From: John Colby [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 13 March 2002 13:48
Poet opens exhibition of anglo-saxon treasures
Poet Seamus Heaney has opened an exhibition centre charting the history of
one of Britain's most important archaeological sites.
The National Trust's £5 million project at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge,
Suffolk, showcases priceless Anglo-Saxon treasures which lay buried in a
field for 1,300 years.
Mr Heaney was the author of the acclaimed translation of the Old English
epic poem Beowulf,
Sutton Hoo, which experts say ranks in historical importance with
Stonehenge, is the burial ground of the Anglo-Saxon pagan kings of East
It was excavated in 1938, in the late 1960s, and again in the 1980s.
Treasures uncovered during digs include a warrior's helmet and shield, along
with gold ornaments, and Byzantine silver.
Many of the artefacts were discovered in the remains of a 90ft burial ship.
The treasures have been housed in the British Museum in London since their
British Museum officials have agreed to lend some of the artefacts to the
National Trust so they can go on show at the exhibition centre - which was
built with the help of a £3.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.