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Sutton Hoo(sŭt`ən ho͞o), archaeological site near Woodbridge, SE Suffolk, E England, containing 11 barrows. Excavations here in 1938–39 revealed remains of a Saxon ship (c.660), which with its gold and silver treasures is now in the British Museum. The absence of a body and of personal objects in the ship has led archaeologists to conclude that the site was a cenotaph rather than a grave.
an ancient tumular grave located east of Woodbridge, in Suffolk, England. Excavations conducted in 1938 and 1939 uncovered a burial in a large boat. Although the wood had rotted, the discovery of iron nails made it possible to reconstruct the outline of the boat and to determine that it was a burial ship similar to the burial ships discovered in central Sweden. The grave held many valuables, including a gold buckle in the animal style and various other ornaments, a purse containing Merovingian gold coins, a sword with a gold hilt, a shield, a lance, a steel helmet (probably of Swedish origin), and many silver bowls dating from the fifth and sixth centuries. There were no skeletal remains. Apparently the grave was a cenotaph, possibly of the East Anglian king Aethelhere, who died in the mid-seventh century.
REFERENCESWilson, D. M. The Anglo-Saxons. London, 1960.
Green, C. Sutton Hoo. London, 1963.