Summer 2021 saw the first season of archaeological excavation at Rendlesham, as part of the community archaeology project Rendlesham Revealed. During this first year, we investigated the wider area of the Anglo-Saxon settlement, so we can better understand the range of activity and what life was like during the 5th to 8th centuries.
The remains of buildings and pits were uncovered over a wide area indicating an extensive settlement whose inhabitants were engaged in farming and craft working. There was also evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age activity as well as First World War practice trenches.
The excavation was undertaken by local volunteers under the guidance of a small expert team co-ordinated by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service and staff from the Suffolk Office of Cotswold Archaeology. More than 150 volunteers from the local community contributed to the summer’s fieldwork, including from Suffolk Family Carers, Suffolk Mind and the local Rendlesham and Eyke primary schools.
The Excavations 2021 in Pictures
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Week 1 (2021) - Opening the Trenches
During the first week, we have been setting up the site, getting the facilities delivered and opening up the trenches.
Week 2 (2021) - Excavating the features
During week 2 of the excavations, we have been busy opening the rest of the trenches with the machine, made a pre-excavation archaeological plan and have started excavating some of the archaeological features, which we suspected were pit-like features and possibly the cellars of Anglo-Saxon huts, sometimes called sunken-featured buildings.
Week 3 (2021) - Excavating, finds processing and fieldwalking with Suffolk Family Carers
In week 3, our volunteers included 8 young volunteers from Suffolk Family Carers, aged 14-17. The worked hard to continue excavating the archaeological features and we are now building up a broader picture of past activity at the site through the finds assemblage.
Week 4 (2021) - The excavations continue
In week 4, our volunteers continued to excavate the sunken featured buildings. We also had volunteers from Suffolk Mind help us to excavate, wash the finds and to fieldwalk part of the field.
Suffolk Mind's experience with the Rendlesham Revealed project
The volunteers from Suffolk Mind had such a great time excavating at Rendlesham they filmed a video about their experience.
Filmed September 2021
Week 5 (2021) - Excavating and finds washing with Rendlesham Primary School
In week 5, the Year 3 class from Rendlesham Primary School joined our volunteers to excavate the sunken featured buildings, wash the finds and to continue fieldwalking. We were also joined by staff from West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Moyses Hall Museum.
Week 6 (2021) - The Last Week of the Excavations
During the sixth and final week of the Rendlesham Revealed excavations the volunteers were busy 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.