Buckle from a sword belt found in Mound 1 of the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial
Anglo-Saxon, early 7th century ce
The Trustees of the British Museum
Room 41 at the British Museum is now open. The refurbished gallery, Sutton Hoo and Europe AD 300–1100, has been made possible through a generous donation by Sir Paul and Lady Jill Ruddock and will display the British Museum’s unparalleled early medieval collections, the star of which includes the famous Sutton Hoo treasure. It is the first full refurbishment of the gallery since 1985, involving replacement of the flooring and roof, and renovation of the internal architecture.
Marking 75 years since their discovery, the gallery’s centrepiece will be the finds from the Sutton Hoo ship burial in Suffolk, one of the most spectacular and important discoveries in British archaeology. Excavated in 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, this grave inside a 27m-long ship may have commemorated an Anglo-Saxon king who died in the early AD 600s. It remains the richest intact burial to survive from Europe. Many of its incredible treasures, like the helmet, gold buckle and whetstone have become icons not only of the British Museum, but of the Early Medieval as a whole. The project coincides with the BP exhibition: Vikings: life and legend in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery.
Opening hours 10.00-17.30 Saturday to Thursday, 10.00-20.30 Fridays.
An accompanying publication is available from the British Museum Press entitled Masterpieces: Early Medieval Art by Sonia Marzinzik. A volume exploring the history of Europe and the Mediterranean from the end of the Roman Empire to the twelfth century, as told through objects in the British Museum’s collection. Hardback, £25. Please support the British Museum by buying directly from them.