Saturday - 20 September 2014

New British Museum gallery for Sutton Hoo

24 March 2014Written by Tom Derbyshire

With the British Museum’s Vikings exhibition bringing in the crowds, it is an ideal time for its Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo treasures to come back into focus in a new gallery.

The area previously housing the early medieval collections had been closed for renovation - the first of that gallery since 1985 - but on March 27 they are relaunched in Room 41 as Sutton Hoo and Europe 300-1100AD.

It marks the 75th anniversary of the Suffolk discovery and the gallery as a whole covers the period from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the time when the precursors of many modern European states were beginning to take shape.

The refurbished gallery gives more prominence within the museum to the Sutton Hoo ship burial.

 Alongside the familiar sights of the helmet, gold buckle and whetstone, there are exhibits never shown before such as late Roman mosaics, a huge copper alloy necklace from the Baltic region and a gilded mount discovered by X-ray in a lump of organic material from a Viking woman's grave over a century after it was acquired.

The gallery was funded through a donation by Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock.

Vikings: life and legend is housed in the also-new Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery and runs until June 22. This is the museum's first purpose-built space for temporary exhibitions and forms part of the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre that opens later this year.

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