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Helmet from the ship burial at Sutton Hoo
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Тhis extraordinary iron helmet was found in a rich grave that contain a ship, along with many other objects. The grave belonged to a powerful ruler, who would have worn this helmet in battle, hiding the features of the wearer beneath the elaborate mask.

The helmet is covered with panels of tinned bronze decorated with animal ornament and heroic scenes, common motifs in the Germanic world at this time. The face mask is the most remarkable feature of the helmet. The bronze eyebrows are inlaid with silver wire and garnets. Each ends in a gilt-bronze boar's head, possibly a symbol of strength and courage. Placed against the top of the nose, between the eyebrows, is a gilded dragon head that lies nose to nose with a similar dragon head placed at the end of the low crest that runs over the cap. The nose, eyebrows and dragon make up a great bird with outstretched wings.

Helmet from the ship burial at Sutton Hoo

Anglo-Saxon, from Mound 1, Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, early 7th century AD
Ht 31.8 cm
Gift of Mrs E.M. Pretty

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