Prof Christopher Scull
Survey and excavation at Rendlesham, Suffolk (with Suffolk County Council)
Surface finds have revealed the site of a major settlement of the sixth to eighth centuries AD that may be confidently identified with the Anglo-Saxon royal establishment recorded by Bede in a context of AD 655-664. A programme of systematic field survey (including controlled metal-detecting, magnetometry, aerial photography, contour survey and geochemical survey) followed by evaluation aims to characterise the material culture signature of activity on the site, clarify spatial distributions and structuring, and assess preservation and potential.
The survey methodology integrates remote-sensing and ploughzone data with a precision that allows spatial and
chronological modelling of activity on the site. All survey data is held within a GIS environment allowing interrogation against other topographic, environmental and historic mapping data-sets. In addition to its importance for early medieval archaeology, the project is helping developing approaches to characterising and assessing the significance of ploughzone assemblages, and management and protection responses.
The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell (Essex): analysis and publication
Archaeological evaluation in advance of a proposed road scheme at Prittlewell, Southend-on Sea (Essex) in 2003 uncovered the lavish burial of a man in a wooden chamber beneath a barrow mound dated to the late sixth / early seventh centuries AD. It is important as the only intact princely grave excavated in England since the Mound One ship burial at Sutton Hoo in 1939, for the conditions inside the chamber which preserved the original disposition of objects including those hung on the chamber walls, and for the rich and varied burial assemblage which includes a unique indication of Christian belief in the form of two gold foil crosses laid over the face of the deceased.
The programme of analysis, managed by Museum of London Archaeology and funded by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and English Heritage, is intended to deliver a definitive monograph publication in 2015/16, to secure the finds and archive, and to provide the understanding essential for future public interpretation and display of the burial assemblage.