Newsletter – October 2011

October 14th, 2011 by JCope

Our October meeting was preceded by a short AGM, at which committee reports were presented and next year’s committee was elected.  Jackie Hiorns acted as chairman for this part of the meeting.  The speaker was Eric Greenwood, who delivered a fascinating talk entitled ‘The Mysteries of Sutton Hoo’.  Starting with the discovery of the artefacts in 1939 at Woodbridge in Suffolk, Eric believed that their quality was superior to that of the Staffordshire Hoard.  Illustrating his talk with slides, our speaker looked at some of Woodbridge’s history before showing contemporary photographs of the excavation of the 27metre ship used in the burial.  The first mystery was that there was no body and the second, why should there have been a burial in a ship.  The burial had been dated to between 620 and 640AD and it was supposed by many that the occupant had been the King of the East Anglians.  The third mystery was the appearance of a Roman dish among the contents of the grave.  Eric suggested that there were many similarities with Scandinavian burials that he had studied, particularly with regard to the use of the ship and the style of the helmet.  A thought-provoking evening that left many questions unanswered.

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