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The Dig effect sees hundreds of thousands access British Museum after success of Suffolk-set Netflix drama




The British Museum has reported a significant spike in people searching for information relating to the Sutton Hoo treasure on the back of Suffolk-set Netflix hit The Dig.

Since the film, which stars Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, was released to the small screen on January 29, page views have shot up 129 per cent since then.

The museum’s Sutton Hoo helmet video has amassed 800,000 views on YouTube since 14 January and a similar number again on Facebook. A video about the Sutton Hoo sword has now reached 720,000 views.

Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum. Hits have spiked on the museum's website.
Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum. Hits have spiked on the museum's website.

It all follows The Dig becoming the most watched film on British Netflix on its debut weekend. Fiennes plays Basil Brown, a Suffolk excavator who uncovers Anglo-Saxon remains near the property of Edith Pretty - who is played by Carey Mulligan.

After their find in 1939 the treasure was taken to the British Museum.

The museum has also seen a large increase in discussion. And Sue Brunning, curator of the Early Medieval European Collections at the British Museum, said that people have even been giving archaeology a go themselves.

Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum
Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum

“There has been a large increase in discussion on Facebook and Twitter, and large increase in emails, from questions ranging from how much of the film is true, to teachers asking for resources to speak to their class with, to items people have found in their own gardens in Suffolk that they now believe could be related to Sutton Hoo.”

The museum’s blog had such a demand that it briefly crashed, but has now resurrected and had 60,000 page views. New users to the website have increased by 203 per cent.

Sue Brunning added: “I knew the film would be popular among fellow archaeologists and people interested in period dramas and that sort of thing, but it seems to have transcended those usual audiences and really touched a nerve with people.

“I mean, I think Sutton Hoo is worthy of trending of course, but to see it actually [doing so] has been surreal in many ways.”

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