The Sutton Hoo Helmet: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure (Video)
The Sutton Hoo helmet, discovered in 1939 at the Sutton Hoo dig site in Suffolk, England, is a remarkable archaeological find from the early 7th century Anglo-Saxon period. Found in a ship burial, this helmet stands out for its intricate design and the presence of a human face, allowing us to relate to the people of that time. Reconstructing the helmet was a challenging task due to its numerous fragments. Conservator Nigel Williams spent a year matching and piecing together the curved and thick pieces, using a blend of original and modern components. The reconstructed helmet provides insights into ancient craftsmanship and culture.
The helmet's design shows influences from late-Roman helmet types and highlights a connection between England and eastern Sweden. Although fragmented, the imagery on the helmet includes depictions of humans, animals, and scenes of victory and defeat, blurring the line between Roman and northern European influences. The Sutton Hoo helmet is a rare complete metal helmet from its period, making it a significant artifact for understanding the history and warfare of the time. Its discovery and reconstruction shed light on ancient cultures and their interconnectedness, offering a tangible link to the past.
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Top image: Sutton Hoo helmet. Source: British Museum / CC by SA 2.0.