We have had a busy summer and autumn and, in addition to open days linked to two of our excavations at Isleham, Cambridgeshire and Fornham All Saints, Suffolk, we have been able to carry out or support several other projects and events in which the general public have been able to get involved …
On the 24th and 25th October Tim Schofield and Ed Palka, assisted by local volunteer Oliver Rose, returned to the Garden Field at the Sutton Hoo National Trust visitor centre to carry out another project of geophysical survey with help from the general public, following on from our earlier sessions in March. This time the survey used an earth resistivity meter with the aim of providing additional data to support the previous findings and concentrated on the south-east corner of the field, in the area of the findspot of the 'Bromeswell Bucket', a rare imported artefact from the eastern Mediterranean dating to the 6th century. Over 100 visitors stopped by during the two days to try their hand at using the equipment and learning how such surveys are carried out.
The preliminary results show how the bucket findspot was affected by a modern service.
During September and October Suffolk Archaeology's Linzi Everett supervised the community excavation at Court Knoll, Nayland. We were commisiioned by the Nayland with Wissington Conservation Society and the dig was carried out by volunteers from the local community, the Colchester Archaeological Group and the Stour Valley Community Archaeology group.
You can find out more about the excavation, or volunteer to help out with the post-excavation processing of the finds, at the Nayland and Wissington Conservation Society website.
The Open Day at the Suffolk archaeology warehouse on 30th July, held as part of the 2016 Festival of Archaeology, was a great success, with over 300 visitors of all ages and from all corners of the county coming along to meet our team, learn about our recent fieldwork and post-excavation projects, the Hands on Heritage project and the outreach activities that we can offer.
The teams ‘archaeocafe’ also raised over£135 which has been donated to the Needham Market branch of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity. The biscuits based on the 12th-14th century antler gaming piece from our recent excavation at the Guildhall Feoffment School in Bury St Edmunds were a particular hit!
Suffolk Archaeology was delighted to be a lead sponsor of the conference, held on 25th September in Bury St Edmunds, to present the results of archaeological investigations in Rendlesham from 2008-2014. Suffolk Archaeology staff have previously helped with various aspects of The Rendlesham project, which has been co-ordinated by our former colleagues at the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service.
The conference was a great success, attracting local and national media attention, and detailed how the project has identified a significant 5th to mid 8th century Anglo-Saxon settlement via systematic metal-detecting, magnetometer survey and small trial trench excavations. The site appears to be the ‘vicus regius’, a royal settlement, stated as being at Rendlesham by the Venerable Bede. Suffolk Archaeology would like to congratulate the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service and in particular the four volunteer metal-detectorists who we know well; Terry Marsh, Alan Smith, Roy Damant and Robert Atfield.