The Excavations at Rendlesham 2022 (Week 4)

group of volunteers standing together

Featured image: Young people from Suffolk Young Carers join the volunteers on-site © Katie Everard / Suffolk County Council

The volunteers continue to make excellent progress excavating and recording the archaeology.

This week our team included eight volunteers from Suffolk Family Carers aged 12-14. Throughout the week, they all learnt how to excavate the archaeology, wash, mark and identify the finds and fieldwalk. We also welcomed our first volunteers from Suffolk Mind to site on Friday.  

Volunteers washing and marking finds

We have continued to excavate the rubbish dump, recovering more evidence of various activities, such as melted metal fragments suggesting metal working, several spindle whorl fragments indicating processes associated with spinning and weaving, and more animal bones which tell us more about farming and the meat that was being eaten.

This week our animal bone specialist, Dr Charlotte Scull, visited to help identify some of the bones. We have mainly found the remains of cattle, sheep and pigs and some of the bones have butchery marks. 

group of volunteers sitting excavating
Volunteers excavating the rubbish dump with Dr Charlotte Scull helping them to identify the animal bones they were finding.

A copper-alloy pin of late 6th to 7th century date was also found.

We have started excavating a pit within the footprint of the timber building. We now know that this pit is not contemporary with the building as it contains prehistoric decorated pottery, worked flint flakes, a whetstone and a lovely flint knife.

Flint knife besides a 1 cm measuring square
Flint knife from a pit

Professor Tom Williamson visited the site this week to introduce the volunteers to fieldwalking. This technique involves systematically collecting archaeological material from the surface of a ploughed field, to try and identify past concentrations of activity through time.

group of volunteers standing in a line fieldwalking
Fieldwalking with the Suffolk Family Carers

Keep an eye out next week for more updates on our blog as the excavation progresses.

Find out more

Watch this video by the young volunteers from Suffolk Family Carers and read their blog to find out more about their experience digging at Rendlesham.

filmed by young people from Suffolk Family Carers – August 2022

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.

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