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Thread: Sutton Hoo

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    Sutton Hoo

    Sutton Hoo, Suffolk: On the Trail of the Anglo-Saxons

    Source: Telegraph (UK) (7-28-09)
    Seventy years ago, the owner of a Suffolk estate invited guests to celebrate the unearthing of a 'Viking' ship on her land. Little did she know it would turn out to be one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds of the century.

    The sherry party that Mrs Edith Pretty threw at her home above the River Deben in Suffolk on July 25 1939 was one of those occasions that everyone remembers for the wrong reasons. The invitation, dispatched to the great and good of the locality – including the curator of the Ipswich Museum and the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk – was to celebrate the discovery of a "Viking ship" buried on her land. Along with the sherry, there was to be a lecture by Charles Philips of Cambridge University, who was the leading archaeologist on the dig.




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    Middle Eastern Bitumen Discovered in an Anglo-Saxon Boat Burial at Sutton Hoo

    Sutton Hoo in East Anglia is one of the most important archaeological sites in England. The weapons, clothing and other objects buried in the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries show that trade networks in the 6th and 7th century reached as far away as Europe and Asia. Now new research conducted at the British Museum and University of Aberdeen reveals that trading even resulted in a solid form of oil known as bitumen making its way all the way to England from what is now Syria.

    The graves at Sutton Hoo vary in size but one of them contains the “phantom” of a boat – the outline remains of a vessel probably used to ceremonially bury a warrior and many of his worldly goods, including his famous helmet . Alongside the body were found several small, centimetre-sized lumps of tar.

    After spending a nation’s lifetime in British soil, these lumps have spent a human lifetime in the British Museum, where they have been safely curated for 70 years. Our research team, led by the museum’s Rebecca Stacey along with Pauline Burger, retrieved the lumps of tar from the archives and began analysing them .

    The museum had catalogued the lumps as pine tar, made by heating wood that contained resin. Pine tar is sticky, water-repellent and easy to make and was probably used in the 6th and 7th centuries to waterproof things. Dr Stacey is an expert in this kind of pine tar but her analyses showed the Sutton Hoo tar was actually oil, the kind that comes from rocks. The question was “which rocks?”.

    To answer that question, we had to assess the lumps’ chemical fossil content. My colleague John Parnell has a comprehensive knowledge of places in Britain where oil can be found at the surface due to natural seepage and exposure. But surprisingly, he was unable to match the Sutton Hoo tar to any seeps or deposits in Britain.

    This suggested it originated from outside of the UK.

    Bitumen from the Middle East was used in the ancient world for many things including embalming, medicine and of course water-proofing. This usage left an archaeological record of bitumen that we could examine to look for a match.


    Sutton Hoo Bitumen samples. Burger et al (2016)

    Bitumen families are a little different to oil families. They have additional chemical characteristics acquired when oil is converted into bitumen. The kind of bitumen used in the ancient world was formed by microbes consuming the liquid parts of oil and leaving behind mostly solid residues . The results of this microbial conversion vary depending on the location of the bitumen.

    So far, the Sutton Hoo tar has the strongest match to a bitumen deposit in modern-day Syria. While this might seem surprising, many foreign and exotic treasures have been found at Sutton Hoo, and these small pieces of ancient Syrian oil are just one more.

    But there may still be another surprise. We know the chemical composition of the lumps, the rough date of their burial and their point of origin. What we don’t know is what they were used for. Many of the other objects from Sutton Hoo have clear uses, functions or symbolism, including the swords, shields, combs and crockery.

    But we don’t have this information for the pieces of tar. What function did they have or what symbolism did they carry? Why are there tiny pieces of Syrian tar in an Anglo Saxon grave? Why did somebody put them there? It seems Sutton Hoo is keeping some of its secrets hidden for now. Until they are revealed, I am waiting to be surprised.


    Source: O
    riginally published on The Conversation - republished under a Creative Commons license.

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    Women analysing "Pech" : Pitch, Bad Luck .

    Pech und Schwefel are Naphta and Sulphur .


    Now embrace the mudsilmes , because they found Middle Eastern Bad Luck in British Soil .
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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    Ghost ship of Sutton Hoo to sail again centuries on

    Name:  sutton hoo.jpg
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    The gold and silver treasures of Sutton Hoo have dazzled archaeologists and the public for decades. Now experts believe that creating a working, full-size replica of the ship in which they were discovered will hold the key to understanding how the Anglo-Saxons started England’s seafaring tradition.
    The 90ft vessel, dating from the early 7th century, was found in a burial mound in Suffolk 80 years ago. It has been described as a “ghost ship” because only rows of rusted rivets and an imprint of its long-rotted timbers remained for excavators.
    Based on these, a team of archaeologists, historians and shipwrights has used computer-modelling techniques to create a 3D plan of the ship that will be used to construct a replica capable of undergoing arduous sea trials.


    Volunteer experts are erecting the frame on which the keel will be constructed, starting next month. The Ł1 million project will harness authentic historical materials and building techniques, including joining the oak planks of the hull in overlapping, clinker fashion, using 3,598 numbered rivets that can be sponsored by the public for Ł20 each to help to meet the project’s costs. Sponsors receive a pin badge and ownership card, with a number that will allow them to track “their” rivet in the final build.

    The original ship has been likened to an aircraft carrier of its day in terms of technical complexity, but many questions about its features and capabilities remain unanswered. It is not known for certain whether the vessel had a mast and sail in addition to places for about 40 rowers.

    Martin Carver, director of the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company, which was formed to rebuild it, and former head of York University’s archaeology department, said: “We suspect that seafaring was rooted in the hearts of the Angles and Saxons that made England their home. But we know little about it. We want to see what a ship and its crew could do. Some things can be learnt from a book or a test tube; other things need learning by doing.


    The ship is thought to have been the final resting place of King Raedwald

    “Our objectives are to learn how an early English ship was built, its performance in river, lake and sea, its handling of the wind and tides; and not only to learn what’s possible and record it, but to discover what it feels like. So our project will contribute to knowledge of our shores and seas and knowledge of the earliest English, their history, way of life, their poetry.”

    The replica will be ready for sea trials by early 2022 and could be used in experimental voyages across the North Sea or farther afield. The ship may have been used for trading and in warfare before she was dragged overland to be the resting place of a man buried inside it with goods including the Sutton Hoo helmet and treasures from the British Isles, Francia and the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) empire.


    The Sutton Hoo helmet is one of the treasures stored in the ship

    The dead man is widely believed to have been King Raedwald of East Anglia, whose dynasty, the Wuffingas, has been linked to the Wulfing clan of Sweden, as featured in Beowulf. Ship burials may have been intended to carry the deceased into the afterlife. Raedwald had accepted baptism, although Bede, the Northumbrian historian, said this was “in vain” because: “He seemed at the same time to serve Christ and the gods whom he served before.”

    Computer modelling of the vessel by scientists at Southampton University is based on the remains discovered in a burial mound near Woodbridge in 1939. Julian Whitewright, a maritime archaeologist, said: “Although that doesn’t sound like much evidence, it is enough to give us a virtually complete hull shape from keel to gunwale [the topmost plank on the side], which comprises the runs of the planking, the internal frame locations and general dimensions, the curvature of the keel and ends of the ship.

    “This is far more than most archaeological reconstructions have.”

    The Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company is still seeking green-oak timber woodworkers, preferably with traditional boatbuilding experience. There are also vacancies in other roles, including recording and cataloguing data and photographing the project.

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    Whether Anglo-Saxon or early medieval Germanic ships in general already had sails, is an interesting question. The Nydam ship didn't have one in any case. That's especially pertinent to this case, because being from Jutland and deposited some time after 320 CE, it was probably an Anglo-Saxon ship.

    But I'd say that's not general evidence, that they didn't use or even less, that they didn't know the sail. They certainly knew it since the first century CE because the Romans roamed the North Sea at that time.
    More likely sailing simply wasn't necessary in the relatively calm waters around the Danish isles and a heavy mast and sail would merely have been an encumbrance and would have actually slowed the ship down on raids.
    In the same way the ancient Greek war galleys, while they generally had masts, mainly used their rowers for propulsion in the relatively calm waters of the Aegean Sea.
    It's still possible that ancient Germanics used the sail on other ships, especially precursors to knarrs.

    Too bad that the funeral hut in this case was erected exactly were the mast step/kerling would have been.
    But if the Anglo-Saxons sailed directly from Jutland/northwestern Germany to England and didn't hug the coast all the way to Calais, I don't think it's likely that they made the trip without sail. Even from Texel/Den Helder it's about 200-250 km to the nearest English coast.

    Especially on ships cramped with women, children and their belongings that seems unlikely. The ships were heavily loaded, unstable on the high seas and too cramped to be rowed. Especially since most ships were smaller than the Sutton Hoo ship.
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
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    Suffolk: "Pandemic" Delays Construction of Sutton Hoo Replica Ship

    https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-engl...ffolk-55939515

    Archaeologists, historians, shipbuilders and volunteers are behind the Sutton Hoo Ship's Company. In 2019 they launched a Ł1m campaign to fund a replica of the 1,400-year old ship .
    Interesting effort, replica of the ship that possibly East Anglian King Redwaeld was buried in.
    "Almost every name belongs to well-known families of English stock....these soldiers were of ancient American lineage"- Prof. N.S. Shaler on the 1st Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade, Confederate States Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancient Architects
    Subscribers to Netflix will have noted a star-studded new feature film this month called 'The Dig', which dramatises the discovery of Sutton Hoo, which was once hailed as Britain’s Tutankhamen.

    The Anglo-Saxon burial site in Suffolk offered a real treasure trove of finds when discovered just before the Second World War, including weapons, armour, coins, jewellery, gold buckles, plaques and silver cutlery, all beneath a wooden burial ship.

    The finds are nothing short of incredible and they are arguably the greatest archaeological discovery ever made in Britain.

    The discovery was made by Basil Brown, and he as well as archaeologists Stuart and Peggy Piggott and Charles Philips, as well as landowner Edith Pretty and her son Robert, are all portrayed in the film. But with any historical dramatisation, facts are always mixed in with fiction, so in this video I’ll compare the film to real life events and give you an insight into what the screenwriters made up to make the story a good drama.

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    If I ever visit England, Sutton Hoo is one of my must see "sacred" sites. "The Dig" film that's sparked some increased interest in it was pretty decent, I thought.
    "Almost every name belongs to well-known families of English stock....these soldiers were of ancient American lineage"- Prof. N.S. Shaler on the 1st Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade, Confederate States Army

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