What was it like?
- In the ship
burial at Sutton Hoo, the dead person had a big shield
leaning up against the wall at the head of the burial chamber.
- It had a diameter of 91½ cm.
It was curved like the glass in a watch.
- It was made of limewood and
covered in hide (animal skin), but not much of this
- The edge had a gold covered
bronze binding. It was held in place by clips made of the
- All round the surface of the
shield were gold covered bronze dragon heads with garnets for
eyes; and small decorated foil panels.
- In the centre was a huge iron
boss. It was decorated with bronze animals with garnet eyes
and cloisonné work (gold inlaid with red jewels). Similar shield bosses have been
found in Sweden.
- Either side were smaller bosses
and two decorative animals. One is a beautiful bronze
dragon. The other is a bronze and gold foil bird-of-prey (See
They are similar to examples found in Sweden.
- There was an iron hand-grip at
the back. This is where you held the shield.