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Estate in Suffolk, England, the site of the grave or cenotaph of an Anglo-Saxon king. One of the richest Germanic burials ever found in Europe (1939), the Sutton Hoo site contained an 80-ft (24-m) wooden ship equipped for the afterlife (but with no body). It displayed both pagan and Christian features. The burial's grave goods demonstrate a high level of craftsmanship and included solid gold and silver objects, such as cups and bowls, and weapons, including a bejeweled sword. There were also coins from the Continent and a dish bearing the stamp of the Byzantine emperor Anastasius I, which reveal broader contacts for the people of England at the time than had been previously recognized. The burial may have been for Raedwald (d. 624?) or Aethelhere (d. 654). Parallels to Swedish finds suggest a possible Swedish origin for the East Anglian royal dynasty.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Sutton Hoo, visit Britannica.com.
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