Netflix film ‘The Dig’ has blasted Sutton Hoo and its ‘Egyptian mounds’ into a limelight as bright as the rays which flooded from Indiana Jones’ lost ark.
Time for some intrepid armchair time-travelling then, back to a hot August day by the Deben, when walker-explorer Xtrahead, crossed the Sandlings and shared all sorts of exotic discoveries with readers of the Suffolk Magazine…
Lindsay Want unmasks Deben Valley treasures hidden away by the Suffolk Sandlings around Sutton Hoo on a circular walk from Melton railway station near Woodbridge.
(Alas, there were no Pharaoh ants at Bromeswell Green Nature Reserve en route, but plenty of scarab-style beetles to spot on the woodland floor!)
“Here’s an irresistible little expedition for intrepid explorers of all ages. Pack some provisions; lace up your boots; smear on the sun-cream and journey to the upstream end of the Deben Estuary’s world at Melton.
Whether you’ve navigated your way there by road or rail, you’ll soon be filing over a footbridge past the gargantuan leafy plumes of exotic Gunnera, climbing to new heights as you scale the river wall and feasting your eyes on wide, timeless tidal waters with vast slabs of mudflat where egrets, oystercatchers and avocets have left their hieroglyph footprints since ancient times.
Here, legends tell of a wooden ship hauled high above the river beyond, made into a great underground vault and filled with the rich trappings of a mighty warrior king, to lay undisturbed for centuries. Who can say whether ghostly premonitions played a part in its eventual discovery, or whether Mrs Pretty was just dreaming about Howard Carter’s then recent Tutankhamun discoveries. But when war broke out just as Basil Brown’s excavations began to look ship-shape, perhaps some believed that it would have been better to leave sleeping kings lie.
Hmmm. What would Indiana Jones say?”
Discover Deben views, haunting burial mounds and sandy ‘blows’; an unexpected pyramid towering above a renowned East Anglian king; a bell marked by the Flight to Egypt and rows of buried Kings…
Read the full article I Suffolk’s best walks: Melton to Sutton Hoo via The Sandlings
(Includes walk directions, details and mapping – walk 5.5 miles and definitely worth it!)