My main gripe, however, is Rory Lomax. [SPOILERS TO FOLLOW] The internet tells me this 'problem' originates with the novel, also titled The Dig. Lomax is the cousin of Pretty and functions as the self-appointed photographer of the excavation. He's also a love interest for young archaeologist Peggy Piggot (played by Lily James) who is working on the site with her husband. Near the end of the movie, he is called up to join the RAF. Don't bother googling to find out if he survived the war; he never existed. I wasn't surprised to find out that Lomax is a fictional addition. His character is just too convenient, and the love triangle is painfully cliché in a film that was, up until that point, understated and fairly sophisticated.
So who did take photos at Sutton Hoo in 1939?
The principle photographers of the excavation were Mercie Lack and Barbara Wagstaff, both teachers and enthusiastic photographers with an interest in archaeology. Their photographs and notations record the site as it was in 1939 and offer an intimate look at the day-to-day proceedings of the dig.
Did a movie that deliberately calls out history's erasure of the contributions made by one 'experienced amateur,' in turn, ignore the contributions of two other experienced amateurs in favor of a fabricated steamy affair and partial nudity?
Yes, yes, it did.