Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bury My Heart at Sutton Hoo

According to Angus Wainwright, the ship burial contains the remains of Raedwald, King of East Anglia.
The artefacts date from around 600 AD - maybe just a little before and just a little after. Basically you have a 30-40 year period when that grave could have been created and that covers a lot of Kings of East Anglia - which some people still doubt.

I think it is safe to assume that it is a king, the riches would suggest that. In fact it is the richest burial discovered in Britain and the richest discovered north of the Alps which would suggest that not only is it a king, it is a very important king. This is what leads people to believe it is Raedwald
One interesting thing is that the grave includes Christian objects, such as silver spoons. Although Raedwald converted to Christianity, he continued to pay homage to pagan gods also. So, it would not be odd to find Christian artifacts in a pagan burial.

Sutton Hoo was apparently a royal cemetery, though only for a short time.
As far as I am aware Sutton Hoo is unique in that it is the only burial ground we have found which contains only royal burials. Unless we find a name on something, we will never know for sure, but looking at the evidence, I can see no reason why it shouldn't be Raedwald.

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