Some very local community archaeology

During July, APS was able to participate in a community archaeology project literally on their doorstep!  As part of celebrations to mark Heritage Lincolnshire’s 25th anniversary, the Trust organised a weekend of test pitting in the village of Heckington, where their offices are situated. Nearly 50 villagers took part during the event, helping to dig, sieve, wash and record their finds from 11 separate locations across the village, all under the supervision of APS. Earlier in the month, 60 pupils from St Andrew’s Primary School also got involved, excavating a test pit on their playing field.

An impressive amount of artefacts were recovered including pottery, animal bones, metalwork and building materials. Star finds included Victorian glass bottles, a seventeenth century tobacco pipe, medieval window glass, musket balls, and a single sherd of 2,000 year old Roman pottery. Hundreds of fragments of pottery were found across the village, and once analysis has taken place, will help to chart the growth of the settlement over time.

Over the weekend, volunteers were joined by Prof Carenza Lewis, well known from her role on Channel 4’s Time Team, and now Professor of Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln. Prof Lewis pioneered the use of community test pit excavation as a way to understand the history of continuously occupied towns and villages like Heckington, and was keen to see what had discovered here. She also toured the gardens to look at the excavations and talked to villagers about the artefacts they had found.

APS has extensive experience of working with voluntary groups on community archaeology projects and is happy to offer initial help and guidance for groups getting started.   Visit Heritage Lincolnshire’s website to find out more about the Lincolnshire based charity, the recent Heckington dig and their 25th anniversary celebrations.

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