Archaeology Festival at Sutton Hoo

Anglo-Saxon reenactor at Sutton Hoo

This July, we're celebrating all things archaeological at Sutton Hoo with our Archaeology Festival! From the 21 July to 29 July, we have a range of different activities going on every day as we kick off our summer of activity before we close.

Archaeological Detectives

21, 22, 25 and 27 July; 13:00 – 14:00

Become an archaeologist for the day and see what you can uncover in our sand tray archaeology.

Our volunteers will guide you through what it takes to uncover the past, thinking about the processes and methods used out in the field.

See what you can discover beneath the sand and how looking at these objects in detail can tell us about where they could have come from and about the people who might have made them.  

Suitable for the whole family.

Archaeology in process at Sutton Hoo
Archaeology in process at Sutton Hoo
Archaeology in process at Sutton Hoo

Graveside Archaeology

21, 22, 25 and 27 July; 14:00 – 15:30

Join our expert Sutton Hoo staff and volunteers as we excavate a mock cremation burial.

Experience the skill it takes to slowly and carefully reveal a precious discovery with a chance to take part yourself.

Our team will be on hand to talk you through the archaeological processes, answer any of your questions and discuss just what it is like to excavate on real archaeological sites.

For teenagers aged 14 and up and adults.

Field Walking and Geophysics

23, 24 and 26 July; 11:00 – 16:00

Get the chance to conduct some non-invasive archaeology this July at Sutton Hoo. We are running both field walking and geophysics sessions in Garden Field – directly next to Visitor Reception and the Exhibition Hall.

Join our specially trained archaeology volunteers to learn how each of these techniques is carried out and take part in helping us add to Sutton Hoo’s archaeological record!

In the morning, we will begin with field walking, where you can learn what it is we look for and gathering up anything that you find as you go.

In the afternoon, discover how to use a geophysics scanner, recording what lies beneath the soil here at Sutton Hoo. Help map out the precise grids required as we take readings up and down Garden Field.

Sign up for a time slot for either – or both – at Reception. All training is provided for on the day.

Geophysics at Sutton Hoo
Geophysics at Sutton Hoo
Geophysics at Sutton Hoo

Gruesome Graves

24 and 26 July; 13:00 – 14:30

Embark on a voyage of discovery across the Royal Burial Grounds and into history.

Listen to our Anglo-Saxon guide as they reveal all the gruesome and grizzly details that are just too scary for our normal burial mound tours! Kids, you may have to hold your parent’s hands as you go, as it may be too scary for them!

This is a free tour, just book at reception on arrival.

An Anglo-Saxon storyteller weaves words at Sutton Hoo
Anglo-Saxon storyteller at Sutton Hoo
An Anglo-Saxon storyteller weaves words at Sutton Hoo


28 and 29 July; All day

Join re-enactment group, Wulfheodenas and discover what Anglo-Saxon life might have been like from how they lived, how they fought, and the tasks and jobs they would have carried out every day.

This year we are celebrating the lives of the women who have contributed to the history of Sutton Hoo over the centuries and all over this weekend, the women will be taking the foreground. Re-enactors from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden will be showing off their regional dress from the time Sutton Hoo was used as a Royal Burial Ground - certainly not to be missed.

This is the finale of the Archaeology Festival - what a way to celebrate a fantastic week!