Sutton Hoo - Classroom archaeology in the digital age

Primary History Article

By Nuffield Primary History Project, published 9th August 2010

Introduction

The class had composed its Anglo-Saxon funeral poem for Raedwald, an Anglo-Saxon king, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rædwald_of_East_Anglia , the high king or Bretwalda of all seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the early seventh century as well as being King of the East Angles in his own right www.ehistling-pub.meotod.de/images/01_02/15_a.gif, The poem ended in exultation, welcoming Raedwald into the after life. At that point I realized I was teaching in a Catholic school!

For over thirty years we have been simulating the excavation of the Sutton Hoo burial ship at Woodbridge, Suffolk. We involve pupils as history detectives in the visceral excitement of excavating and discovering the mystery objects in the burial mound's grave, interpreting them and reconstructing the burial and its significance through archaeological investigation involving, for example, drama: expressive movement; creative, poetic, dialogic and discursive writing; modelling; discussion and debate.

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