The Sutton Hoo Purse-lid

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 13 May 2016
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This purse-lid would have been attached to a pouch, which originally hung from a waist belt. Only, the gold frame and catch of the purse survive; the leather pouch decayed in the ground. Seven plaques of gold, cloisonne garnets and millefiori glass decorated the lid. The upper ones have complex geometric patterns and interlacing creatures, while the lower ones show images of birds and a man standing between 2 beasts. The last motif is known from elsewhere in Europe and Scandinavia. Though indecipherable now, the images held probably deep significance for the Anglo-Saxons. They may refer to strength and courage, appropriate qualities for Anglo-Saxon leaders. From Sutton Hoo, Ship-burial mound 1, England, UK. Early 600s CE. (The British Museum, London)

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, May 13). The Sutton Hoo Purse-lid. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "The Sutton Hoo Purse-lid." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 13, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "The Sutton Hoo Purse-lid." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 13 May 2016. Web. 24 Jul 2021.