Who was buried at Sutton Hoo?

The two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, from the 6th and 7th centuries, were an extraordinary find, with one of the highlights being an undisturbed ship burial. But who was buried there?

Photo of an Anglo Saxon helmet found at Sutton Hoo

The simple answer is: we don’t know.

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Discovered in the weeks preceding the outbreak of World War II, the Saxon ship-burial at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, represents one of the richest excavated Dark Age sites in western Europe, replete with a helmet, weapons, plate and dress fittings that are now displayed in the British Museum.

Sadly, because of the acidic nature of the soils at Sutton Hoo, no trace of the body at the centre of the grave survived and, in the absence of an inscription or other historical reference, the identity of the person interred will probably never be known for sure.

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However, the nature of the finds, which predominantly date from the early 7th century, have led some archaeologists and historians to suggest that this may have been the final resting place of a king, most probably Raedwald, ruler of the East Angles, who died sometime around AD 624.

This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine