Captured this a few years ago with my wife's compact when a fleeting visit to this fantastic place.
This ceremonial helmet is one of the most important finds from Sutton Hoo.
Part of the burial ground at Sutton Hoo
Sutton Hoo from the Deben tideway with Mound 2 visible on the horizon above the farm
Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, in the English county of Suffolk, is the site of two 6th- and early 7th-century cemeteries. One contained an undisturbed ship burial including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, now held in the British Museum in London.
Sutton Hoo is of a primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history that is on the margin between myth, legend, and historical documentation. Use of the site culminated at a time when Rędwald, the ruler of the East Angles, held senior power among the English people and played a dynamic if ambiguous part in the establishment of Christian rulership in England; it is generally thought most likely that he is the person buried in the ship. The site has been vital in understanding the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and the whole early Anglo-Saxon period.
The ship-burial, probably dating from the early 7th century and excavated in 1939, is one of the most magnificent archaeological finds in England for its size and completeness, far-reaching connections, the quality and beauty of its contents, and the profound interest of the burial ritual itself. The initial excavation was privately sponsored by the landowner, but when the significance of the find became apparent, national experts took over. Subsequent archaeological campaigns, particularly in the late 1960s and late 1980s, have explored the wider site and many other individual burials. The most significant artefacts from the ship-burial, displayed in the British Museum, are those found in the burial chamber, including a suite of metalwork dress fittings in gold and gems, a ceremonial helmet, shield and sword, a lyre, and many pieces of silver plate from the Eastern Roman Empire. 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.
Although it is the ship-burial that commands the greatest attention from tourists, there is also rich historical meaning in the two separate cemeteries, their position in relation to the Deben estuary and the North Sea, and their relation to other sites in the immediate neighborhood. Of the two grave fields found at Sutton Hoo, one (the "Sutton Hoo cemetery") had long been known to exist because it consists of a group of approximately 20 earthen burial mounds that rise slightly above the horizon of the hill-spur when viewed from the opposite bank. The other, called here the "new" burial ground, is situated on a second hill-spur close to the present Exhibition Hall, about 500 m upstream of the first, and was discovered and partially explored in 2000 during preparations for the construction of the hall. This also had burials under mounds, but was not known because they had long since been flattened by agricultural activity. The site has a visitor's centre, with many original and replica artefacts and a reconstruction of the ship burial chamber, and the burial field can be toured in the summer months. Info Wiki.
Critiques | Translate
snunney (101826) 2014-02-15 1:32
I like the close framing and the stunning colours. Very good rendering of the textural detail. Thanks also for the most informative note.
Raining again here today though the wind has dropped, at least for the time being. I wish you a pleasant weekend whatever the weather.
Nicou (145294) 2014-02-15 7:09
quelle vue de ce masque sueprbe cet orange avec les ouverture sueprbe iamge et captage merveilleux ce quadrillage dans les yeux fantastique vue.
Bravo et amitié
SnapRJW (31629) 2014-02-15 7:33
Super to see this Iain, I remember learning about this famous archaeological site when I was at school (probably one of the only pieces of history I enjoyed as I was fascinated by archaeology!) The mask, although so ancient looks as if it could be a piece of modern art as it is 'stripped-down' to the basic stylised form. A really special shot and note and great TE contribution. Stay dry and warm Rosemary
tyro (25954) 2014-02-15 15:42
You've written a very interesting and informative note and also presented us with a splendid photograph of superb quality. You should steal your wife's camera more often! :o)
Of course, this is not the Anglo-Saxon mask itself (that is in the British Museum) but a modern and much larger version of it which is mounted above the door of the visitor centre near Woodbridge. In fact, I'm sure any self-respecting Anglo-Saxon metalworker would not be happy with such crude arc welding as this, even if he did have the means and the equipment to do it!
But your photograph is lovely and I think that the slight tilt adds to the charm of the picture too. And the fact that we can see some sort of scaffolding through the "eyes" makes me think that this helmet is wearing reflective sunglasses!
A wonderful picture with lovely rich colours, good tight composition and exquisite details and sharpness.
chrislo (4097) 2014-02-16 7:14
A very interesting subject. I like the tight crop just concentrating on the eyes and the lower part of the face. Without any scale reference, it is difficult to judge the size. This mask appears to me as a huge creation, made of tiles, but it probably looks small. A fantastic piece of art.