What is it...?!

Are you ready for a challenge? During October we are going to post a few tricky pics! All you have to do is try to identify the object. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Why not have a go? Each photo will be of a small find from the SHARP collection. There will be a question or two and maybe a hint to get you started. Answers will follow the next day. Have fun! 😉 Let’s get started straight away with this one. What is it? What is it made from? How old is it?

Update from John Jolleys (Chair of Trustees)

SHARP 2020 - a springboard for 2021 and beyond. Although our 2020 Easter fieldwork, summer excavation season and programme of courses and lectures may have fallen victim to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, our ambitions and ideas, research work and planning for the future go on apace. Publications:- Neil, Gary and Ellie are involved in completing post-excavation work on the middle and later Anglo-Saxon settlement site in Chalkpit field. The results will be published as a monograph and companion to Digging Sedgeford - A Peoples’ Archaeology. A large open-plan area has been excavated over a period of several seasons and we have been able to follow developments from the early 8th century up t

On this day...16th August

Back to the Boneyard and that famous year 2003 for the first of today’s photos. Just a few short days after the discovery of the cow bone containing Iron Age gold coins came another surprise. Just when we thought we had actually almost finished for the season a horse burial was unearthed. Later analysis of the bones revealed ‘Pegasus’ had been a healthy stallion of about 8 years of age who had lived during the Late Iron Age. He had died from a hard blow to the skull and is believed to have been a ritual sacrifice. Horses were of high value at this time, even symbols of power perhaps, so this would have represented a significant offering. After death he was buried in a river’s edge sanctuary

On this day...15th August

We begin our memories today with this end of season site tour of the Boneyard in 2000. Gareth holds the staff of power and expertly explains the archaeology and discoveries of the season. Above we have a beautiful ‘red sky at night’ over the camp site in 2013 while we all watch as the oven made previously in the week is lit ready to see how effective it is as an oven. It worked, sort of. Finally, we have Richard sitting finishing his recording on Trench 23 in 2018. Don’t worry, we did let him go home eventually 😉

On this day...14th August

Today is dedicated to the end of season celebration fancy dress party in 2009. As you can see from the photo’s everyone had a lovely time. The theme for the fancy dress? Anything but clothes! On the left we have Herbert, looking cute in a cushion cover x Zoe (right) sported a paper table cloth and rather a large selection of Capri Sun containers. Here we have Anna in a pair of curtains. Pull yourself together, Anna! Only Naomi could make an Ikea carrier bag actually look good! Mark wearing a rug caveman style. The Finds Team were represented by Bren (left), as a context sheet, and Ann (right) wearing a ball gown made from an entire roll of J-Cloths and a lot of staples! It was a brilliant pa

On this day...13th August

In 2013 it was time for some experimental archaeology. Ellie led a willing team of volunteers in an attempt to recreate an Anglo-Saxon bread oven. Here are the ladies weaving the wattle… ...and here are the chaps mixing the daub (yes there was a good deal of horse manure in that mix) 😉 There was not much room in that oven but someone had to apply the daub to the frame's inner. But our lovely little site children, Herbert and Wilfred, were happy to supply the decoration to the outside. The oven took a day or two to dry but come back later to find out if it worked.

On this day...12th August

Well, this date is perhaps the most memorable one in the history of the project so please excuse today's memories being a bit longer. Let us take you back to Tuesday, 12th August, 2003. Everyone is busy trying to finish for the season when Kev Woodward and Terry Baxter make this astonishing discovery on the Boneyard! Who could forget the moment when the x-ray, kindly provided by Sandringham Hospital, showed us the find of dreams? Inside that broken cow bone were 20 Gallo-Belgic E Iron Age coins. A further 11 were found scattered outside the bone. Added to the 8 identical coins found in previous years this represents an impressive hoard. The coins were thought to have been minted by the Ambia

On this day...11th August

By pure coincidence today is going to be a ‘pin’ day. Starting with two finds made on the same day by the same person. S. Mansell found this absolute beauty (above) in Trench 16 on Chalkpit Field in 2013. It is in such good condition and probably used as a dress pin. The point is still sharp! Only minutes later the same finder returned jubilantly with a second pin (below), also in very good condition as you can see. This pin has been hipped, which is the term used for the swelling about two thirds of the way down. This was to help keep the pin in place. We will have to look closely for other finds from this context as it may well suggest an area of specific activity perhaps. Forward in time

On this day...10th August

It is quite usual for animal bone to form a huge proportion of our bulk finds each season but what surprised us in 2011 was the discovery of several large pieces of whale bone! This was a first for Sedgeford and we are assuming that part of the animal was transported, probably via the river, from one of the nearby beaches. Animal bone, once it has been modified and made into something else, becomes a small find rather than a bulk find. This is the case with this handle, likely from a knife. It is probably a sheep’s tibia that has been shaped until it was square in cross-section and highly polished. As you can see there is a regular pattern of drilled holes in sets of three. This pattern was

On this day...9th August

On this day in 2010 this slightly bent but complete pair of copper-alloy tweezers were found in Trench 12. Unlike the tweezers featured earlier in ‘On this day’, these are parallel-sided with in-turned tips which makes them more difficult to date with certainty as this style were used during the Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval periods. There is nothing quite like that feeling when you find something special, as the smiles in this photograph show. The girls found this knife handle, also in Trench 12 in 2010. It was made from animal bone and still had one of its iron rivets still in situ. Well done girls!

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