Our dig in 2010 was a great success.
The aim of the project was to carry out a dig and to analyse record preserve and display finds. The dig took place as expected at the beginning of September 2010. Over 40 volunteers from the Society worked together with professional archaeologists. The dig exceeded expectations with the discovery of a number of Saxon burials which were subsequently analysed to be of the middle Saxon era and probably Christian. There was also a building, possibly a church, and considerable amounts of Roman and some Saxon pottery. The conclusions are all discussed in a comprehensive report which is attached here. Note it is over 10Mbytes in size.
You can still read on our old website the daily blog from the dig with video here.
For schools we produced an educational pack including examples of Roman and Saxon pottery and a video which you can see below.
As part of the project we hosted visits from a number of primary schools. 9 local schools and 160 children visited the site for a half day and participated in the dig. The children also followed the day to day activity which was recorded as a video blog. They were thus able to see what was going on both before and after their visits. The feedback from all the schools was universally positive.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The River Alde is the next river to the north of the river Deben on which the site of Sutton Hoo was discovered. Between the two rivers is the probable site of the Saxon palace at Rendlesham. At Snape approximately three miles from the project a Saxon cemetery has been found. The area is therefore steeped in Saxon history.
In 1907 The Aldeburgh Literary Society carried out a small dig on a nearby site and concluded that it was Roman. In 2006 the society conducted a dig in the area. A large amount of Roman pottery was found , but what was more intriguing was the discovery of Anglo Saxon pottery nearby. Just across the river is the location of St. Botulph's monastery which was founded in 654 AD.
The Society concluded that excavation at the site would further contribute to the understanding of Saxon heritage in the Alde Valley.
We decided in 2010 to excavate at Barber’s Point, a promontory on the River Alde, with the aim of discovering what structures were present in the Saxon era and what other features remain. This would enable adult volunteers and local schoolchildren to learn the basics of archaeology and to learn about Saxon history, which is a key part of the primary school curriculum.