Medieval Europe + Byzantine
- Anglo-Saxon England
- Sutton Hoo ship burial
- The Sutton Hoo ship burial
- Sutton Hoo ship burial (quiz)
- The Sutton Hoo purse lid
- The Sutton Hoo helmet
- Decoding Anglo-Saxon art
- Great square-headed brooch from Chessell Down
- Fibulae (quiz)
- The Franks Casket
- The Lindisfarne Gospels
- The Lindisfarne Gospels
- Lindisfarne Gospels (quiz)
- Codex Amiatinus, the oldest complete Latin Bible
- The Utrecht Psalter and its influence
- The Fuller Brooch
Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, c. 700 (British Museum, London) Multiple bronze, gold and silver objects of Anglo Saxon origin, found in Suffolk, England, including: a helmet, sceptre, sword, hanging bowl, bowls and spoons, shoulder clasps, a belt buckle, and purse lid. Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Want to join the conversation?
- has anything else been found from this time period that corresponds with the findings here?(62 votes)
- Thank you for posting this link! An amazing find that I hope to see in person some day.(4 votes)
- When someone finds old artifacts and stuff on their land, is it theirs or does the government take it away from them? or do they get paid or does their land get taken away?? what happens then?(21 votes)
- In the United States, you can keep what you find on your own land. In Mexico, the government gets to keep what ever is found underground--artifacts or oil. It changes from country to country.(5 votes)
- Please help me understand the value of looking at ancient artifacts without sufficient context. Is it anthropology?(9 votes)
- There are many reasons why you'd look at such objects without much context. One reasons is to excite people by their beauty into researching more about the culture that produced such items. Another could be to dispel the myth that the dark ages / middle ages craftsmen could only produce crude products with their limited technology. Personally, I'm now off into the interwebs to find out more about the Sutton Hoo burial.(22 votes)
- Why would a perfectly good ship get buried?(5 votes)
- 1, such ships were only for burial purposes
2, such burial customs are remains from saxon kings 'old' homeland - Scandinavia(16 votes)
- Why is the ship called Sutton Hoo?(8 votes)
- Sutton Hoo is the name of an area spread along the bank of the River Deben opposite the harbor of the town of Woodbridge. The burial site is south of Woodbridge.(5 votes)
- who else invaded England other than the danish(0 votes)
- Actually, ^Jet Simon^, William the Conqueror became King of England, and remained the Duke of Normandy. He was never the King of France at any point in his life, and the fact that the King of England was also a French Duke, was one of the precipitating causes for disagreements between the two countries concerning whether or not the English King was a subject of the French King.
Also, the Danes and other scandinavian tribes did repeatedly invade, and conquer, England many times over. In fact, one of the things that made William the Conqueror so significant is that he unified a non-unified, and weak island, and united it under, essentially, one rule.
Finally, It was William of Orange, and his wife, Mary, who was the daughter of the deposed King James II, who were elected sovereigns of England, not the Danes.(3 votes)
- Why would there be a ship in the middle of land? And since it is there did they have the technology to get it there?(3 votes)
- The ship was a part of the burial - a tradition that spread from Bronze Age Scandinavia to England. The Anglo-Saxons likely dragged it to the place where they wished to bury it.
More information on Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=SU3Kk_3L8zUC&pg=PA159&lpg=PA159&dq=sutton+hoo+value&source=bl&ots=HZ7bHEMQQd&sig=4_T75Y5ygkU8sI2ThJr4H6m5K9Y&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j5B1VeupIsjWsAXK34GADw&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false(3 votes)
- Has what the thieves stole been recovered? Or at least some of it? And if the boat was already found by thieves, how would have they dug such a deep and big hole by him/her self.(4 votes)
- How much money is the Stutton Hoo ship Burial worth?(2 votes)
- I searched long and hard, and couldn't find an answer to your question. I don't think anyone has tried putting a price on these objects. If you asked an archaeologist how much they are worth, she would likely blink at you and say, "Why, young man, we know as much as we do about early Anglo-Saxons thanks to these objects! They are priceless!"(3 votes)
(light piano music) - [Dr. Zucker] We're on the second floor of the British Museum in London and in the center of one of the English history galleries is an enormous glass case filled with the artifacts from Sutton Hoo. And one of the areas of focus holds just a few objects that you can barely see until you get up close. - [Dr. Harris] These beautifully crafted gold, garnet, and glass objects were found in a burial that dates probably from the early seventh century. This is the period we call Anglo-Saxon and this was a burial site of a very important person. England at this time was divided into a series of kingdoms and the incredible wealth displayed in this burial seemed to indicate that this was a royal burial. Today, we think it may have been King Raedwald. The most famous pieces are a purse lid and two gorgeous shoulder clasps. - [Dr. Zucker] They're usually adjoined by a spectacular belt buckle but that's been borrowed for an exhibition at the British Library, which we get to go see tomorrow. - [Dr. Harris] Let's look closely at the purse lid first. - [Dr. Zucker] We should mention that this a reconstruction. The gold, the garnets, the glass is all original but the white background would've originally been bone or perhaps walrus ivory. So what we're seeing is the most intricate, most detailed knotting of forms, where line intertwines, where animals and humans and abstract line create these spectacular patterns but they're so minute that I can barely see them with my eyes. - [Dr. Harris] What we're looking at is something that art historians often call an interlacing animal style, which is typical of Anglo-Saxon England. The designs along the top are abstract interlacing but along the bottom, we see figures and animals. On the corners, symmetrical designs, a human figure with animals that are sometimes described as wolves on either side of the figure. - [Dr. Zucker] And in the center, a bird of prey often described as an eagle which seems to be attacking a smaller bird, perhaps a duck. The craftsmanship is stunning. Not only do you see inlaid garnet but you also see a glass technique called millefiori, an Italian word which means a thousand flowers. You'd take canes of glass and bundle them together, warm them so they fuse, and you can slice them into these thin, beautiful patterned fields. - [Dr. Harris] We also have the technique of cloisonne, gold strands that enclose glass or garnets. - [Dr. Zucker] And you see this exquisite use of garnet and millefiore in other objects that were found at Sutton Hoo as well, including an unparalleled set of what we think were shoulder clasps. - [Dr. Harris] We think these held armor in place. The large rectangular field is filled with stepped rhomboids, these squared shapes that, if you look very closely, have stepped edges. - [Dr. Zucker] What the jeweler has done is to take gold leaf, gold foil, and just stamp it with a pattern and to place that behind the garnet so that while the garnet is not faceted, it still reflects light in the most extraordinary way. - [Dr. Harris] And we see very fine working of gold called granulation. - [Dr. Zucker] Here the jeweler has used a complex technique to fuse tiny granules of gold in very precise ways to the surface of the clasp itself. - [Dr. Harris] We see interlaced serpents. We can just make out their eyes and their heads and their tails. - [Dr. Zucker] The eyes are easy to recognize because those are little bits of inset blue glass. This interlacing is very familiar to people who have looked at slightly later medieval manuscripts. So all of this was found at a place called Sutton Hoo in the ancient kingdom of East Anglia. What the archeologists found were the imprint of a large ship, a ship that had actually been used and had been hulled up from an estuary close by for this important ceremonial burial. No trace of the body and almost no trace of the ship remains we think because of the acidic soil but the gold survived. - [Dr. Harris] The word Anglo-Saxon refers to this period between Roman rule and then the Norman invasion in 1066. And the word Anglo-Saxon comes from the Angles and the Saxons, people who migrated to the island of Great Britain in the sixth century. - [Dr. Zucker] From what we would now consider northern Germany and perhaps southern Denmark. - [Dr. Harris] And some of the grave goods that were discovered at Sutton Hoo may indicate the earliest Christianity here in England. - [Dr. Zucker] For example, some of the bowls that were found have crosses engraved into them. - [Dr. Harris] And two spoons are inscribed with the names Paul and Saul, that is Paul from the New Testament. - [Dr. Zucker] And the finds are extraordinary in their own right. But they also tell us a lot about this culture. They remind us that Britain was not an isolated island and that there was extensive trade. We have garnets from Sri Lanka. There's even an enormous silver platter that was made a hundred years earlier in the Byzantine Empire. - [Dr. Harris] We've even found bitumen in the tomb, which has recently been shown to come from Syria. So we're talking about a world where the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and as far north as Britain were all interconnected. - [Dr. Zucker] This is among the most sophisticated jewelry that was produced in the early medieval period anywhere in Europe. (light piano music)