The charm of the “The Dig”, just out on Netflix, is as insidious and penetrating as the Suffolk mists and fogs of Simon Stone’s sublime cinematography. It is the more or less true story of the unearthing of a Saxon funerary ship from about the 7th Century CE, with a surprisingly complete inventory of grave goods from across Europe and into Asia.

The ship was excavated at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge in the summers of 1938 and 1939. As war came that last September the burial area was covered with bracken leaves, the treasures destined for the British Museum were buried in deep deposits on the disused stretch of the London Underground between Aldwych and Holborn.