A Middle to Late Anglo-Saxon Settlement and associated industrial area
Since 2007, SHARP’s main research focus has been the excavation of a Middle to Late Anglo-Saxon settlement in the northern area of Chalk Pit field. The main feature of the settlement is a large D-shaped enclosure and previous seasons have seen us open large excavation trenches inside and around the enclosure. The settlement site is contemporary with the cemetery site in Boneyard field which was excavated between 1996 and 2007.
Our understanding of life on the settlement is being informed by the large assemblages of Ipswich and Thetford ware being found, along with a very varied collection of animal bones and the products of all phases of metalworking taking place on site.
It was our curiosity about some features showing the signs of high temperature burning in the west of the field that were highlighted on the original geophysical survey that lead us to open a further evaluation trench during the 2013 season. Believing the features may have been furnaces, we discovered during excavation that they were in fact a collection of baked clay ovens. Around the features were substantial quantities of daub bearing wattle markings.
Interestingly, the ovens themselves sit in a buried Middle to Late Anglo-Saxon ploughsoil, which in turn lays on top of a Roman ploughsoil and beneath that an earlier Iron Age ploughsoil. In fact this entire area of the field appears to be within a post-glacial river valley that over time has been filled to a depth of 4m with a variety of undisturbed and archaeologically rich ploughsoils.
To book a place as an excavation volunteer on this project, download a copy of our application form and selectAnglo-Saxon Project in the Excavation section of the form.