Case Study: Classroom archaeology. Sutton Hoo, or the mystery of the empty grave

Primary History article

By Jon Nichol, published 19th July 2009

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

‘Would you like to go for a walk in the woods on the other side of the river? I asked my wife on a spring day in 1982. Happily she assented, and we drove off in the car with our new puppy, Leader, equipped with the ordnance survey map of the estuary of the river Deben. Having parked the car, a gentle stroll took us past Mrs Pretty's large country house and along a track to the edge of the pine woods. Below us the Deben estuary snaked into the distance. On our left was a rusting tin shack standing in a fenced off area of bramble, gorse and what seemed like sand dunes. Leader had a lovely romp and had to be rescued from being trapped down a rabbit hole. When we got back to the car I asked my wife, ‘Did you notice anything?' A puzzled look, and then I told her that we had just walked past the burial ground of the Anglo-Saxon kings of East Anglia. Leader had managed to get stuck in a burrow in the biggest mound, probably that of Raedwald, East Anglia's most powerful king...

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