Talk:Sutton Hoo

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Former good article nomineeSutton Hoo was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
March 19, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
October 19, 2010Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Two images[edit]

Agreed that both images can be used, and walking around Sutton Hoo last January was both atmospheric and uninformative, so I think the new image works. See similar images here and here to use if if think they are better. --Amitchell125 (talk) 15:50, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

No, the one used seems best. Johnbod (talk) 16:21, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to split the article[edit]

Support. The Sutton Hoo treasures need to be discussed more fully (much has been written by experts that is not yet included in the article), and the article as it currently stands would become very large if a deal more discussion was added. If the treasures were described in a more summarised form, the balance of the whole article would be improved, especially if other aspects of Sutton Hoo were expanded (for instance, the history of the Kingdom of the East Angles during this period, or a more detailed discussion of the candidates for the person buried/commemorated under Mound 1). --Amitchell125 (talk) 17:28, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Oppose You should make a specific proposal, but what you are arguing for above is more detailed subsidiary articles on the "treasures", retaining the existing depth of coverage here. This is not a split, & obviously is fine. If anything is too detailed here, & should be split, it is the dig history, imo. Nor would I support more history here. Johnbod (talk) 13:48, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Good idea. The current article is too large for a general encyclopaedia, so any attempt to reduce the content by splitting off into sub-articles is well worth considering. I also agree that the treasures could be written about in more detail, and that possibility is not provided for in this article. Articles on individual items could be considered further down the line if any section in Sutton Hoo treasures grew large enough, though having a detailed and expansive over view of the treasures would always be of value. SilkTork ✔Tea time 20:53, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Mound 1 should, at the very least, have its own article. All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 00:01, 26 March 2014 (UTC).


"The ship-burial has from the time of its discovery prompted comparisons with the world described in the heroic Old English poem Beowulf, which is set in southern Sweden. It is in that region, especially at Vendel, that close archaeological parallels to the ship-burial are found, both in its general form and in details of the military equipment that the burial contains." etc pp - This seems to be false, afaik Beowulf is set in Denmark. -- (talk) 10:35, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

But Beowulf is one of Geats, from Sweden, and much of the original Danish territory is now in Sweden. Maybe we should say that, or fudge the issue, but I'd wait for an expert to do it. Johnbod (talk) 15:21, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
"heroic Old English poem Beowulf, which is set in southern Sweden. It is in that region, especially at Vendel, that close archaeological parallels to the ship-burial are found, both in its general form and in details of the military equipment that the burial contains." It is worth noting that Beowulf is set in Geatland, but Vendel lies in the Svealand region which is the region around lake Mälaren in Sweden. It seems as if most ship-burials similar to the Sutton Hoo site were discovered in the historical province of Uppland in the Svealand region, not in Geatland. Burial sites include Vendel, Valsgärde, Tuna near Alsike, and Ultuna near Uppsala. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

The action of Beowulf takes place in both the modern countries of Denmark and Sweden, with references to the Netherlands and possibly Belgium too. Beowulf is purported to have come from part of what is now Sweden, and gone to Denmark, and heard stories about happenings elsewhere, had some adventures, and gone back to Sweden. But for the majority of the time of the poem, he is at the court of the kings of the Danes, ie in Denmark (both ancient and modern).

The Beowulf wiki gets round the problem by saying it's set in 'Scandinavia' which is probably the easiest way of resolving the problem that two small kingomes (those of the Danes and the Swedes) swallowed up their neighbours and sometimes bits of each other. Beowulf was neither a 'Swede' nor a 'Dane' in the context of the poem, and in that sense came from neither 'Sweden' nor 'Denmark'. Markaeologist (talk) 16:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)


The intro is too long. Ben Finn (talk) 17:39, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Cenotaph or tomb?[edit]

We are far too categorical about the nature of Mound 1. While it is certainly true that phosphate deposits were found, and that Chapter 8 of Bruce-Mitford's mammoth 3 volume work came to the conclusion that these were the human remains of the "subject" of the mound, a review of the book, in Anglo Saxon England concluded that "there is no evidence to support the contention that a human body was ever buried in this ship."

A 2004 review in Physics Methods in Archaeometry comes closer to the burial hypotheses calling the phosphate found near the spear-tip "strong evidence" for a grave.

We have to recall, of course, that even relatively lowly burials could included substantial amounts of meat, and animals - as in mound 17, and indeed the other patch of phosphate in Mound 1 is put down to decayed bone artifacts. The absence of horses or dogs, and the lack of intimate items associated with any buried corpse (personal jewellery, clasps, buckles etc.) and in particular shroud rings, are cited among other reasons to doubt the grave theory.

All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 00:23, 26 March 2014 (UTC).

??!!! The "personal jewellery, clasps, buckles etc." in the burial are the most famous items! Johnbod (talk) 02:41, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
By personal items, or personalia, in this context is meant items from the burial clothes, which should have been found in the body space. I don't have access to a plan of the mound, showing the locations of the phosphate and the various grave goods, but the burial chamber was in the centre, the gold and silver items and regalia were at the aft, the cooking items etc, in the prow. All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 17:48, 29 March 2014 (UTC).
You said "personal jewellery", and the set here are supremely that. Not being on the body might be part of the compromise between pagan and Xtian burial practices, about which it is tricky to say anything. The coverage we have is consistent with that of the RS. Johnbod (talk) 19:08, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
This may be old news, but FWIW etc., A. C. Evans (1986 – see bibliography), p. 102, says:

... although only very small levels of residual phosphates survived a difference did exist between the levels inside and outside the burial chamber, which confirmed that there was a major source of phosphate in the grave; unfortunately it is not possible to tell whether the source was human or animal. ... [C]onfirmation of this phenomenon from other Anglo-Saxon sites and modern Scandinavian excavations suggests that the interpretation of the ship-grave as an inhumation is the most probable.

Nortonius (talk) 19:04, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Saxons are from Saxony. Why don't you go to a german webiste and find your Germanic tribes[edit]

Please fix Germania, Germaina Magna it's clearly shown that many Czech towns where part of Germania Magna and please look at the mountain ranges on the maps, Swiss alps, tatra mountains, Sudetes. Even Olomouc over in the North east of the Czech Republic had two different latin names (Iuliomontium,Roman fort (Mons Iulii). Also its a fact the the Blucina Sword from 5th century was found near Brno and from a germanic king. Czech cities located in Germanina Magna taken from Ptolemy's maps 2nd century AD located in present day Czech Republic. Furgisatis u České Budějovice, Meliodunum in the sand, Strevinta for Hříměždic to the West of Sedlčany, Casurgis is Prague, Redintuinum u Loun, Nomisterium in Litoměřice, Hegetmatia in Mladá Boleslav, Budorgis in Cologne, Coridorgis in Jihlava, Eburum u Hrádku is Znojmo, Parienna in Breclav, Eburodunum is Brno, Setuia at Komořan near Vyškov, Felicia is Vyškova, Asanca is Kojetína, Carredunum is Rýmařov I have supplyed many links below to verify.

Atilla the Hun never went through Czech lands. Do your own research he went up the Danube ( Germany, Austria) and the Rhine West Germany, France) and he was killed in France(Gaul) in 454AD. Also its a fact that the Blucina Sword from 5th century was found near Brno(Latin:Eburodunum) and was from a Germanic king. Two gold Germanic swords of the same type have been found in present day central Germany located in Pleidelsheim and Villingendorf. Look at the links above and make your own opinion. And then decide if an Americian writer(Note: Americia was and will always be a former British and English colony)who wrote a 20th century book about European history when he or she has never ever been to Europe. Note Americia did not exist in the middle ages only native Indians lived there before 15th century. Casurgis from Australia is watching 12.07.2014 And yes I am part English. The Mythicial Saxons are from here: and: . You still believe that there was a mass migration??. All your old documents from 5th century in Britannia where in Latin and you where mostly Christians. Germania Magna where Pagans as even your Danish vikings were: to the late 10th century. Remember your King Alfre in 8th century went to Rome to be crowned king. Forgive me i was not taught this at school but at least I am capable to still learn and educate myself. Thou knows nothing!. Casurgis out — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:21, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

What does all this have to do with East Anglia? The East Angles didn't call themselves 'Saxon', so perhaps didn't come from Lower Saxony but Angeln (or at least believed that they had done so); and anyway, the East Angles were later called the 'North Folk' after (it is said in AD527, maybe 70 or 80 years after the original Anglian settlements in the area) that 'pagans came from Germany...' - it is likely that these settlers were the 'South Folk' around Ipswich, and their continental origin is not more closely described. If the material culture of these settlers is closer to Sweden than north-west Germany or anywhere else the 'Anglo-Saxons' are supposed to have come from, then it's likely that there were strong links between Suffolk and Sweden (whether ot not that area was part of the Kingdom of Denmark at that point). Of course, the South Folk could be from continental Germany, rather than Scandinavia, and the links with Sweden could have come later, because if this is the grave of Raedwald, he lived about 100 years after the South Folk probably came to Britain anyway.

Markaeologist (talk) 12:11, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Good Article[edit]

Well, this isn't really about the article. What ever happened to rating the sections? I really liked that. If Wikipedia still had ratings, I would give Sutton Hoo 5 stars. It was a well written article. I don't like history at all and I was really into this section. This is my favorite topic yet! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Johnbod (talk) 04:29, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Can we have reasons why it's not Viking[edit]

The article tells us that at first it wasn't clear whether it was early Anglo-Saxon or Viking, backed by a citation. I think the article might be improved by briefly listing the reasons why the Viking possibility was rejected, backed by a citation. (I only came here in the hope of finding those reasons.) Tlhslobus (talk) 05:56, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

That was the scrappier finds in Mound 2 " In Mound 2 he found iron ship-rivets and a disturbed chamber burial that contained unusual fragments of metal and glass artefacts. At first it was undecided as to whether they were Early Anglo-Saxon or Viking objects.". Once the mound 1 burial chamber artefacts were found there was no question these were AS not Viking, just on stylistic grounds. Norse/Viking material in Britain would be a good deal later for one thing. Johnbod (talk) 15:15, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Johnbod. Tlhslobus (talk) 06:23, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Possible alternative helmet image[edit]


Not sure if it is better than the current image or not. Background is a bit busy.©Geni (talk) 17:46, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

That's a pretty great photo, just cluttered. How about this photoshopped version? --Usernameunique (talk) 00:52, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that's good. Johnbod (talk) 05:47, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

The Helmet and the Festival of Britain[edit]

Footnote 6 says that "The fragments [of the Sutton Hoo helmet] were used first in 1945–46[58][59] by Herbert Maryon to produce the reconstructed helmet that was displayed at the Festival of Britain in 1951, but were reinterpreted by Nigel Williams in 1970–71[60][61] using materials not previously identified and methods not previously possible. It was from this second reconstruction that a replica helmet has been based.[62]" The part of the note about the Festival of Britain was added by @Neddyseagoon: in this 2006 edit, but is unsourced. Does anyone know whether this (i.e., that the helmet was displayed at the Festival) is true or not, and if so, what source says so? At least two sources mention the Sutton Hoo exhibit at the Festival, but they don't mention the helmet. The Catalogue of Exhibits (p. 114) mentions two exhibits under "The Treasure of Sutton Hoo": "B119 The Excavation ; reproduced under the direction of R. L. S. Bruce Mitford," and "B120 Details of the treasure ; by permission of British Museum." Additionally, a 1954 Sutton Hoo bibliography (pp. 116–17) states that a "model of the ship (2/3 natural size), with replicas of the grave goods in full scale or a little over, formed part of the "People of Britain" exhibit at the Festival of Britain in 1951; this exhibit was arranged by Rupert L. S. Bruce-Mitford, Assistant Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities of the British Museum and spiritus rector of present-day Sutton Hoo research." Nothing is said of the actual artifacts being displayed, let alone the helmet. I was also under the impression that the first imagined rendering of the helmet was done for the 1966 (2nd ed.) Map of Britain in the Dark Ages. Under "cover design," that map says ". . .in this, the first attempted reconstruction in colour, as compared with the helmet as hitherto published or as at present seen in the British Museum." Anyone have any ideas? Neddyseagoon isn't answering, so asking here. --Usernameunique (talk) 23:58, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

You'd think the BM page would mention if it had been exhibited, but I presume it doesn't. Johnbod (talk) 05:27, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps, but maybe not that far back. The BM page only lists one exhibition (2010–11), and the page for the 1974 replica only lists exhibitions as far back as 2003. There's also the fact that if the helmet were displayed in 1951 it would be the original (Maryon) reconstruction, not the second (Williams) reconstruction, which the BM could somewhat logically consider to be a separate object. --Usernameunique (talk) 12:45, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe that's because there weren't any, though it might have been in a couple of internal ones in the 70s onwards on AS art - esp. The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture, A.D.600-900 Paperback – 1 Dec 1991, by Leslie Webster (Editor), Janet Backhouse (Editor). Johnbod (talk) 15:12, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I thought I read somewhere about the original helmet traveling to Sweden soon after reconstruction, and the replica traveling to somewhere in Asia soon after creation, but I can't find where I read that (assuming my memory is correct). I would guess that the lack of information about earlier exhibitions is a reflection of the relative newness of the BM's website, rather than an indication that neither object traveled earlier.
Found one more SH mention in the 1951 catalogue, by the way: "B159 Reconstruction of the Stag Decoration on an iron standard found at Sutton Hoo ; British Museum" (p. 106). Possibly the thing on the red book in this photo with Harold Plenderleith, although there are several (partial?) castings in the foreground as well. --Usernameunique (talk) 03:22, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Looks like we finally have an answer for where this came from. Not from an esoteric reference work, but from YouTube. Masterpieces of the British Museum: The Sutton Hoo Helmet, a BBC documentary. --Usernameunique (talk) 08:59, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

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"Wicklaw region"[edit]

The map in the "Location" section has the caption "The Wicklaw region". What does this mean? There is no corresponding explanation in the text and I cannot find it mentioned in any other article. The map is "based on Suffolk Map by John Kirby (c 1730)". Was "Wicklaw" an Anglo-Saxon term? Or was it a term used in 1730? Thank you. (talk) 22:41, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

From the early Middle Ages this was the name of a group of five and a half hundreds over which the abbey at Ely, in Cambridgeshire, held rights that normally belonged to the crown. The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire calls it "Wicklaw",[1] but the edition of the 12th-century Liber Eliensis (in Latin) that I have to hand indexes it as "Wicklow" (Blake, E.O. (ed.), Liber Eliensis, Royal Historical Society, 1962). An edition with translation was published in 2005, and fortunately is on Google Books: this also indexes it as "Wicklow".[2] So Wicklaw/Wicklow was a geographically defined area: the Victoria County History also calls it the "Liberty of St Etheldreda", that is of Æthelthryth, who is closely tied with the history of Ely Abbey. This map of the hundreds of Cambridgeshire as it was in 1830 should give you an idea of the size of a group of five and a half hundreds, but I couldn't tell you which they were right now. Apart from that, I'd say that these five and a half hundreds didn't necessarily include the hundred of Ely, as they might have formed some sort of separate jurisdiction before being acquired by Ely Abbey; but I could be wrong. Anyway the map in the article indicates that Wicklaw/Wicklow was in Suffolk, so the five and a half hundreds ought to be among those in this map from 1830 – although the names and boundaries of hundreds were not necessarily static, and might have changed since the early Middle Ages. I would guess that the name "Wicklaw" was still current in 1730, if the original author of the map used it, but I haven't checked. And this "Wicklaw/Wicklow" is surely an Anglo-Saxon name in origin. "Wick" (from Old English "wic") means dwelling, settlement or, if it's a farm, often a dairy farm; and "low" (presumably from Old English "hlaw") means mound, hill or mountain (Ekwall, E., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (4th ed.), Oxford University Press, 1960) – hundred courts frequently met at prominent features in the landscape, hills being the most obvious. I hope that answers your questions for now, but clearly more needs to be said about it somewhere on WP. Unfortunately I don't have time for that right now, maybe soon. Cheers. Nortonius (talk) 00:29, 9 February 2018 (UTC)