Before she lost her husband, the wealthy widow Edith Pretty bought a piece of land next to her house where a few tiny hills were located. She asks the local and fairly well-known amateur archaeologist Basil Brown to come to investigate.
After some digging, Brown stumbled upon what appears to be the remains of a boat which he suggests could be Anglo-Saxon. Soon colleagues get wind of the discovery and two musea try to take over the project. Pretty sees to it that Brown remains involved in the further excavation which proves to be the finding of the nowadays famous Sutton Hoo ship and treasure.
The time is 1938. Europe is tumbling into the Second World War. Time for the excavation is short the signs of the war become more and more obvious. Pretty suffers from bad health, but tries to use her influence as long as possible. In the end, she cannot prevent other people than Brown receiving the credits for the spectacular finding and the film is an hommage to the man and his work.
“The Dig” is an alright drama about an interesting historical event. As a viewer you do not really become much wiser about the finding and especially not of the ‘treasure’. No image of what was found and what the findings look like.