|Sutton Hoo is the site of two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the 6th and early 7th centuries, one of which contained an undisturbed ship burial including a wealth of artifacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance.|
Sutton Hoo is of a primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history which is on the margin between myth, legend and historical documentation. Use of the site culminated at a time when the ruler (Raedwald) of East Anglia held senior power among the English, and played a dynamic (if ambiguous) part in the establishment of Christian rulership in England. It is central to understanding of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and of the period in a wider perspective.
The ship-burial, excavated in 1939, is one of the most magnificent archaeological finds in England for its size and completeness, the far-reaching connections, quality and beauty of its contents, and for the profound interest of the burial ritual.
Although it is the ship-burial which commands the widest 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 neighbourhood.