EBK Activity Sheets


and Chainmail, covered in Gold & Jewels
  • In the ship burial at Sutton Hoo, a tunic of iron chain mail was folded in the dead person's sarcophagus (big coffin). It was probably thigh length, but had rusted into a big lump of metal.
  • The helmet was placed on top of the sarcophagus. It was at the head end.
  • Most of the helmet was made of iron. It rusted in the ground. Only small parts were left (the rough bits in the picture).
  • Archaeologists had to piece these together It was like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Except most pieces were missing.
  • The helmet was covered in small decorated panels. These were made of tin covered bronze foil. It would originally have all looked very silver in colour.
  • It had a long iron neck-guard at the back.
  • The crest went over the middle of the head. It was shaped like a dragon and made of gold covered bronze. The dragon had garnets (red jewels) for eyes.
  • The helmet has big bronze eyebrows. They end in tiny boars' heads and are lined with garnets.
  • Hanging from the helmet were a mask to protect the face; and flaps to protect the ears and jaw.
  • The face mask has a gold covered bronze nose and moustache.
  • The helmet is thought to have had a leather lining.
  • It would have taken a long time to make. It would have been very expensive.
  • Similar Viking helmets have been found by archaeologists in Sweden.
  • Similar helmets are mentioned in the 'Beowulf' poem.
  • Activity Sheet available.

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