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Rendlesham and metal-detecting

Professor Chris Scull gave an excellent presentation on the Rendlesham project to the Heritage Futures seminar today. He explained how the team was able to map the vicus regius on the landscape. One aspect of the presentation was the constructive use of metal-detectorists to map finds in the study area. It was clear how their carefully recorded work contributed to the understanding of this important Anglo-Saxon site that clearly has a relationship with the major ship burial site at nearby Sutton Hoo.

During the questions and discussion a little detail was revealed about the 'illegal' metal-detectoring on the site that led to investigation of the site. Scull thought that the fact that Rendlesham was known as a 'royal' site had probably attracted metal-detectorists. (I noted that there was never a mention of 'nighthawking' by Scull or members of the audience.) We were informed that a local estate worker had spotted searchers working at night.

Scull made a strong case for responsible and collaborative metal-detecting. But there was also a reminder of the damage that could be sustained to a site that clearly has international significance.

Earlier discussion of Rendelsham here.


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