Posted by: archaccess | April 9, 2015

Southwold and Reydon Report Online

The written report for the 2014 community test pitting in Southwold and Reydon is now available to download on our webiste here . SAR 2014 Cover

More than 50 people from the local area took part in the test pit digging that was funded by Touching the Tide in the autumn of 2014, the results of which have provided evidence for settlement in the area from the prehistoric period onwards. The test pitting results not only contribute to the history of the development of both towns, but also add to the wider data collated by ACA as part of the test pitting when looking at settlement trends as a whole across East Anglia. Further reports on the studies of Currently Occupied Rural Settlements can be found here.

Posted by: archaccess | March 31, 2015

North Warnborough 2015 Higher Education Field Academy

Test Pit 2

Test Pit 2

ACA’s second Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) of 2015 was held in North Warnborough, Hampshire. 48 Year 9 pupils from Fort Hill Community School, The Costello School, Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College, Robert May’s School and The Connaught School excavated 12 test-pits spread throughout North Warnborough. The pits were organised by Liz Good and other members of The Odiham Society. The Mill House Restaurant served as the base for the two days of excavation. This is the third consecutive year ACA have held a HEFA in North Warnborough. Reports from previous years can be found here.

Test Pit 1

     Test Pit 1

The 12 x 1m square test pits were spread throughout the small village in North East Hampshire, located in private properties on Hook Road, King John’s Road, Dunley’s Hill, Castle Rise, Mill Lane, and Chapel Pond Drive. Two pits each were also located on the recreation ground and in the grounds of The Mill House Restaurant.

Test Pit 9 &10

Test Pits 9 & 10 on the recreation ground

The students worked in mixed-school teams of 4 and were supervised by teachers from the 5 schools. After receiving a briefing on Day 1 by Dr Carenza Lewis, Director of ACA, about how to excavate and record the test pits, the students went on to make excellent progress throughout the two days of digging. Spirits remained high even though some pits had particularly muddy or chalky conditions layers to get through. We were also pleased that the Basingstoke Gazette sent a reporter out on Wednesday 25th March to cover the event. That news article will be available here once it has been published online.

Test Pit 3

     Test Pit 3

Cat Ranson, ACA archaeological supervisor, and Paul Blinkhorn, post-Roman pottery specialist, toured the North Warnborough test pits providing guidance on excavating and recording techniques as well as identifying finds and pottery sherds. This information is recorded by the students in their individual Test Pit Excavation Record Booklet which is an invaluable asset in producing their written assignment. On pupil remarked, “I enjoyed being able to find out a little bit about what we found as soon as we found it because it gave us an idea of how it was changing as we got deeper.” (PL) Paul’s finalised pottery report can be read here.

Chalk layer at Test Pit 8

     Chalk layer at Test Pit 8

Test pit 8 was sited at a known 20th century coal yard and as such came down on a heavily compacted chalk floor surface at approximately 20cm. Chalk is incredibly difficult to dig, but their perseverance paid off as finds were still coming out of this exceptionally hard layer.

Test Pit 9 finds

     Test Pit 9 finds

No Early, Middle or late Anglo-Saxon finds have been found in the 3 years of test-pitting in North Warnborough, but further High Medieval pottery has been found along Bridge Road and Hook Road, again comparable with previous years.

On the third day of the HEFA, the students (after a rather long coach journey) arrived to a beautifully sunny day in Cambridge. Carenza’s morning lecture on medieval settlement studies and the Currently Occupied Rural Settlement (CORS) project was really well received with many pupils commenting that they really enjoyed “learning more about what we discovered, the lecture on medieval settlements and the archaeological information from Dr Lewis.” (MG,LT)

Christ's College

     Christ’s College

The students then split into groups for lunch and a tour at one of Christ’s, Newnham and Sidney Sussex Colleges.

The two-hour afternoon session was comprised of a talk from Andy Avery, Schools Liaison Officer from Christ’s College, about life as a university student followed by a presentation from Dr Jenni French on how to structure and present a written account of the excavation.

University life presentation

     University life presentation

In feedback after the HEFA, 92% of the participants rated the field academy as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The students enjoyed visiting the University of Cambridge, learning how to do something new and working as part of a team with new people from different schools. Students commented “I just really enjoyed everything.” (AM), “This was a great experience overall; all the lectures were very informative and I gained new skills.” (JLR) and “It was really enjoyable and a good learning experience.” (EL) One staff member said “The students enjoyed seeing the university campus and they have gained the belief that they can come to a top university and it is not out of their reach.” (AH)

Extra helper at Test Pit 7

     Extra helper at Test Pit 7

ACA would like to thank all the students and staff of the 5 schools involved. Special thanks to Karen Jones, beacon school coordinator, and Liz Good, local coordinator.

Posted by: archaccess | March 24, 2015

Hillington 2015 Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA)

The 2015 Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) season kicked off last week in Hillington, Norfolk. The 34 Year 9 and 1 Year 8 pupils in charge of digging the 9 test-pits in Hillington were from Springwood High School, King Edward VII High School and Thomas Clarkson Academy. James Smith, teacher at Springwood High School, coordinated the students taking part while Dr Clive Bond of the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society (WNKLAS) liaised with local residents to find sites to excavate. The 1m square test pits were located in the gardens of private properties on Station Road and Wheatfields and in the grounds of The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House. Our base for the two days of excavation was The Ffolkes Arms Hotel and Country Club.

Test Pit 8 with Up Hall in the background

Test Pit 8 with Up Hall in the background

The students worked in mixed-school teams of 3 or 4 and were supervised by Springwood High School sixth formers and members of WNKLAS. After having a briefing on Day 1 by Dr Carenza Lewis, Director of ACA, about how to excavate and record the test pits, the students went on to make excellent progress throughout the two days of digging. Although at times the weather turned a bit chilly and windy, spirits remained high with one student commenting afterwards: “I loved it!!” (SS).

Cat Ranson, ACA archaeological supervisor, and Jess Rippengal, faunal remains expert, toured the Hillington test pits offering guidance on excavating and recording techniques. We were also delighted that the local newspaper, Lynn News, sent a reporter out on Thursday 19th March to cover the event. That news article will be available here once it has been published online.

Thetford ware rim sherd from test pit 2

Thetford ware rim sherd from test pit 2

On-site pottery expert, Andrew Rogerson, identified a few sherds of Iron Age pottery coming from test pits 4 and 8 in the grounds of Up Hall, initially indicating perhaps that the oldest known settlement at Hillington originated in this southeastern part of the modern village near St Mary’s Church. Such large sherds of prehistoric pottery are an unusual find. Other identified sherds of later Ipswich and Thetford ware seemingly point to the spreading out of the village towards the northwest in the Middle to late Saxon period c. 700-1100 A.D. As always, make sure to check our website in the near future for the complete pottery report.

Carenza, Andrew and Clive examine the finds from Day 1

Carenza, Andrew and Clive examine the finds from Day 1

On the third day of the HEFA, the students arrived to a rather overcast Cambridge (no visible solar eclipse here!) and all the schools took the opportunity in the morning to spend a little extra time seeing what the city has to offer: a tour around the Fitzwilliam Museum, a wander around King’s College, a bit of shopping.

Iron Age pottery sherd

Iron Age pottery sherd

Day 3 of the HEFA began with a taster lecture on medieval settlement studies and the Currently Occupied Rural Settlement (CORS) project by Dr Carenza Lewis. The students then split into groups for lunch and a tour at one of Trinity Hall, Sidney Sussex and Peterhouse Colleges.

Trinity Hall

Trinity Hall

The two-hour afternoon session was comprised of a talk from Katie Vernon, Schools Liaison Officer for both Trinity Hall and Robinson Colleges, about life as a university student followed by a presentation from Dr Jenni French on how to structure and present a written account of the excavation.

Carenza presents her lecture on medieval settlements

Carenza presents her lecture on medieval settlements

In feedback after the event, 100% of the participants rated the field academy as ‘excellent’ or ‘good. The students thoroughly enjoyed the chance to work as part of a team, learning new skills and finding things with one participant summing their HEFA experience up nicely: “It was fun and enjoyable and you don’t need to like archaeology to have a go. I think everyone should take part.” (SS) Another “enjoyed being able to work in a new place and know that no one else had touched that piece of land” (GN). One staff member said afterwards that she thought her students had gained “a greater awareness of what archaeology is, what it involves and how it helps us understand more about humankind’s history over time. Also, they’ve gained a greater appreciation of the importance of procedures and detailed studies in doing research.” (LW)

Test pit 1 near St Mary's Church

Test pit 1 near St Mary’s Church

ACA would like to thank all the students and staff of the three schools involved as well as the dedicated members of WNKLAS for making this first HEFA of 2015 such a success!

Posted by: archaccess | March 2, 2015

Year 12 Archaeology Study Day at St John’s College

On 23rd March 2015, St John’s College in Cambridge is offering Year 12 students the opportunity to learn about the study of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge through a diverse and stimulating range of sample lectures and seminars with current students and academics.
 St johns

The University of Cambridge was the first university in the UK to teach Archaeology and is indeed celebrating 100 years of offering a degree in the subject in 2015. The current undergraduate course approaches different period, area and methodological focuses in the subject through theory and practice in both the humanities and the sciences. The Archaeology Division’s website includes testimonials from students about the fieldwork opportunities available here and the graduate career prospects here. The study of Archaeology at Cambridge also includes Egyptology and Assyriology, and is part of the Human, Social and Political Science Tripos which offers both breadth and specialisation across a range of disciplines.

Students attending the Study Day at St John’s College on 23rd March 2015 will receive sample lectures from academics on subjects including archaeological science, forensic archaeology, ancient languages and the world of the pharaohs, and will take part in small-group discussions and workshops with current students. The day will also involve lunch and a tour of St John’s, with advice from the College’s admissions team on how to make a competitive application to Cambridge. The draft programme is available here.

Registration for the event is now open on the St John’s College website here, and will close on Monday 9th March 2015. The Study Day is open to individuals and small groups (no more than 4 students per school/college) in the UK. Priority will be given to students attending state-maintained schools if the event is oversubscribed. For more information, please contact the St John’s College Access Officer, Megan Roberts, at accessofficer@joh.cam.ac.uk.

FEAG talk: Tuesday 10 March, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite,
Cottenham Village College
‘Portals to the Past: Recent finds on the Crossrail archaeology
programme’ by Jay Carver

Jay Carver, Project Archaeologist for Crossrail, will be giving a talk
on ‘Portals to the Past: Recent finds on the Crossrail archaeology
programme’. Jay will explain how the construction of Crossrail through
the heart of London is resulting in one of the most extensive
archaeological programmes ever undertaken in the UK. The project spans
118 kilometres with more than 30 construction sites and has had more
than 100 archaeologists involved in the work so far. Finds range from
long extinct Ice Age animals to medieval plague burial grounds and more
recent Industrial Archaeology of London’s Victorian era.
All welcome.
See also  www.feag.co.uk

Posted by: archaccess | January 26, 2015

ITV Anglia Report on Covehithe Fieldwalking

Below follows a short report from ITV Anglia on the fieldwalking project undertaken last week in Covehithe, Suffolk by the HLF-funded Touching the Tide project and Access Cambridge Archaeology. The sound is a bit muffled, but enjoy!

This news report originally aired on Thursday 22nd January, 2015 on ITV Anglia.

Posted by: archaccess | January 26, 2015

2014 annual report from the ACA blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,400 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: archaccess | January 23, 2015

Covehithe Fieldwalking with Touching the Tide

The Heritage Lottery funded Touching the Tide landscape partnership project along with Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) organised a two-day fieldwalking project on 21st-22nd January.

Over 35 participants braved the chilly, windy conditions in Covehithe, Suffolk. Covehithe is located on the North Sea coast approximately 4 miles (6.4km) north of Southwold and suffers from the highest rate of erosion in the UK with nearly 5m disappearing into the sea every year. As such, the recovery and recording of its remaining archaeology is all the more necessary.

Covehithe Church

Covehithe Church

Dr Carenza Lewis gives a presentation on the benefits and methods of fieldwalking

Dr Carenza Lewis gives a presentation on the benefits and methods of fieldwalking

Dr Carenza Lewis of ACA gave a presentation on the benefits and methods of fieldwalking before the fieldwalkers headed out into the barely-above-freezing conditions.  A field immediately to the west of Covehithe Church was gridded out at 20m intervals and teams of two were sent out to systematically collect finds from their allocated grids.

Fieldwalking

Fieldwalking

Cat Ranson, ACA archaeological supervisor, records the finds bags as they come in

Cat Ranson, ACA archaeological supervisor, records the finds bags as they come in (with frozen fingers!)

This field yielded a wide range of finds from Neolithic flint flakes, Roman pottery, one sherd of Anglo-Saxon pottery, all the way through medieval and post-medieval sherds. Even at this early stage the finds from this field have given us a better idea where the medieval settlement was located in and around the church prior to the Black Death. Once the finds are cleaned up and identified by experts, a report will be made available on this blog and the ACA website here.

A few of the finds

A few of the finds

Sorting through the finds

Sorting through the finds

The majority of participants were from the local area and chose to join in because they were interested in both archaeology and the local history of the site. The event was rated good or excellent by 100% of participants with 94% rating it as excellent. Participants commented that the fieldwalking was “interesting, educational, fun and healthy.” Many were keen to carry on fieldwalking in the future and even set up their own groups!

After a long day fieldwalking tea and cake are always welcome!

After a long day fieldwalking tea and cake are always welcome!

Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the cold and wintry elements and special thanks to Bill Jenman and Kate Osborne of Touching the Tide for organising the fieldwalking and providing copious amounts of cake, Wood Farm Barn for hosting us and pottery expert John Newman for his on-site expertise.

 

 

Posted by: archaccess | January 19, 2015

ACA’s 9th annual Thank-You Day event

On Saturday 17th January, Access Cambridge Archaeology held their 9th annual Thank-You Day event to thank all HEFA coordinators past and present in the McDonald Institute for Archaeology Research here in Cambridge. A lot of work goes into organising each HEFA event with arrangements made by local coordinators who oversee the set up of the dig, as well as many logistics, including recruiting sites for test pitting and are also the main point of contact for us and volunteers. Their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication is essential for the continuation of ACA’s work, not only in the reasearch of Currently Occupied Rural Settlements (CORS), but with also the young people who attend each HEFA, giving them a unique experience and insight into both archaeology as well as higher education and enables them to develop personal, social, analytical and learning skills for their futures.

Thank you day 2015

ACA’s director, Dr Carenza Lewis began the day by showing photographs and the main results from the 13 HEFA’s  in 2014 which involved 52 schools throughout East Anglia and Hampshire that were attended by 526 students with 98 members of school staff, who dug a total of 211 test pits. This takes the total number of 1m² test pits excavated by the end of 2014 to an impressive 1,891 from ACA’s beginning in 2005!

The 13 villages that were excavated in in 2014 were mainly return visits to sites where we had previously excavated, including Writtle (Essex), Acle (Norfolk), Walberswick (Suffolk), Garboldisham (Norfolk), Daws Heath (Essex), Long Melford (Suffolk), Great Amwell (Hertfordshire), North Warnborough (Hampshire), Hindringham (Norfolk) and Manuden (Essesx). The new villages involved for the first time in 2014 were Rampton (Cambridgeshire), Sawtry (Cambridgeshire) and Riseley (Bedfordshire).

P1000012     P1000016

After a buffet lunch in the McDonald, where there was also a chance to socialise with the ACA team as well as with other coordinators, before the start of the afternoon talk, which focused on the community work that ACA has been involved with over the past 12 months throughout the country.

With Touching the Tide, a Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) three year landscape partnership scheme along the Suffolk coastline, ACA undertook both fieldwalking and geophysics at Snape in Suffolk, as well as test pitting through both Southwold and Reydon on the north Suffolk coast. Additional test pitting was undertaken in both Sudbury and Nayland, both in Suffolk as well as further excavations by Stour Valley Community Archaeology group (SVCA) at Goldingham Hall.

The presentations also looked back at the celebration of 10 years of ACA that was held in October 2014 at the University of Cambridge, where Dr Lewis looked back over the last decade and the work that has been undertaken by ACA with its related research and outreach. This was then followed by a drinks reception hosted by the Festival of Ideas at the University of Cambridge that was attended by close friends and collegues of ACA. The day ended with a look at what the future will hold for ACA, including plans to take the HEFA programme nationally across England over the next four years.

 

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you use this content on your site please link back to this page.

museum pic

The Museum of Cambridge and the Cambridge Museum of Technology are both undertaking oral history projects.

These two independent museums are working together to document the history of engineering in the city, as well as recording the understanding of the city’s history as it is understood by local adults with neurological conditions.

The two projects are being developed according to a high industrial standard, and offers a chance for volunteers see how these projects are run from start to finish, along with providing training for oral history work.  Volunteers are needed to help record, transcribe, and catalogue interviews within an archive, develop reminiscence boxes, and handle the administration that goes in to oral histories.

We would be happy to accept volunteers from three hours to three years – if you have time you would like to donate, we can find a place for you!  If you are passionate about history and want to help preserve Cambridge’s past, then please contact Sheldon at sheldon@museumofcambridge.org.uk

The museums can be found online.  See www.museumoftechnology.com and www.museumofcambridge.org.uk to see how they engage with their communities and with history.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 184 other followers

%d bloggers like this: