The Sutton Hoo ship burial took place in 7th century, a pivotal period in European history, the details of which got lost when meditation practices were finally replaced by Christianity in the 13th century. There was no memory left of the meaning of the cultural practices expressed by the intricate and carefully arranged objects discovered in the 27 metres long ship covered by a burial mound close enough to the edge of the river that it could be seen by passing ships.
When the objects found in the burial are analysed it becomes clear that every detail played its part in creating a diagram where the whole is more than the sum of its parts: the system that was illustrated explained how to concentrate to be able to “see the Truth as it is", best expressed by the eyes of the helmet. The diagram further contained information that indicated how to deal with the information that is seen, expressed by the birds on the helmet: the tail that forms the moustache of the face has six sets of lines on each side that identify past and future life: Cause and Effect. Two wild boars on the wing tips, in the corners above the eyes, are a warning that sensual attachment will result in a life of ignorance.
The Sutton Hoo burial was part of a broad network of knowledge that started in the 6th century BC when the discoveries by the Buddha Gotama about human existence as mind and materiality started spreading over the world. It was not dogmatic blind belief, locally people incorporated the "Three Trainings" to tame the mind into their own cultures. When good ethics are followed as a guideline it will support concentration, with concentration a meditator will develop wisdom. Chosen images were as varied as the cultures that made them, but the underlying structure of the numbers used to portray the system was persistently applied without change, from the 6th century BC to the 12th century when the rune inscriptions, based on symbols that originated in Linear A and B tablets made in Greece when Pythagoras was a teacher, were made in Maeshowe: 1,700 years of application of one system of knowledge, using a fixed set of numbers to represent recognisable concepts.
In the Sutton Hoo burial exceptional care was taken when making each object, it was clearly an important and prestigious site. In Europe several centres that included sacred sites like Delphi and the library and learning centres of Alexandria were demolished after the fourth century. Sixteen years before the Sutton Hoo burial the Pantheon of Rome that contained the same numbers as found in Sutton Hoo was turned into a Christian church, consecrated to the Virgin Mary and the Martyrs who were willing to die for their faith.
The Sutton Hoo site was part of an effort to protect the knowledge about the meditation techniques, details of the numbers were engraved into every part of the series of objects found in the burial. Scandinavians from Vendel and Uppsala in Sweden were still travelling to India at the time, a 6th-century Gandhara Buddha statue found in Helgö near Stockholm is proof that Europeans were fully aware of the large Bamiyan Buddhas that were carved into the rock-face in Bactria, many impressive meditation caves were made in India around the same time as the Sutton Hoo burial.
The objects in Sutton Hoo was an expression of the knowledge about the system of meditation that was originally taught by the Buddha and was still practiced locally, the commitment was to benefit stability and happiness in the community through generosity and respect, based on understanding of the universal law of Cause and Effect.
All contents is the personal view of the author.
Image page 45:
Bird’s body and seahorse-head are intertwined with a red ribbon: together they represent observance of mind-materiality through concentration.
Note the bird’s head similar to an axe, but also an almost exact replica of the seahorse with its tail in a spiral, the seahorse theme is repeated on the bird’s wing and body to explain complex meditation techniques in great and profound detail.