ludham archive

     Test Pit Training

The Ludham Archive is planning an archaeological dig in the village in 2013. This will take the form of digging a series of test pits one metre square in various locations. We hope to get the whole village involved and to put Ludham on the archaeological map.

Of course, before you can do this, you need some training and so in October 2012 we all gathered at the village hall to dig our first test pit under the watchful eye of the experts. It was a lovely day and we got the pit dug. We even found some artifacts like pottery, flints and bits of metal. These have gone away for analysis by the experts and we will keep you posted about the results.

Here are some pictures of the Archive Team in action.

The turf is cut......
first cut
......and we are ready to start

Bron and John in action with the sieves. Every bit of soil dug out went through this process.

The hole is getting deeper
The finds are examined
spoil heap
                        gets higher
The spoil heap is growing
Scraping the level clean

The hole gets deeper and deeper in 10cm layers

Quite a stretch down now
Searching for the smallest finds
At every level the pit must be recorded. Here you can clearly see the different layers of soil in the pit wall.

Filling in
At the end of the dig, with everything recorded, came the fun part of filling the hole in again.

This test pit was dug as a training exercise but it was treated as serious archaeology. We will let you know what the finds tell us about dating as soon as possible.

We plan to carry out a much larger test pit dig in 2013. If you would like to be involved, just go back to our home page and send us an e-mail.


Here is the analysis of the finds we dug out from each 10cm layer:

Context 1
  1 x modern pottery sherd (1g)
  9 x ceramic building material fragments (28g)
12 x window glass shards (18g)
  1 x animal bone fragment (<1g)
  2 x iron nails (9g)

Context 2
  5 x modern pottery sherds (5g)
11 x ceramic building material fragments (56g)
  1 x bottle glass shard (3g)

Context 3
  3 x modern pottery sherds (9g)
  5 x ceramic building material fragments (27g)
  1 x clay pipe stem fragment (1g)

Context 4
  3 x Victorian pottery sherds (2g)
  1 x medieval (12th–14th century) green-glazed pottery sherd (9g)
  1 x medieval unglazed pottery sherd (3g)
  5 x ceramic building material fragments (13g)
  1 x undiagnostic flint flake (1g)

Context 5
  1 x ceramic building material fragment (1g)

Context 6
  1 x prehistoric flint flake (9g)

Context 7
  No finds recovered.

Context 8
  No finds recovered.

As this test pit was for training purposes, we were not expecting to find a lot of objects. However, its surprising what you find and we have a range of dates from Neolithic (up to 4000BC) through Medieval to modern domestic rubbish which was probably spread on the field in the past to improve fertility.
This is a good start and we hope to get digging again this summer.
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