Chronicle - Sutton Hoo

A new excavation project explores Saxon mounds in Suffolk to find out more about this part of 7th-Century England. As well as revealing some of the latest discoveries, this edition shows how more modern excavations are conducted, supported by film footage of Basil Brown's original dig at Sutton Hoo in the 1930s. As the project uncovers more about royal ship burial, an attempt at experimental archaeology has surprising consequences.

Basil Brown appeared in a number of programmes about Sutton Hoo on the BBC in the 1960s. He was a self-taught astronomer and archaeologist employed in farming work and other odd jobs before gaining a contract as an excavator with the Ipswich Museum in 1935. Brown's work at Sutton Hoo was at the behest of Edith Pretty, who wanted an excavator to explore the mounds on her estate. In the summers of 1938 and 1939, Brown carried out digs at Sutton Hoo, uncovering a large Anglo-Saxon burial ship and paving the way for other discoveries.

↗ Originally broadcast 16 August 1989.

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