Goldingham Hall Excavation Day Two 12th September

Goldingham Hall Day Two

On the second day of the excavation at Goldingham, further work was carried out on the postholes and ditches in the two trenches. The postholes in Trench D have revealed a number of pieces of pottery and charcoal which can be used to date these postholes, which will then give a date for this building. Today was a very successful day with many of the features in Trench D being excavated and drawn.

Trench E, which also had postholes and ditches, revealed a ditch which has a lot of burnt clay and charcoal. It is possible that this ashy soil and burnt clay came from the ovens discovered at the site earlier in the year or other ovens which future digs will reveal. A number of pieces of pottery and bone have been found in this ditch. There is still a third ditch or pit to be excavated tomorrow.

There is a lot more to archaeological than just digging, as explained by Jill Williams, who described her day washing finds:

“The sun was shining when we arrived this morning, so Kathryn and I moved our table outside, filled our bowls, donned our rubber gloves and started scrubbing.
Emerging from the mud today were pottery rims, bones, shells, daub and flint. We have had visits from local schoolchildren, a passing lorry driver and all our diggers.
Who says washing and recording finds isn’t fun!!”

Photo 1: Jill and Kathryn washing finds

Photo 2: Some of the washed finds

We also had 30 schoolchildren from Bulmer primary school attend, and they were all keen to get digging.

Here is a blog entry by a year 6 pupil from Bulmer School:

“We walked up the dusty road while watching two dogs by a trench. We were showed the way to trench B, which was very deep and had to be fenced off. The trench we were digging in was said to contain lots of oyster shells that people would have eaten hundreds of years ago. Then half of us were taken to another trench (trench E) where we were to do some sieving.

We were given a trowel each and a sieve per group of two or three. Some of us found lots of interesting artefacts, such as carved flints, pottery and sometimes bones. Beside the trench sat a large pile of brownish soil and next to that was a smaller pile of black soil. We were told to sieve the black soil over the top of the pile of brown soil.

When the sieving was over we were showed black circles in the soil that are probably where wooden posts were stuck in the ground, possibly there to hold up the roof of a barn or house. Then that group left for digging with two baskets full of artefacts.

Back at the digging in trench A practically a hundred oyster shells were found along with pottery, flint and bones. We had to scrape at the mud with trowels until we found something, then we would dig around the object and take it out before placing it on a tray.

After that we had a break and lunch and a chance to relax. Then we did some metal detecting in groups of six with sadly no luck. Meanwhile other children scrubbed and washed the finds, except objects like clay, charcoal and other fairly soft finds. Then, after a long day we walked home.”


Bulmer Primary School pupils sieve for finds at Goldingham Hall


The spoil heap reveals treasures for pupils from Bulmer Primary School

Comment by Jane Crone from Travels in Time Archaeology

“In the afternoon the Key Stage 1 children from Bulmer School visited the site. Despite being so young they already seemed to know a lot about archaeology and were keen to discover more. They did some field walking and found some medieval pottery, tile, and LOTS of small toys. Someone suggested that Mr Cooper had dropped his toy box out of his tractor! They also had a look at the archaeologists at work and saw some of the things that had been had found today. They were very interested in the animal bones as they show what people ate in the past.”

Bulmer School’s day was organised and run by Jane Crone and Ellie Mead from Travels in Time Archaeology. For more information on activities for primary aged children please contact them via travelsintime@live.com .

More photos of today’s action will follow later, so keep watching this space.

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