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World War I in Foxearth

Our Chairman, Corinne Cox will be giving a talk about World War I in Foxearth on Tuesday 14th November at 7.30pm in Foxearth Village Hall, parking in Mill Lane. All welcome

This is hosted by Foxearth and District Local History SocietyCambridgeAutumn

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Update: Romano-British Excavations Autumn 2017

Friday 3rd November saw the end of the current autumn phase of our Romano-British excavations. During this phase, diggers encountered every type of weather, from unseasonal heat and sunshine to wet and windy ‘Somme-like’ conditions! The earlier wet weather meant that we could, at least, catch up with the back-log of finds washing and processing.

This phase of the excavations concentrated upon Trench G26, which continued to produce a great amount of pottery containing or associated with pig bone, deposited at regular intervals along the flint cobbled surface of the trench. Extensions in each direction revealed more such deposits, including an unusual fine terracotta vessel and the discovery of a small iron band/strap(?) within another vessel. The possibility that this area may have been used for some sacred or ritual purpose was further emphasised by a visit from Ernest Black, whose recently published paper ‘A Survey of Selected Late Iron Age & Roman Sacred Sites in Eastern England, with particular reference to Essex’ (Vol.6, Essex Society for Archaeology & History) reveals many interesting parallels with our site.

During this phase Trench F was extended and the predicted extension of the flint cobbled surface in Trench C, beyond ditch B was revealed. An extended slot in Trench A revealed the location of a ditch and more pottery.

An additional activity took place in October, an introductory course in the use of LIDAR. This was led by one of our members, Cliff Ashcroft, who proved to be an excellent tutor, especially for those of us who are technically challenged! His clarity and patience resulted in everyone feeling more confident and able to manipulate the LIDAR information on their own. Thank you, Cliff!

The next SVCA activity will be a pottery identification session, processing some of our many finds, on Saturday 11th November.

Corinne Cox (Chairman, SVCA)

Trench G26
Trench G26 on a sunny day
Lidar experts
Lidar Experts
Finds washing on a wet day
Finds washing on a wet day

SVCA ROMANO-BRITISH EXCAVATIONS : Days 6 -9

Having organised an occasional extra day’s excavation on June 30th, such was the enthusiasm and excitement of diggers that an additional 3 days were added to Phase 2 from July13th -15th.

Concentrating once more upon Trench G26, 4 slots were opened up along the cobbled ditch feature following its length in a northerly direction. A noticeable pattern had emerged of large broken pottery vessels containing or closely associated with similar sized lengths of bone from the fore-limbs of pigs or occasionally pig jawbones. These were regularly spaced along the length of the ditch feature above or fixed within the cobbled surface.

There was evidence of burnt material associated with the finds, some still within the interior of the vessels containing the bone. All this deposition hints at some form of ritual tradition or regular ‘Pig Fests’!

In slot 1 (which contained 1st – 3rd c. pottery) was found a pierced base and much of the body of a large vessel that was reminiscent of a type of continental cheese press or drainer. On the edge of this slot there were also a large number of burnt or worked flints as well as a loom weight and the usual bone remains. This slot revealed that below the dark ditch feature there was an earlier ditch, which given the occurrence of several snails, indicated that it was an open ditch for  some time, possibly being a boundary or enclosure ditch.

Slot 2 contained bone & pottery dating from 2nd – 3rd/4th c. and some interesting flints. A small piece of fine, clear glass was also found.

Slot 3 contained some interesting Iron Age pottery along with 2nd, 3rd & 4th c. pottery, including some sherds of Oxford ware.

Slot 4 showed signs of heavy burning and contained pottery dating from 1st-4th c.

On the final day, Corinne brought some replica brooches from the Romano-British period (annular, penannular & bow fibula) and demonstrated how each type were used…..unlocking for many the intricacies of these previously puzzling fasteners!

Despite extremes of weather, everyone participating enjoyed their experiences and there was a very happy atmosphere. Several new members and visitors were enthused by their first finds and have already booked places for the next phase of excavations which will take place from Friday 29th September until Monday 2nd October.

If you would like to join us, please contact Corinne to book your place : stourvalleyarchaeology@gmail.com New members will be sure to receive a warm welcome.