Missing pieces of a 6th century Byzantine bucket have been uncovered at the Anglo-Saxon burial site of Sutton Hoo in east Suffolk.

The missing fragments were uncovered earlier this week following a period of careful excavation and metal-detecting at the National Trust site near Woodbridge.

Specialist archaeologists, conservators and volunteers from Time Team, the National Trust and FAS Heritage have been involved in the dig, which is part of a new two-year research project exploring the earlier history of Sutton Hoo.

Time Team, which has been on a month-long dig at the site, used a range of technology that enabled archaeologists and conservators to confirm that the fragments that were found are part of the 6th century Bromeswell bucket.

The Bromeswell bucketThe Bromeswell bucket (Image: National Trust)

Fragments of the bucket were first uncovered at Sutton Hoo in 1986, with further pieces unearthed in 2012. Since then, each fragment has been painstakingly cleaned, re-shaped and mounted to show how it would have looked.

More than 80 volunteers and staff have taken part in the first phase of the research project so far, with archaeologist and TV presenter Carenza Lewis leading a team that spent three days in the Riverview Field section of Sutton Hoo.

Angus Wainwright, regional archaeologist for the National Trust, said: “Working in partnership with Time Team and FAS Heritage has been an incredible experience.

Carenza Lewis, left, talking to Angus WainwrightCarenza Lewis, left, talking to Angus Wainwright (Image: James Dobson/National Trust)

"It’s really helped to make a difference to our understanding of Sutton Hoo and formed part of our lasting legacy. 

"Earlier geophysical surveys carried out by Time Team had identified some mysterious anomalies, which led us to the excavation.

"Because of its proximity to fragments discovered much earlier, we had hoped this year’s dig would yield more of the Bromeswell bucket, which originated from the Byzantine empire in the 6th century - around a hundred years before the ship and its extraordinary treasure was put to rest."

This discovery is just one of several finds uncovered at Sutton Hoo over the past four weeks, with more to be revealed in a Time Team documentary special early next year, presented by Sir Tony Robinson. 

Archaeologist and TV presenter Carenza Lewis at workArchaeologist and TV presenter Carenza Lewis at work (Image: James Dobson/National Trust)

"It’s hoped that this two-year research project will help us to learn more about the wider landscape at Sutton Hoo and the everyday lives of the people that lived there, perhaps even shedding some light on why the Royal burial ground was placed where it was.

"So, this find is a great step on that journey.” 

Angus WainwrightAngus Wainwright (Image: James Dobson/National Trust)

Tim Taylor, creator and producer of Time Team, said: “This year’s dig has been fantastic, and we’ve really been able to piece together part of a 40-year mystery and unearth a new chapter in the Sutton Hoo story. 

Sir Tony Robinson in Tranmer House at Sutton HooSir Tony Robinson in Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo (Image: Harvey Mills/Time Team)

"Over the past four weeks, we’ve experimented with some new technology and perspectives, including the use of a live 360-camera and first person 'Specs-Cam', which has really brought our fans closer to the action."