Highlights from the world of Sutton Hoo

Yesterday’s staff breakfast was an introduction to a new display of a selection of extraordinary treasures from Early Medieval Europe.  These objects are being showcased in Room 2 while their permanent gallery, Room 41, is closed for refurbishment.

‘Highlights from the world of Sutton Hoo’ features iconic objects including the Franks Casket, Lothair Crystal, parts of the Esquiline Treasure and, of course, the Sutton Hoo ship-burial.

Reconstructed helmet excavated at Sutton Hoo. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Room 2 curator Peter Higgs provided a brief introduction to the gallery; and Room 41 Project Curator Sue Brunning spoke about the Sutton Hoo exhibition.  Objects from the renowned Sutton Hoo ship-burial are displayed in cases in the centre of the gallery.  And the peripheries of the gallery are divided into four geographical and cultural zones, displaying relevant material from the rest of early medieval Europe (Late Roman Empire and Byzantium; Anglo Saxon and later Continent; Vikings and their contemporaries; and Europe and the Mediterranean).

Ian Richardson, Treasure Registrar, also introduced the Portable Antiquities Scheme display.  Also in Room 2 is a new display highlighting the work of Portable Antiquities Scheme.  The scheme encourages the voluntary recording of the many thousands of archaeological objects found every year by members of the public in England and Wales. The display will feature some of the more exciting finds (currently the Silverdale Hoard, a recent discovery of Viking Age silver treasure) and will provide a focal point for media events such as the launch of Treasure Annual Reports.