There are around 20 earthen burial mounds in the Sutton Hoo area. Under one of those mounds excavated in 1938 was a ship burial.... yes, a whole wooden ship 89 feet (27m) long was hauled up the hill from the river estuary below and buried with a very important passenger, the body of an Anglo-Saxon warrior.
You can read details about the Sutton Hoo ship burial here and here.
The warrior was buried in an oak burial chamber inside the ship along with many of his valued possessions. The collection of 263 high status objects included weapons, silver cutlery, gold buckles, coins, and a distinctive full-face war helmet, many things that were needed in the afterlife.
The identity of the warrior is unknown, but it is believed to be King Raedwald, the most powerful of the English tribal kings. He was the son of Tytila of East Anglia, in the present day British counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. He reigned from about 599 until his death around 624. He was the first king of the East Angles to become a Christian, although he still maintained a pagan temple.... hedging his bets just to be sure!
|The iron warrior helmet found in the burial chamber, now on display at the British Museum.|
|A reconstruction of the warrior's shield.|
|A replica of the helmet was produced for the British Museum by the Royal Armouries.|