Week 6 (2021) – The Excavations at Rendlesham

four people digging and recording in a trench

Featured image: volunteers excavating and Cotswold Archaeology recording the archaeological features.

We have just finished the sixth and final week of the Rendlesham Revealed excavations. It was a busy week for the volunteers, finishing off digging and recording the archaeology, processing the finds and completing the fieldwalking. Joining the team for one of the days was the Year 4 class from Eyke Primary School.

The volunteers have fully excavated all the archaeological features. This includes all the pits of the probable sunken featured buildings and now that the fills have been removed, we have discovered that several have post holes within them. There are also remains of other post holes surviving, which may have originally been part of post-built rectangular buildings. These have also been excavated and recorded.

We continued to find lots of animal bone and pottery, all of which have been cleaned and marked by the volunteers ready for analysis.

One of the most interesting finds of the week is a copper-alloy Roman coin. The coin dates to AD 330-335 and was issued by the Trier mint under the House of Constantine. What is particularly interesting about this coin is that it has been pierced and was excavated from an Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured building. This suggests that the coin was likely to have been re-used as jewellery.

Pierced Roman coin

The volunteers have also completed the fieldwalking survey, which recovered lots of ceramic building material, prehistoric worked flint including scrapers, waste flakes and a barbed and tanged  arrowhead, and fragments of pottery.

volunteers fieldwalking

Overall, the six weeks of fieldwork have been very successful in helping us to ground truth the previous geophysical survey and confirm the character of the archaeology. We are grateful to all the volunteers for their hard work and contribution to the archaeological investigations, we could not have done it without them.

The trenches have now all been fully recorded and backfilled, however the hard work continues as we enter the post-excavation phase.

We will now begin the post-excavation stage of work with Cotswold Archaeology, who will quantify the artefacts and send them to the relevant specialists, analyse the results and complete a report by Spring next year.

We were joined by Professor John Hines, who gave a lunch-time talk about burial remains and showed us the grave goods from another Anglo-Saxon site in Suffolk

Find out more

Read about the Rendlesham Revealed project

Learn about the previous archaeological investigations since 2008

If you are interested in volunteering for the next season of fieldwork, you can join our e-newsletter mailing list to receive updates.


This fieldwork is part of the community archaeology project Rendlesham Revealed: Anglo-Saxon Life in South-East Suffolk, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We are very grateful to our many local and national partners who have made this project possible, and for the support of the landowners and farmers who work and manage this historic landscape.

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