The strongest of the king’s guards, tendons taut and rough ropes brushing, dragged the heavy oak boat from the river to shore, and then, with the rising sun slowly burning the cold morning mist, he threw the boat over the plain and to the foot of the hill. The crowd on the slope watched silently as they inched towards the top and the graveyard reserved for the royal descendants of the one-eyed god. The trench prepared for him, the mourners placed the grave goods in the burial chamber at its center, then a mound was raised above it and there lay the ship, moored firmly in the East Anglian land but traveling through time until, 13 centuries later, on the eve of World War II, a man named Basil Brown discovered it.
The incredible find, dubbed “Britain’s Tutankhamun,” is the subject of The Dig, a new Netflix film adapted from John Preston’s novel of the same name, starring Ralph Fiennes as the self-taught archaeologist Brown and Carey Mulligan as Edith. . Pretty, the landowner who hired him to excavate the mysterious burial mounds on his estate in Sutton Hoo overlooking the Deben River in Suffolk.
Pretty, a widow interested in spiritism, had a feeling about the mounds. They were thought to be of Viking origin. A guest had once seen a ghostly figure among them, and there were local legends of buried treasure that had long been told. An archaeological maverick Brown was a Suffolk man who had left school at the age of 12. He had been a farm worker and insurance agent, but had also learned several languages, astronomy, and archeology, which led to his being employed as an archaeologist at the Ipswich Museum, and it was the museum that recommended him to Pretty. He started in June 1938 with some of the smaller mounds, and found evidence that they had been raided by grave robbers, but also a bronze disc suggesting that they might When it started on the larger mound, in the summer of 1939, when the Clouds of war gathered, he quickly came across pieces of iron that he identified as ship’s rivets. And then he found it: a staggering 90 feet (27 .4m), big enough to accommodate up to 20 rowers on each side. The wood itself dissolved into the ground along with the human remains, but a clear trace remained: a ghost ship over a thousand years ago.