On this day...1st August

Throughout the history of the project we have often been visited by the local press and radio but in 2014 the BBC came to film a short episode for ‘Mr. Bloom: Here and There’ for their CBeebies network. Children’s presenter Ben Faulks (Mr. Bloom) brought a group of children along to ‘excavate’ the teaching trench. Gary (whatever you say, Gary, you were a natural 😉) did a brilliant job of teaching and working with the children. Ann escaped from the Finds hut for a couple of hours to help, remaining carefully in the background well out of camera reach. It did seem appropriate at the time to have a photo taken with the star of the show though, as you do. As there were not too many note-worthy

On this day...31st July

Here we see Matt Cross wielding the ‘staff of power’ during a site tour in 2009. Forward two years to 2011 and a very industrious sight. A group of volunteers are busy meticulously sorting residue. Were you part of this group? Another photo from 2011 that we couldn’t resist adding is this one of Westie on Trench 14. He is clearly working rather deep down but we wonder what he is thinking as he peruses the archaeology? We conclude today with a photograph taken in 2013. It was difficult to capture this imprint in a section of daub excavated from the ‘oven’ collapse which was becoming increasingly fragile as it dried out. Can you make out most of a small handprint? This would have been on the i

On this day...30th July

We begin today with a find from Trench 6 in 2008. It is a section of a single-sided composite comb. The teeth of such combs were typically shaped from antler as this material was stronger and more flexible than the bone used to form the rest of the comb. This fragment is made up from several pieces including two side-plates and two tooth-plates. The pieces are held together by three iron rivets, which still survive although now corroded. The side-plates have been decorated on one side with incised parallel transverse lines. This type of comb is commonly dated to the 7th-8th century. Dom found this brooch on this day in 2012. It is a copper-alloy domed disc brooch with a fine quality intricat

On this day...29th July

This curious bone artefact was recovered from Trench 6 in 2008. It is an incomplete distal end of a sheep or goats right tibia. The worked end has been rounded and slightly polished. The purpose of the artefact is unclear but the most likely suggestion is that it was intended as a socketed handle for a metal tool such as a punch or awl. There was great excitement on this day in 2015 when Jon found this little treasure in Trench 20. Made from silver it is unclear what this artefact was originally but it was probably a strap-end, a mount or a tag of some kind. What is apparent is that it has later been reworked or repaired. The top is jagged and irregular with two rivet/attachment holes. It ha

On this day...28th July

Seeing double, treble, quadruple? We were delighted to welcome this family with quads to our Open day in 2013 and as you can see they were all keen to look at our collection of finds. Thank you to them for granting us permission to use this photo. Why not visit us again next year? We would love to see how the children have grown. This day in 2016 produced two rather special finds. First is this finely worked flint arrowhead found in Trench 22 by M. Orridge. Dating to the Later Neolithic era it is known as a chisel arrowhead. It has been retouched to form the triangular shape and may have been hafted into a wooden shaft. It is just over 2mm thick at most and weighs a mere 1.76g. Found just a

On this day...27th July

Back in time to 2006 and another rain-drenched photograph, this time taken up on the Roman Project. Amid the puddles work continues. We even appear to have some recording taking place by a completely headless volunteer! It must have been a jolly wet day as Finnian seems to have found some mud on the campsite too 😊 But go forward seven years to 2016 and we can show you the coin Rob found in Trench 22. It is a silver penny of Harthacnut and as you can see it is in amazingly good condition. It is the jewel cross type with variant right facing bust. The moneyer is Thegnwine and it was minted in Exeter. It dates between 1040-42. Rob was justifiably delighted with his discovery.

On this day...26th July

On this day in 2009 a Saxon silver series R8 sceat was found in Trench 10. It dates from c.730-50 and was minted in East Anglia. Interestingly a coin of the same type was found in the Boneyard evaluation trench in 2000. Open day 2009 and we have Rowena in Anglo-Saxon costume showing us she is the best at ‘Toss-the-torc’. We have an eagle-eyed Alyson to thank for this tiny green glass bead. Measuring just 2.37mm in diameter and weighing too little to even register, Alyson discovered it whilst sorting residue from a Trench 20 environmental sample from 2015. It is circular with a central circular hole. Although a first for our site, several have been found at other Anglo-Saxon settlement sites

On this day...25th July

We begin today with this great working shot from Trench 13 in 2010. Everyone is standing by a post-hole that they are excavating! So what kind of building once stood here we wonder. This pretty little bead was recovered during environmental sampling of soil from Trench 14 in 2011. It is cylindrical in shape and brownish in colour, with a whitish criss-crossing design. It is typically Anglo-Saxon in style. We are finishing today with just one of the many photographs we have of daub fragments. What makes this one particularly interesting is the clear impressions left by the wattle. It was just one of hundreds from the ‘oven’ collapse excavated from Trench 17 in 2013.

On this day...24th July

We begin today with these two large sherds of Ipswich type ware dating to the Middle Saxon period. Together they form part of a spouted vessel. But what makes these sherds so interesting is the stamped decoration and the attempts at burnishing, a process to help achieve a shiny finish to the pot. They were recovered from Trench 14 in 2011. We always have them out on show in the information centre if you would like a closer look next year. Actually not too sure of the year for this one but for those who were not present for the organised water fight and therefore didn’t witness our founder director dressed as a marauding Viking and David drenching all in reach this one is for you. Sorry about

On this day...23rd July

Back in time to 2005 and a line of volunteers are about to start a new morning on the Roman Project. We can see Steve and Ray (and is that you, Mike?) but who else was there that year? More about this project later 😉 2009 was a cracking year for small finds and on this day our little ansate brooch (below) was recovered from Trench 10. As you can see from the photo two deeply incised grooves on the top and either side of the central bow of the brooch create a triple ridged effect. Simple decoration has been added to the flattened ends in the form of irregular incised wavy grooves. On the underside of the brooch the catch hook is still intact although the pin, which we can tell was of iron si

On this day...22nd July

We begin today with a find from this date in 2013 from Trench 16 on Chalkpit Field. From very similar examples found on other archaeological sites we believe it is a wall hook. The spike could be driven into a wall or roof timber and you have a simple but very useful hook. Jump forward to this date in 2019 and we made a very unexpected discovery, a Roman cremation burial! All we can tell you at the moment is that we have the actual cremation urn (largest pot), a flagon and a smaller votive pot. Check out the odd shaped stone that has been placed between them. This appears to be a stone with applied compacted soil or mud to perhaps shape it. A very curious shape, don’t you think? 😉 On the le

On this day...21st July

We begin today with a working shot of Trench 6 on Chalkpit Field from 2008. Were you with us that year? Are you in the picture? A Trench 17 working shot from 2013 next. As we all know, this area looks very different now. Finally for today we finish with a memory of an event we are truly proud of, the aerodrome memorial dedication which took place on this date in 2018. Sedgeford Airfield opened in 1915 and closed at the end of 1919. It also acted as a decoy airfield between 1940-44 and this memorial is dedicated to all units and personnel based there.

On this day...20th July

On this day in 2007 Lynn Hollyer proudly shows the large sherd of Ipswich ware pot she has excavated from a ditch section on Chalkpit Field. Long-retired and much-loved, Lynn returned to help us summer after summer, to the admiration of all. She defied her age by excavating with an agility many of the younger volunteers envied. She would often keep us entertained in the evenings with her stories of adventures on other excavations all round the world. Sadly Lynn passed away some years ago but will never be forgotten, particularly her lovely infectious laugh 😊 Nicci Neilson recovered this gorgeous bead from Trench 13 on Chalkpit Field in 2010. It is of a globular bichrome design, made from gl

On this day...19th July

Preparing to pump out the trenches in Reeddam in 2001. It sure was muddy! An unexpected find from Trench 10 on this day in 2009 was this Hod Hill brooch attributed to the 1st Century. Made from copper-alloy, with only the pin missing, it has a central, rectangular raised section on the front plate that has been decorated with various vertical and sloping lines. On this same date in 2010 a silver penny of Aethelred II (the unready) was found by Jon Cousins in Trench 13 on Chalkpit Field. The obverse of the coin (above) shows a side-on portrait of the king and the reverse (left) displays the ‘hand of God, or providence’. It bears a London mintmark and the moneyer is Wulfsige. We can date the p

On this day...18th July (Warning - contains images of human remains)

2007 was certainly a bumper year for bulk finds, so much so in fact that it came down from trench in barrow loads! The Finds team had to recruit more volunteers to clean and record it all. We journey back to the Boneyard in 2005 to share another shot of Terry (left) this time doing some all-important photography. Below we see Professor Don Brothwell offering valuable advice.

On this day...17th July (Warning - contains images of human remains)

What a fantastic photograph from 2007! Our lovely Chris Mackie may no longer be with us but we remember him with great fondness, not just for all his hard work but for his friendship and wonderful wit. Here he is with the press on this day, showing some of the pot Sammi was excavating earlier. The photograph on the left was taken of the Boneyard in 1999. Where are these young ladies 21 years on? Did any of you take up a career in archaeology? We’d love to know. Why not come back and visit us next year? You would be so welcome! Another trench shot to finish with today, this time we see Terry and David in deep conversation regarding something interesting in Trench 10 in 2009. Don’t be long, ch

On this day...16th July

Here we have a lovely photograph of Sammi excavating a scatter of Thetford Ware sherds from Trench 1 in 2007. Almost all of these sherds fit together to form a large proportion of a jar dating to the Late Saxon period. On this day in 2009 a curious ‘hook’ came to light in Trench 11. Heavily corroded it was difficult to determine its purpose but we suggested it was actually a ‘hook’ or perhaps, more excitingly, a hasp used to secure a box or casket. When the item was x-rayed things became much clearer as you can see. It was indeed a hasp. This well-made item had a right-angled arm and central slot as we could see even with the corrosion. But what we couldn’t see was the beautifully scrolled f

On this day...15th July

We begin today with a revisit to a Reeddam trench shot from 2002 with the village roofs peeping through the trees behind. Are you in this photo? In 2009 on this day Calliope found this Anglo-Saxon dress pin whilst excavating part of Trench 10. We conclude today's memories with an amazing drone shot taken in 2015. It captures not only parts of Trenches 20 and 21 but the campsite on Boneyard too. Isn’t it impressive what these little machines can achieve!

On this day...14th July

We remain with 2014 for the first of today's photographs. Recovered from Trench 18 on Chalkpit Field, this flint pick probably dates to Mesolithic times. Tools such as these were probably handheld although they were sometimes hafted. This one has been sharpened to a point at one end with residual cortex surviving away from the point. A shot now from 2015. We have a working shot of Trench 21. Keith looks on with interest as the importance of the archaeology gradually becomes clear. Three years on, in 2018, we are beginning to appreciate just how important. This shot (below) of Trench 23 shows the malting complex exposed so far.

On this day... 13th July

Judging by this photograph the Boneyard excavations in 2004 must have had a rather wet start to the season! A tool everyone should have, a sawn off….plastic milk bottle! Perhaps we should add it to the standard equipment you need to bring to SHARP? Leap forward ten years to 2014 to see the pot hook recovered from trench 19 by John Jolleys. As the name suggests this implement was used to hang cooking vessels over a fire. It has a U-shaped curved hook at one end and a flattened, wider suspension hook at the other. Made from iron, it has suffered a little corrosion over the years but below you can see it with its x-rays which make its original outline easier to define.

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