at Sutton Hoo

  • As well as the rich grave mounds, there were two cemeteries for criminals at Sutton Hoo.
  • Simple graves were discovered around Mound 5 and in an area just to the east of the mounds.
  • Like the famous ship, the bodies had rotted; but their outline could still be made out in the sand. They are sometimes called 'sand people':
    • Some had their heads or hands cut off.
    • Some had their hands together and feet together, as if they'd been tied up.
    • Some had dark marks in the soil round their necks, like a noose from a hanging.
  • In the eastern cemetery, the remains of a gallows was found.
  • Some of the bodies were from the same time as the mounds. Some were buried later.
  • People who who did not follow the laws of the Kings of East Anglia were executed here. The Kings liked to show how powerful they were. A good place to do this was the place were their family was buried.
  • In later times, the Christians may have thought the pagan cemetery was a good place to execute people who didn't follow Christian teachings.


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