The Anglo-Saxon ship burial
Amateur archaeologist Basil Brown famously made the discovery of a lifetime back in 1939, when he brushed away the Suffolk soil and revealed the richest intact early medieval grave in Europe. More than a grave, it was a spectacular funerary monument on an epic scale: a 27m (88.6ft) long ship with a burial chamber full of dazzling riches.
As Basil and a team of archaeologists dug deeper, they unearthed fine feasting vessels, deluxe hanging bowls, silverware from distant Byzantium, luxurious textiles, gold dress accessories set with Sri Lankan garnets and the iconic helmet with human mask.
The archaeologists and landowner Edith Pretty were dumbfounded. This was clearly the grave of an important person – someone meant to be remembered. But who was it? And what can the Sutton Hoo excavation tell us about Anglo-Saxon society?
More information on the British Museum site