Monthly Archives: October 2013

Looking for loot in Leintwardine

1390944_10151790377237762_45851969_oOn Saturday 19th of archaeology I joined Peter Reavill (Finds Liason Officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire) and the Leintwardine History Society for a community project in the centre of Leintwardine that aimed to learn more about the varied history of this parish. The village of Leintwardine (Herefordshire) is a built upon the site of a Roman fort controling the crossing of the River Teme/Clun. Alot is known about the Roman history of the village but little is known about what happened after the Romans left. Therefore, the aim of the day was to try and find out as much about the history of the village from the artefactual assemblages as we could.

On friday afternoon I spent several hours creating a map of the village hat was nearly as big as I was, to mark locations of finds as they came in. Members of the Leintwardine Historical Society had delivered nearly 300 flyers around homes in the village asking them to collect any objects they could find on the surface in their gardens (as much of Leintwardine is a scheduled monument we didn’t want anyone digging holes without permission). We had a steady flow of people bringing things in throughout the day, including many bits of pottery, glass and metalwork of varying dates. Objects that were identified included mineral water1375340_10151790377492762_2014109046_o bottles made by the company that eventually became Tanners Wine Merchants, several sherds of Roman pottery, including a lovely piece of samian ware, a broken piece from a rotary quern stone that could easily be roman or medieval, and a post medieval marble motar. We even had a small socketed iron 1408047_10151790378177762_1858555565_oimplement brought in that looked like something out of a horro movie which Peter suggested may have been a homemade eel or fish spear. The highlight of the day however, was this fantastic piece of modern art which one occupant of the village had made by sticking all their garden finds to a rather large glass bottle or jar. 1395654_10151790377707762_1399738603_oOn here we identified some medieval pottery, 17th and 18th century slips wares, many pieces of clay pipe, some of which were decorated, and many sherds of victorian or later ceramics. ┬áSome of the more interesting objects were recorded to be added to the Portable Antiquities Scheme database by Peter and myself, but everybody who bought something in was given details on all the objects they brought in, whether we recorded them or not.

This was a great day, and demonstrated how easy some community archaeology projects can be. We didn’t need any specialist equipment and all we needed was someone who had an idea about finds – Peter was perfect for this. I would certainly think about running similar projects abd would recommend the approach to local archaeology and history groups nationwide. I learnt a lot and hopefully so did everyboday else, a fantastic day all around.

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Wanted: An extra 24 hours in a day!

Well, what a couple of months I’ve had. After the Festival of Archaeology finished in July I thought I’d have more time on my hands – how wrong I have been! With volunteer excavations (post to follow soon), watching briefs, Portable Antiquity Scheme training, the Quaker burial ground project (again post will in more detail soon) and volunteer wednesday’s I’ve been so busy I’ve woken up today and realised it’s October and I’m half way through my placement – heck!

I am hoping things will start to settle down a bit now with the onset of autumn and the weather that goes with it, but what a wonderful 6 months I’ve had so far. I’ve been able to meet a variety of people, all of which have a passion for our past, I worked on a real range of projects including excavations, outreach, public events such as walks, talks and the occasional workshop, and working with the wonderful volunteers from Ironbridge, who without them my days would certainly have been a lot duller.

I’m also hoping that the next 6 months will be just as jam packed. We’ve got more talks and workshops planned, hopefully further fieldwork and excavation on a range of sites, and some other interesting projects too. Plus there are all those things I haven’t yet thought of but will no doubt come to fruition once I’ve had time to think.

All I need now is a few more hours in the day so I can finish a PhD thesis as well…no rest for the wicked I suppose…