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Sutton Hoo Archaeological Dig


Matthew Butler

on 4 October 2011

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Transcript of Sutton Hoo Archaeological Dig

History of Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo Archaeological Dig
by: Matthew Butler Sutton Hoo:

How does this relate to the Anglo-Saxons?
-The Sutton Hoo Ship is said to be the burial ship of a king of East Anglia.
-The Sutton Hoo dig provides us with artifacts and historical evidence of the Anglo-Saxon culture and history. CONNECTION TO The Anglo Saxons - In Beowulf, descriptions of funeral ceremonies and practices resemble the ship burial discovered at Sutton Hoo. Beowulf:
-The first European text written in a spoken language: not Latin.
-Setting: early sixth century →
--> this places Beowulf before the seventh century and before the Anglo-Saxons traveled from Sweden/Denmark to England (where Sutton Hoo artifacts were found) The Sutton Hoo Society:
-founded in 1984 to provide support for the Sutton Hoo Research Project
-based its excavations in southeast Suffolk, England, near the River Deben
-->In this burial site, many graves were discovered belonging to the Anglo-Saxon peoples of the 7th century. -Several archeological digs that were first discovered in 1938

*They were a patriarchal society, but women had rights & were respected. Background of the Anglo-Saxons How the burial at Sutton Hoo took place Archaeologists have discovered that the Anglo-Saxons built a trench on top of a cliff next to the Deben River. A ship was placed in the trench through this river. The coffin, gold, and other precious items were put in a hut in the middle of the ship. A mound was built around the ship and filled in the trench. *They converted from paganism to Christianity.
--> Heroic code vs. Christian teachings
--> Beowulf Though the ship's timbers rotted, an imprint of the actual ship was left in the dirt. Becasue of this, the exact proportions and design of the ship were discovered *They became an agricultural community and had houses mainly made of wood, although some were made of stone. *Were said to be barbarians
--> They were illiterate, but artistically sophisticated: the Old-English language, religious manuscripts, & poetry. *Valued the heroic code & kinship.
-->values of courage, loyalty, generosity, & protection
--> king, comitatus, & the comites [social standing]
--> revenge, wergelds
--> "the fame of a good name after death" How do the Sutton Hoo archaeological findings relate to Beowulf?
Beowulf's monumental burial gives an example of his greatness. It was glorious farewell with cremation, a tower, treasures, and he was remembered by his people (all of these are customs that were practiced by Anglo-Saxons) - Beowulf died by dragon's fire which resembles Anglo-Saxon cremations (believed fire was sacred). -Beowulf includes historical information from the 6th century according to the artifacts found in the archeological digs. Beowulf opens with the funeral of Scyld and closes with the funeral of Beowulf this displays the importance of funerals to Anglo-Saxons (especially heroes and royalty). Mound 1
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