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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Excavation of Sutton Hoo Yields Unseem 1939 Photographs

Over 700 new pictures of the hugely important 1939 archaeological dig in Suffolk were dropped off at the National Trust visitor centre by a mystery donor.  When experts opened the albums they were stunned by the colour images of the excavation of the grave believed to be that of the Anglo Saxon king Raedwald.

The pictures were taken by two female teachers who were amateur photographers and were on holiday in the area. Mercie Lack and Barabara Wagstaff's visit to the early 7th century burial was known of but the collection of the unseen photos has proved invaluable to archaeologists.

Their equipment included German colour film and their photos are one of the first excavations in the country captured in colour. Personalities are also shown and they include the famous archaeologist Basil Brown and Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise, who turned up for a tour.

The pictures also include details such as the archaeologists working with a turkey baster and kitchen bellows.
These were possibly taken from the kitchen of Edith Pretty, the landowner who believed there were treasures on her land and organised the dig.

Prior to these photos emerging there were just 29 known pictures of the excavation of one of the most important discoveries ever in the UK. When the ship was dug, experts from the Science Museum were there to take measurements - but their data were lost during the war.

So these pictures have enabled experts to help piece together the missing information.

Edited From The Telegraph


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