The Rendlesham Project
with Jude Plouviez (Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
& Professor Chris Scull FSA MIfA
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 11th June  2016.


Between 2008 and 2014 archaeological survey at Rendlesham in south-east Suffolk revealed an extensive settlement complex with evidence for activity from late prehistory to the present day. During the 5th to 8th centuries AD the archaeology shows that this was a rich and important establishment, and was almost certainly the vicus regius or royal settlement mentioned by Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

The Study Day will review the reasons for the fieldwork project and the techniques used, and present the results of current research, interpreting the site and defining its local and wider contexts.

Provisional Programme:

09.50 – 10.15:          Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:          The Survey Project

In this session we look at the physical setting of the site, previous knowledge and work, the reasons for the fieldwork project and how the survey was undertaken. The principal method has been surface collection by systematic metal-detecting, but there has also been extensive geophysics and plotting and interpretation of aerial photography. The survey results have also been tested by trial excavation.

11.15 – 11.40:          Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:          Prehistory and Roman

This session looks at the metal-detector finds and other survey evidence for the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. What was the character of settlement and activity, and how did it change and develop?

12.40 – 14.00:          Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:          Anglo-Saxon and Medieval

This session looks at the metal-detector finds and other survey evidence for the 5th to the fifteenth centuries AD. What was the character of settlement and activity, and how did it change and develop?

14.50 – 15.10:          Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:          Interpretation and Contexts

The Anglo-Saxon high-status site at Rendlesham was unusually extensive, rich and long-lived, and was part of a continuous sequence of settlement here over two thousand years. What was the site at Rendlesham, and how do the discoveries enhance or change our understanding of society and economy in the 5th to 8th centuries?

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Jude Plouviez:

Jude Plouviez studied prehistoric archaeology at London University but has since specialised mainly in the Roman period. She worked for the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service for over 30 years, during which time she co-authored an account of the Roman period in Suffolk and the results of the large-scale excavations at Hacheston, as well as smaller excavation and finds reports. Her work at SCCAS also included recording the material found by metal detectorists, a process pioneered in Norfolk and Suffolk and now co-ordinated nationally as the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading:

Minter, J. Plouviez and C. Scull, 2014: ‘Rendlesham rediscovered’, British Archaeology (July/August 2014), pp.50-55.

Newman 2005: ‘Survey in the Deben valley’, in M. Carver, Sutton Hoo: a seventh-century princely burial ground and its context, 477-87 (London: British Museum Press).

Thomas and P. Stone (eds), 2009: Metal Detecting and Archaeology (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer).

Williamson 2008: Sutton Hoo and its Landscape: the Context of Monuments (Oxford: Windgather Press).

See also the Rendlesham Project Website