Sword, iron, in two pieces. The blade is double-edged and pattern welded, with evidence of a fuller. Mineralised remains of wood (identified as ash) and leather from the scabbard are preserved on the blade. Organic remains survive in places on the grip and pommel area. Remains of woven linen tapes and unwoven cords wound around the sword at the hilt end. Remains of a 'sunburst' design on the scabbard surface, formed from three cords radiating from the centre to the edges of the blade. Wood, leather and tectile fragments from the sword are registered separately at 2001,0103.5.b.
- Excavated/Findspot: Sutton Hoo, Visitor Centre, SF2114, Grave 0868
- (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Suffolk,Sutton (parish),Sutton Hoo)
- Length: 904 millimetres (overall)
- Length: 790 millimetres (blade)
- Width: 51 millimetres
5 June 2002
Reason for treatment
Examine, X-ray, clean, repair, stabilize, and repack as required.
The sword is in fair condition overall. The object is lightly corroded and has an uneven surface with some raised blisters of orange and brown corrosion products. The sword is complete but is broken in the centre into two pieces and a few detached flakes. The surface of the object is covered with sandy soil from excavation. The organic remains of textile, leather and wood are largely mineralised.
The object was examined under the microscope at up to X100 magnification. The sandy soil from excavation was removed mechanically using a scalpel under the microscope. The surface details and the mineral preserved organic remains were revealed in this way. Some of the organic remains were consolidated using 3% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) and Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) to hold them in position. The organic remains were left in situ. The object was packed in plastazote and stored with silica gel as a desiccant in a sealed stewart box.
Finds were discovered during the archaeological excavations before the Visitor Centre was constructed. The National trust donated all of the finds to the British Museum.
Prehistory and Europe
- SF2114 (Small find number)
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Object reference number: MCS32709
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