The next planned excavations will be over 3 days…..Saturday April 28th, Sunday April 29th ( there will be an opportunity to visit the Bluebell Woods and/or attend the outdoor Bluebell Sunday open-air church service during the afternoon) and Monday 30th April. There are still a few places left for those who have not yet booked to take part.
Day 2 of this season’s excavations saw a change of plans……due to the heavy rain of recent days the site was too waterlogged to enable us to undertake any fieldwork so a very useful morning was spent by members in cataloguing and processing the pottery finds from last autumn. The morning was enjoyed by all, some wanted to stay even longer and have asked for more such sessions to be arranged. Dates will be advised later.
The 2018 season of SVCA excavations saw us return to Hill Farm, Gestingthorpe where we re-visited Trench A of the Old Barn Field site. On this occasion a new slot was opened up at right angles to the original slot opened in the autumn of 2017. More evidence of the extent of the ditch feature was revealed and more pottery sherds discovered in the dark ash fill area. One group of sherds proved to be part of the same large vessel. New members took part in this day’s excavation and were well rewarded with finds, boosting their confidence in their newly acquired skills!
Some of us enjoyed messy days in 2016 adding wattle and daub to this Anglo Saxon watermill. Now it’s got a roof and once the scaffolding is down and lime wash added it’ll be time to grind some wheat! What a fantastic project!
This year’s AGM will be held at Lavenham village Hall/ Library on Friday 16th March, 7pm for 7.30pm.
The talk will be about Spong Hill and the Anglo-Saxon migration to Britain
by Dr Catherine Hills
”They came from three of the strongest tribes in Germany, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.” This apparently simple statement by the Venerable Bede in the eighth century has been debated for centuries. Are the English descended from invading Germans, unlike the truly British Welsh, Scots and Irish? Or, were there just a few chieftains with their warbands? Archaeological evidence has been used to answer this question in both directions. In this lecture the finds from a large fifth-century cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, Norfolk, will be discussed in the context of this debate.
Dr Catherine Hills has researched and taught the archaeology of early medieval Europe for many years. She directed the excavations at Spong Hill in the 1970s, presented archaeology programmes on channel 4 in the 1980s and was a lecturer at Cambridge University from 1977 to her retirement in 2014.
Despite the weather SVCA members have already begun a busy year of archaeology. On Saturday 3rd February a group spent a happy morning sorting finds from last year’s digs. This vital work ensures that our records are up to date and enables us to plan for future escavations.
On Saturday 10th February Ashley Cooper organised a splendid field walking refresher session between the Roman Villa site and the Romano British site. Despite the bitter cold we were able to refresh our old skills and learn some new ones.
After warming ourselves up with a hot drink we were able to wash and examine the finds. As well as a number of burnt flints (possibly Neolithic) and Roman brick and tile we found some fossils. Ashley’s local knowledge was invaluable as he was able to identify and provide context for all that we found. Although even he wasn’t expecting to find a fossil that told us that we were doing OK – see the image below!
Colchester Archaeological Group run talks on Monday nights during the winter. Our own Ashley Cooper give a talk about the archaeology and history of Goldingham Hall at 7.30pm on 29th January. Entry to CAG members £2 to others £4