The archaeological discovery of a Scandinavian ship burial at Sutton Hoo was probably the most spectacular ever made in Britain. On the eve of the Second World War, in the summer of 1939, Basil Brown, an archaeologist employed by the Suffolk landowner, Mrs Pretty, uncovered an early English/Anglo Saxon ship burial. Inside the chamber were exquisite items, such as a golden belt buckle, jewellery in garnet, millefiori glass and gold filigree items as well as an impressively decorated helmet. Similar such items have been found in ship-burials in Scandinavia. Clearly the chiefly occupant of this burial had been powerful and well-travelled. Accompanying the many buried items were from faraway places, silver plates and many Byzantine bowls.
The body in the grave was pretty surely that of King Raedwald who ruled East Anglia from around AD 599 until his death in about AD 625. English coins found in the chamber tend to confirm the dating of the burial. Nothing remained of his body due to the nature of the sandy soil and acidification of the ground water. The Venerable Bede, in his “History of the English Church and People”, included a mention of Raedwald and of his influential strong-minded queen who was probably responsible for her husband’s glorious burial.
Please take a look at my article (Subject – East Anglia} to understand more about the early placements of the ‘English’ and the nature of their settlement that has influenced our national identity today.