Rendlesham Revealed: The Heart of a Kingdom AD 400-800 is a new exhibition at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo, telling the story of an Anglo-Saxon royal settlement in Suffolk, the largest and wealthiest of its time known in England.
The exhibition is part of the community archaeology project Rendlesham Revealed: Anglo-Saxon Life in South-East Suffolk, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
To show how Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham was found by Archaeologists.
Create a video with a mixture of animation, real-life images of objects and film footage of the archaeology techniques being used. To show how Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham was found by Archaeologists. Use animation to show what happened in the past and photo/video use for the present-day investigation.
Audience: Key stage 2 primary school children
Length: Approx 2mins.
After 12 years of archaeological investigation, SCC Archaeological services have identified the site of the early East Anglian royal settlement at Rendlesham, first mentioned in the 7th century by Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Work is being undertaken in 2020-2024 as part of the community archaeology project Rendlesham Revealed, during which a library of video and photos has been built of the discovery and excavation process. These assets were a crucial record to display how archaeologists were using archaeology to discover the history at Rendlesham and were made a requirement to show some of these assets in the video.
We were to start the video with illustrations, to interpret what Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham may have looked like. Donna Wreathall had created an artist's impression of what a Royal Hall at Rendlesham could look like. Including Donna’s illustration in the intro of the video, the animation needed a lot more illustrations to tell the Anglo-Saxon story, so following Donna's black and white, line and dot shading illustration style, I created the other illustrations of huts, marketplace, animals, farmers, families and tradespeople for the video.
During the excavations in 2022, a royal hall of "international importance" that dates back 1,400 years was discovered. This changed what we already knew about the hall, quite significantly, and Donna went back to her original hall drawing and re-created the hall to what we now knew - thus being a much larger, more grand hall which then had to be shown accurately within the animation.
The end of the video was to wrap up the history and bring it to the modern day, showing the recent excavations and history being discovered. Using the footage and photographs to show the archaeologists and the community volunteers coming together to unearth the past to make a record of it forever.
My role: Producer, editor, motion designer and illustrator.
Music by Gemma Parker. Illustration of the royal hall by Donna Wreathall.
The ‘How has Archaeology Revealed Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham?’ video is on display in the Discovery Room within Tranmer House at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo, for the Rendlesham Revealed exhibition from 23rd March - 29th October 2023.
The Discovery Room is for young people to discover and learn history and in this case, specifically the Anglo-Saxons. The video will be played on repeat and accompanying activities will be available for children to take part in such as coin activities, writing activities and drawing activities.
Also hosted on various websites by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, the video paired with activities will be accessible to anyone to access, aimed at families and schools, to help children learn about archaeology and history.
Created March 2023 by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service for the Rendlesham Revealed community project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Video and animation by Emma Youell.