacts? It shows they had a complex understanding of engineering and science 6. How do these artifacts relate to Beowulf?...