Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sutton Hoo conference

Sutton Hoo © David Gill
One theme of Looting Matters has been to emphasise the importance of archaeological context. Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to revisit Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Careful scientific excavation was able to reveal a major ship burial that is still much debated and discussed. (My own interest lies in the role of William F. Grimes who was responsible for organic materials during the excavations.)

This September there will be a major international conference, Sutton Hoo: a Swedish Perspective. at University Campus Suffolk and hosted by the Sutton Hoo Society (details here) and the Royal Carl Gustav Adolf Academy, Sweden.

From the discovery of the great Ship Burial the Sutton Hoo cemetery has always been interpreted on the context of apparently similar finds from Scandinavia. Several princely artefacts from Sutton Hoo, in particular the helmet and shield, have parallels in the high-status cemeteries of Uppland, Sweden.
This conference aims to present the latest research on Sutton Hoo's Scandinavian connections with new discoveries from classic boat-grave cemeteries like Valsgarde, and power centres like Gamla Uppsala.
We shall consider new evidence for the ideological landscape within which such monuments were set and which provided the backdrop for their creation.

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