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 Sutton Hoo and grave goods

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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Sutton Hoo and grave goods    Sun 15 Oct 2017, 16:04

We visited Sutton Hoo last weekend - it’s well under an hours drive for us, and always a lovely day out.

As posters may know, it is the site of burial mounds from Anglo-Saxon East Anglia, overlooking the River Deben. The mounds were first ‘examined’ at the instigation of Mrs Edith Pretty, the landowner. 

She asked the local archaeologist Basil Brown (a local government employee I think) to start the work, but it was 1939 and the eve of war. The majority of the excavation was done well after the end of the war, and it was an astonishing find. Mrs Pretty donated it all to the nation, and it now sits in the British Museum. Replicas are on display in the Woodbridge museum (Sutton Hoo).

One of the displays is the final resting place of the chieftain, with all his grave goods arranged around him. Some of the items that are of particular interest are a board game and a musical instrument, plus beautifully crafted buckles, brooches and of the famous helmet.

My question is who is the person buried there? Some say King Raedwald, because the treasure was so fabulous. However, the leather purse buried with him contains non-English coins. 

I wonder who he was?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Sutton Hoo and grave goods    Sun 15 Oct 2017, 16:16

Rædwald is actually not a bad guess (even though the claim has never extended beyond wishful thinking on the part of historians). The burial dates from roughly the correct period, lies in roughly the correct location for that lad, and even the non-Saxon coins may be explained by his rather "flexible" approach to allegiance and alliance. Frankish money in fact makes even more sense than Saxon.

For my money (non-Frankish), if the poor nun dug up in a pauper's grave in Leicester can be re-interred as "Richard III" then I have no problem whatsoever with the Sutton Hoo lad being called Rædwald.

I was there about ten years ago and was disappointed to find no associated interpretative centre - par for the course I suppose with NT sites. Local museums were recommended, as was the British Museum, but on that particular visit I had no time for such detours. Do they have one now?
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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Re: Sutton Hoo and grave goods    Sun 15 Oct 2017, 16:25

There is a large exhibition hall now. 

It has those explanatory history boards, music (which I am not too keen on), replicas of metalworking, cooking implements, swords, clothing, jewellery, and the ship’s burial itself. 

The NT has, within the last few months, received a grant of £1.5 million to upgrade the exhibition and the site to make it more attractive and impressive for visitors.

The problem, as far as I see it, is that is costs nothing to see the real thing in the British Museum but about £9 per person to see the replicas.

Edited to add: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo and they got £1.8million, not £1.5


Last edited by Binky on Sun 15 Oct 2017, 16:28; edited 1 time in total
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Sutton Hoo and grave goods    Sun 15 Oct 2017, 16:27

Still worth a visit, I reckon. I'll try and get back there next year, I think. I'm planning a not-so-grand tour of Brexitland before it's towed out to the Atlantic. Smile
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