The Battle of Winwaed:
Was Aethelhere buried at Sutton Hoo?

After the discovery of the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo in the 1930s, Walker (1948) proposed that the Burial was for the East Anglian King Aethelhere who fought with Penda, and was killed at Winwaed. With the Winwaed in flood, the theory has it that his body was never found - hence the lack of a body with the Ship at Sutton Hoo.

The theory was well argued and King Aethelhere is still occasionally quoted as being the subject of the Sutton Hoo burial. However, it does not tally with modern archaeological thinking which believes the burial was probably for Redwald, who died in 625 AD.

Later excavations have found concentrations of phosphates, and it is thought possible that the body may have literally dissolved away in the sandy, acidic soil present at Sutton Hoo.

Conclusion: The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial might be for Aethelhere, although it is thought to be more likely that it was for Redwald. Hence, it is probably unrelated to the Battle of Winwaed.

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