The Excavations at Rendlesham 2022 (Week 2)

group of volunteers using hoes on the site

Featured image: Volunteers cleaning the trenches and excavating a boundary ditch © Darren Olley/Suffolk County Council

The trenches are now open and we have welcomed our first volunteers to site.

Before we can start to excavate the archaeological features, they needed “cleaning”. This involved our volunteers hoeing the surface of the open trench to remove any loose soil so that the features could be seen as clearly as possible. The features were then planned and photographed. A few sherds of pottery were also found during the cleaning.

Despite the very hot weather, the volunteers then started excavating the first archaeological features. We started excavating four sections across a large boundary ditch. This ditch was filled with a dark soil and animal bone, we have also recovered an iron knife.

image of iron knife against a measuring line
Iron knife recovered from the ditch

The volunteers have also made a start on the rubbish dump area, which covers part of one of the trenches. First, we used string to create a one metre grid, and volunteers excavated every other meter square by hand and sieving all the soil to make sure no finds were missed. The remaining metre squares of the grid will be sampled for environmental remains, such as charred plant remains, small animal and fish bones and mollusc shells. The soil from these samples will be processed by volunteers off site using flotation and wet sieving through fine mesh.

This rubbish dump is very rich in animal bone, presumably the remains of the meals eaten here. We are looking forward to a visit from our animal bone specialist next week, who will no doubt be able to shed more light on the bone being recovered from this dump.

We were also very pleased when one of our volunteer metal detector users recovered a Roman copper-alloy coin, which is of Theodora, the House of Constantine and dated AD 337-341.

Coin next to a 1 cm measurement square
Roman coin recovered from the rubbish dump

Next week we will continue excavating and recording the archaeology and so keep an eye out for more updates on our blog as the excavation progresses over the next 6 weeks to follow our journey.

Find out more

Read about the Rendlesham Revealed project

Explore last year’s community fieldwork discoveries

Learn about the previous archaeological investigations since 2008

The volunteer spaces for this season are fully booked, however 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 our volunteers and of the landowners and farmers who work and manage this historic landscape.

If you want to get involved with the Rendlesham Revealed project and future fieldwork, you can sign up to our e-newsletter for updates.

Heritage Fund Logo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: