The Sutton Hoo Helmet
Discover the real story behind The Dig, streaming now on Netflix, starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes
A warrior’s face – the strong brows inlaid with red garnets, the nose and mouth gilded and its surface tinned a silvery colour – this is how the Sutton Hoo helmet once appeared to those who saw it. Beautifully crafted and visually stunning, it would have inspired awe. But it was also fully capable of protecting its wearer in battle. This book explains how it was discovered together with other priceless treasures including a ship in the great mound at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, by the archaeologist Basil Brown in the late 1930s. He was employed by the owner of the estate, Mrs Edith Pretty, who generously donated the whole find to the British Museum. After painstaking reconstruction, experts were able to compare this very rare helmet to the few others dating to the same period, and also to speculate for whom it might have been created. Today, some 1,400 years after it was buried, it is the centrepiece for the Sutton Hoo burial exhibit in the British Museum – a remarkable testament to Anglo- Saxon power and artistic skill.