BIN-ding Our Ties to Binham’s Past

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We held our last HEFA before school students begin their exams in the north Norfolk village of Binham last week, and nineteen Year 9 students from Fakenham High School attended. For our sixth visit, we focused our efforts on excavating test-pits on the arable field behind the village hall and gardens on Priory Crescent which back onto a track alongside the field. Research by Binham Local History Group suggests this could be the site of a Roman villa and we were keen to see what evidence we could find.

Andrew Rogerson, Senior Landscape Archaeologist at Norfolk County Council, helped identify finds from the five test-pits. The two excavations in the field itself both came up with Roman pottery but also prehistoric struck flint flakes, and sherds of Iron Age and middle Anglo-Saxon pottery. This, along with fragments of medieval pottery from the neighbouring gardens, suggests that this area was occupied for an extended period of time before being ploughed for crops and the modern housing estate built.

Undergraduate ambassadors from the University of East Anglia joined us for the two days in Binham to help supervise the test-pit groups. Many thanks to Emily, Alex, Emma, Andrew and Hannah for their infectious enthusiasm and keen interest, helping to keep their students motivated in very warm temperatures. The sunshine was a very welcome respite following several weeks of downpours, allowing Cat and Gary to dry out the equipment and tarpaulins before storing them away. This made for an unusual muddy blue ‘bunting’ outside our base at Binham Priory on the first morning!

We owe a huge thank you to Carolyn Wright, Alan Eagle and David Frost of Binham Local History Group for their incredibly generous hospitality, keeping the ACA team well fed with our favourite piccallili sandwiches, and organising the test-pit sites. The group are also hosting a series of community dug test-pits in the same area of the village on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st July, which will be open to visitors from 10am-4pm. If interested in taking part in the excavations or requiring any further information about visiting, please contact Alan Eagle on alane2004@btinternet.com

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