As this month’s contribution to the ‘great excavations’ mini-series, I turn my attention to a ‘great’ project of Anglo-Saxon archaeology: Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. The site is one of the best-known in the country thanks to the stunning array of high-status grave goods recovered during the 1939 excavations and displayed in the British Museum since the late 1940s. But in this column I want to focus not on the objects but rather on the two great post-war phases of fieldwork undertaken on the site between 1965 and 1971, led by Rupert Bruce-Mitford, and then again between 1983 and 1992, led by Martin Carver. With CA having launched in March 1967, the timing of these projects coincides perfectly with the emergence and growth of the magazine.
Sutton Hoo is best known for the elite Anglo-Saxon cemetery excavated there in the 1930s, but more recent campaigns tell an even richer tale. The royal burials sprang from an earlier cemetery, and were followed by dozens of graves of execution victims. How does the sequence track the journey of Anglo-Saxons, from pagan immigrants to […]