Archaeological excavation at Rendlesham
In October 2013 and April 2014 the project opened seven evaluation trenches to investigate the results of the survey. These trenches were carefully positioned to provide the most information possible about the archaeology from trenches 5m by 10m in two of the surveyed fields.
Excavating the first quadrant of a sunken-featured building
In Sand Walk field we found Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured buildings, comparable to the West Stow Anglo-Saxon village, and several damaged cremation urns.
Two of the plough-damaged cremation burials; inset an Anglo-Saxon glass fragment found with the burnt bone inside the pot.
This evidence suggests that the field contains a 5th to 6th century settlement and at least one cemetery as the surface finds suggest that there may be inhumation burials as well as cremations here. Coin finds show that there was activity here in the 7th and 8th centuries, but perhaps it was used for temporary meetings and trading as there is no evidence for buildings at that date.
On Park Field one enclosure turned out to be 1st century rather than Anglo-Saxon. However a major ditch was found to be a probably 7th-century boundary and there was an area of dark soil with many animal bones, which must be the rubbish heaps from the 7th and 8th century settlement. Near the medieval green we found ditches of 11th to 14th century date.
The 7th century boundary ditch.
Excavating the rubbish-filled soil layer
The excavations relied on a core group of volunteers helping to dig, to detect and to sieve the excavated soil. We sieved every context fill and a sample of the plough soil from each trench.