What was the environment like in the past? Was the course of the river Deben different and was it navigable all the way up to Rendlesham? These are very good questions and ones that we are hoping to answer as part of our community archaeology project Rendlesham Revealed.
Palaeoenvironmental Survey in the Deben Valley - 2021
In June and July 2021, an auger survey at Rendlesham was carried out, with the expertise of Professor Charles French and Dr Sean Taylor from University of Cambridge. The aim of the fieldwork was to understand the soil sequence in the Deben valley and to look for waterlogged deposits, which may tell us more about the development of vegetation in the valley and the impact of human activity.
The survey revealed an area of springs emerging from the sand geology, as well as a possible meandering palaeo-channel (old river channel) of up to about 100m across and 2-4m in depth. The palaeo-channel may well have been still active and in close proximity to the Anglo-Saxon settlement and might well explain their positions in this landscape.
Visit to the Geoarchaeology Labs at University of Cambridge - 2021
Soil samples from archaeological sites can tell us a lot about the past environment and how the landscape was used through time. But how are these samples processed? In November 2021, we were joined by volunteers from Suffolk Mind to visit Professor Charly French and Dr Tonko Rajkovaca at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge to find out more.
Tour of the Geoarchaeology labs, with Prof Charles French
Watch this video by Professor Charles French who takes us on a tour of the geoarchaeology labs at University of Cambridge to show us how they process soil into "thin section" samples which can then be analysed through a polarised microscope. Special thanks to Professor Charles French and Dr Tonko Rajkovaca for filming and sharing this footage with the Rendlesham Revealed project.
Geoarchaology in Pictures
Use the arrows to scroll through the slideshow or view the whole album on flikr.com