Martin Carver ; with major contributions by Angela Evans ... [et al.] ; based on field recording by Andrew Copp ... [et al.] ; with line illustrations by Victor Ambrus ... [et al.] ; photography by Nigel Macbeth
Sutton Hoo is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1939 it was the scene of the discovery of a fabulous treasure buried in a ship 30 metres long. In 1983 a new project began with the aim of discovering the context of the great Sutton Hoo burial ship. Using revolutionary fieldwork procedures, this new campaign uncovered a hectare of the cemetery, surveyed the surrounding region and made direct comparisons with monumental practices in neighbouring kingdoms across the North Sea. It was found that the burials were highly diverse - cremations in bronze bowls, with a horse, in a bed, and in boats and ships - and that many had been ransacked. Among the new finds were a new ship-burial and the first complete horse-burial, with its harness, to be excavated in England. From the eighth to tenth century, this 'burial ground of kings' became an execution site, allowing the new Christian authorities to exercise power through the public disposal of dissidents. Two groups of unfurnished burials were discovered, one associated with the posts of a gallows or gibbet.
"Sutton Hoo: A Seventh-Century Princely Burial Ground and its Context" offers a description of all the investigations undertaken since 1983. The early medieval artefacts, the early medieval landscape and the environmental and prehistoric sequences are studied by contributing experts. The book provides a complete scholarly companion to the archaeological research and interpretation of Sutton Hoo.