Recording the heritage of our built environment is an area of archaeology that is less well known than the trench, and we do this partly by keeping an eye out for the opportunities presented by maintenance and other work around old buildings. Recently Sedgeford's church of St Mary the Virgin underwent some structural work. Long-time SHARP team member Terry was able to go along to check out what was revealed and has kindly provided this guest blog post today. Drop in and say hello to Terry in our Visitor Centre when you visit the site this year, and if you are interested in architecture and built heritage, have a look at our new course in 2018, Unlocking Sedgeford's Medieval Past. And if you

May week in the OVH

As usual, we have had our Human Remains Team Annual May Week trip to Sedgeford's Old Village Hall (OVH) to work on a range of bone-related projects. The weather was mostly warm and sunny – we still had to wear our fleeces in the OVH, but could eat our lunch in the sun, including some delicious cakes courtesy of Bill. Ray was looking at some of the old Brothwell records – Brothwell excavated our Anglo-Saxon burial ground in the 1960s. Some of our local skeletons from his excavations are in the Leverhulme Collection, in Cambridge. We are hoping to revisit them soon, and gather as much information as we can to add to our understanding of the whole population. We have been finalising a few proje

All torc, torc, torc...

Most of us have heard of the Great Torc of Snettisham. Did you know that Snettisham is the next parish south of Sedgeford? And that Sedgeford has its own torc? The Sedgeford torc was found in 1965 by a farmer who was harrowing a field when his equipment was snagged and brought to a stop with a clatter. Lo and behold, he found an ancient gold torc twisted up in the machinery. Made of gold and silver alloy wire 'rope', the torc was beautiful despite its damaged state, but it had only one terminal: the other had presumably been wrenched off when it was dragged up from its hiding place in the soil. The Sedgeford torc ended up in the British Museum, where it remains. But where was the other termi

All work and no play...

A couple of weeks ago we brought you an overview of last year's Friday nights at SHARP. Fridays are the end of our working week and, traditionally, our night to party and relax. Plans are afoot for 2018 and the timetable for Friday nights is taking shape. If you'll be on Boneyard this summer, or if you're thinking of coming to be a volunteer or attend a course, read on! Week One Friday 6 July Usually a quiet one for our first week - details TBA soon. Week Two Friday 13th ‘Sedgeford’s Got Talent’ – music and performance night. Bring your instruments and start polishing your spoken word and comedy routines! Week Three Friday 20th Hugh Lupton “The Mardling Acre” In Norfolk, to mardle is to g

Animal, mineral or vegetable (or sorting the sheep from the goats)

Environmental archaeology and zooarchaeology are the two sub-disciplines that tell us most about the physical habitat in which past people lived. Did they live in a forest? Open fields? Through a time of drought? Was it originally a wet climate, or under water? Cold or warm overall? What sort of animals were kept? Were they wild or domesticated? How old or young were they when slaughtered, and what were they used for? And what other wild animals lived in the area? All these questions, and many more, can be answered by careful study of the soil coming out of particular archaeological contexts. 'Enviro', as it's commonly called, is a highly specialised area where tiny finds can reveal enormous

Ready, steady, go...

Season 23 is almost upon us! It is hard to believe, but in six weeks SHARP team members will start arriving on site to transform a quiet Norfolk field into a busy hub of cutting-edge public archaeology. Set-up week follows a well-honed timetable of activities, including unpacking and pitching the Marquee, pulling out and checking tools, cleaning and re-commissioning the kitchen and taking delivery of portacabins. Over the course of the week, supervisory team members drift in and pitch their tents, taking first dibs of the flat patches at the very bottom or the very top of the field (which is why volunteers usually have to make do with the sloping bits - sorry). And as everything is unpacked

TGIF, Boneyard-style

It's Friday! And Fridays are a big day (and night) at SHARP. During our excavation season, our six-day working week ends at 3:15pm when we down tools (and clean them and put them away neatly, of course), have a cuppa and sit down to listen to presentations from students on courses of the week. We usually kick off with the BERTs - who have just completed BERT, our Basic Excavation and Recording Techniques course - talking about the research they have completed as part of their training, and then follow with the specialist courses of the week. One of these was the long and terrible saga of the Death of Aethelweard, as dramatised by students on the Introduction to Human Remains course. It was a

SHARP lecture series 2018

Every Tuesday evening during the excavation season, at 7:30pm, Sedgeford's beautiful church becomes a lecture theatre for the weekly academic presentation. Sometimes we have visiting lecturers, and sometimes the presenter comes from in-house to update Sedgeford residents, local visitors and the week's SHARPies on the current status of one of the Project's many sub-disciplines. Whatever the subject, it is always a stimulating, topical and thought-provoking presentation. The annual lecture series is put together by our own Dr John Jolleys, who has provided the following to whet our appetites for 2018... "The season's lecture series kicks off on 3rd July when Paddy Lambert, a colleague of Phil

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