Suffolk's Sutton Hoo is to have another major new dig this summer when Sir Tony Robinson brings Time Team to a new part of the estate.

Keen archaeologist Sir Tony said he would be fulfilling a long-standing ambition when he joins the dig: “In all my years exploring archaeology, I never, ever thought that I would get a chance to be involved with an excavation of Sutton Hoo - that is so exciting.”

This summer's dig is part of a two-year research project by Time Team at the site which became world-famous after the discovery of the Anglo-Saxon burial ship in 1939.

East Anglian Daily Times: Time Team undertook survey work at Sutton Hoo in 2021 and 2022.Time Team undertook survey work at Sutton Hoo in 2021 and 2022. (Image: Time Team)

Time Team carried out work in 2021 and 2022 using ground-penetrating radar surveys of both the Royal Burial Ground and Garden Field, partially funded by the Sutton Hoo Society.  

The Garden Field - behind the Visitor Centre and Exhibition Hall - produced some interesting survey results.

It is some way from the Burial Mounds - but research over the last  two years has indicated that it could also be part of the Anglo Saxons' site, or it could be much older.

Regional Archaeologist for the National Trust Angus Wainwright said: “Time Team’s geophysical survey identified several mysterious features in Garden Field.

"We want to determine if they are archaeology or geological features. To do this we are carefully planning for an archaeological dig in June. 

  “Garden Field has an extraordinary amount of archaeology in it, from prehistoric fields and possible burial mounds through to Roman settlements and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, but who knows what else may be hidden there. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Members of Time Team with Sir Tony Robinson at Sutton Hoo.Members of Time Team with Sir Tony Robinson at Sutton Hoo. (Image: Harvey Mills/Time Team)

“We know from previous work in this field, it’s likely we will find prehistoric flint tools and fragments of Anglo-Saxon objects from burials scattered through the plough soil, but working out what the mysterious geophysical anomalies are will be our focus. 

 “We hope to find evidence of the deep-time prehistory of Sutton Hoo and perhaps more information about the Anglo-Saxon cemetery, which we first discovered in 2000, when we were building the visitor centre. 

“The approach will be painstaking, recording all the finds in 3D from the ground surface, down through the plough soil until we reach the undisturbed archaeology.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Sir Tony Robinson and Helen Geake at Sutton Hoo.Sir Tony Robinson and Helen Geake at Sutton Hoo. (Image: Harvey Mills/Time Team)

Supported by Field Archaeological Specialists (FAS), this latest project will involve members of the 1980s archaeological team who carried out a dig on the Royal Burial Ground. 

Time Team’s series producer and creator Tim Taylor said: “We are incredibly thrilled to expand our relationship with Sutton Hoo, delving deeper into the history of one of Britain’s most iconic sites.

"The story of Sutton Hoo has captured the world’s imagination, as we can see by the success of the award-winning film The Dig, and we hope to reveal yet another exciting chapter.” 

Angus added: “The discovery of the Great Ship Burial in 1939 not only stunned the archaeological world but set the scene for further exploration.

"Later archaeological campaigns at Sutton Hoo helped solve mysteries left by the original dig and revealed more about life in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia. We can’t wait to see what this next chapter will bring.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Time Team hope to uncover more mysteries from Sutton Hoo.Time Team hope to uncover more mysteries from Sutton Hoo. (Image: Paul Geater)

Time Team expert Dr Helen Geake added: “It feels so exciting that we can uncover a new area, a new part of the landscape.

"It's a tantalising piece of the jigsaw puzzle that we've always known a bit about, but to be able to find something new and tangible would be truly amazing.” 

The National Trust will be working with archaeology volunteers to help support this project and there will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to see archaeology in action when the dig takes place this June. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Sir Tony Robinson at the wheel of the Time Team Land Rover.Sir Tony Robinson at the wheel of the Time Team Land Rover. (Image: Harvey Mills/Time Team) 

Time Team will document this unique investigation as it unfolds, culminating in a documentary special, presented by Sir Tony Robinson, and with a series of exclusive updates for fans on the membership platform, Patreon. 

Full details of the coverage and documentary release dates will be confirmed in a future announcement. 

The research project complements a separate, ongoing Time Team documentary, already in development, filming the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company’s reconstruction of the ship at the centre of the site’s story.