Rulers, wealth, and international connections

Sutton Hoo: burials of the Anglo-Scandinavian kings

The Sutton Hoo burial mound complex in east Suffolk overlooks the River  Deben and the market town of Woodbridge. First excavated in the 1930s, dated to 6th-7th century AD, this is widely regarded as the burial ground of Anglo-Saxon royalty. Perhaps more than any other place, Sutton Hoo tells the story of how the pagan Anglo-Saxons became the Christian English, and charts the rise of the English kingdom of East Anglia.

Sutton Hoo: key features

  • A preserved Anglo-Saxon burial ground with over around 20 burial mounds
  • The ‘ship burial‘, featuring the remains of a 27m long ship
  • The contents of the ‘ship burial‘, the richest early medieval burial in Europe
  • An unequalled collection of items of personal display of Anglo-Saxon elites, including gold and garnet jewellery
  • A range of objects imported through long-distance connections, including silver bowls from the eastern Mediterranean


Tranmer House
Sutton Hoo
IP12 3DJ

Send a Postcard

postcard sutton hoo

Sutton Hoo Mound 1 ‘ship burial’ excavation, 1930s (© Trustees of the British Museum), and Manga style cartoon of the Sutton Hoo excavations (Hugo Yoshikawa)


Principal Investigator: Dr Simon Kaner,
Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia

Co-Investigator: Dr Sam Nixon
Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia


To keep up to date as further materials are launched, follow us on Twitter and Facebook:

Rulers, wealth, and international connections worldwide

The three large ‘royal mounds’

Gamla Uppsala: Sweden

Sutton Hoo forms part of a wider European tradition of burial mounds that only ended with the adoption of Christian burial practices by previously pagan populations – at Gamla Uppsala in Sweden we see some of the most impressive European burial mounds, from a similar period to Sutton Hoo, and likewise associated with ‘royal‘ burials.
Royal mounds at Gamla Uppsala (Sweden) - Credit: WiglafRoyal mounds at Gamla Uppsala (Sweden) - Credit: Wiglaf

Fujinoki burial mound


Burial of rulers and other elites in mounds is found worldwide from various periods, a common symbolic way of celebrating and displaying the power of the deceased – in Japan we see widespread evidence of mounded burials (kofun) with rich burial goods, such as at Fujinoki, dated to exactly the time of Sutton Hoo (6th-7th century) containing prestige objects similar to those found in continental East Asia.
Fujinoki burial mound (Japan) - Credit: Kashihara Archaeological InstituteFujinoki burial mound (Japan) - Credit: Kashihara Archaeological Institute