We were in Ashwell, Hertfordshire, on Saturday for the first Dig & Sow event for the East of England’s Cultural Olympiad project, On Landguard Point. Over 100 residents, family friends & volunteers dug 34 test-pit sites across the village in a truly ‘Olympic’ effort!
We began Saturday morning with a briefing delivered by Carenza and the Pacitti Company at Ashwell School about the aims of the project. Diggers were asked to mark out and de-turf their test-pits the evening before to start excavating straight after the briefing. Each site was visited at several points by ACA archaeologists to identify finds, check paperwork and answer questions. We were really impressed at how enthusiastically everyone stepped up to the challenge and appreciated being part of such a large scale community project. The day rounded up with a summary from each test pit, a display of the finds and a well earned cup of tea back at Ashwell School. Each test pit received a packet of seeds and a different silver charm representing Hertfordshire to sow into their finished test-pit at the end of the day as a lasting legacy of the Cultural Olympiad.
Many thanks to Sarah Talks for promoting the event amongst local residents recruiting sites to excavate and finding extra diggers to help. Another big thank you to Gil Burleigh and other volunteers from the North Hertfordshire Archaeological Society for volunteering their time and digging expertise.
Next Sunday, 18th September, is the second day of Dig & Sow test-pit excavations in Ipswich, Suffolk. If you want to sign up to the remaining Dig & Sow Cultural Olympiad events, please see the On Landguard Point website.
Feedback from the Ashwell Dig & Sow event:
‘Great fun, fascinating and good community activity.’
‘Fun and informative. Great village activity.’
‘I have really enjoyed the experience and will recommend it to others so I hope it can happen again sometime.’
‘A positive and helpful look into local history where learning is stretched and engagement can take place.’