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Archaeology project is documenting Yorkshire’s lost medieval village

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A community led excavation is documenting a recently discovered medieval village at High Hunsley in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

The excavation is being led by Ethos Heritage in partnership with Humber Timelines, under the direction of Richard Coates and Emma Samuel.

According to the Domesday book, a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales from the early Medieval period, the village is located 6 miles from the medial urban centre of Beverly.

Based on non-invasive geophysical surveys, Ethos heritage began excavating a suspected house platform in July 2022, revealing animal bones and teeth (amounting to 8.7kg), and the remains of a dog and pig mandible. Signs of butchery and burning were evidenced, suggesting that the area may have been part of a midden or yard.

Image Credit : Leon Corneille-Cowell

Approximately 12.7kg of pottery was uncovered, consisting of Medieval glaze and Green glaze, Coarse ware, Shell tempered Grey slip ware, and Shell tempered and Humber ware. The excavation also revealed a large quantity of jug handles, leading to the theory that the structure may have been a tavern or pub of some description.

Based on the recovered pottery, the team are able to construct a chronology of activity, indicating that the site was occupied between with the 14th and 15th century, with reduced activity in the 16th century.

A variety of metal and other miscellaneous objects were also found, including six iron knives, window lead, working tools, and several copper alloy personal items and pieces of jewellery.

Over 150 volunteers took part in the excavation, including university students, enthusiastic amateurs, children from a local special needs school and their families. Part of the project is to educate student volunteers on how to manage an archaeological site and run a community project, with the main aim of the project focused on using archaeology to aid those who are vulnerable or unemployed, or at risk of social exclusion.

Excavations will continue in the summer of 2023 to reveal further evidence of the building platform, a possible wall, and examine the relationship between further structures on the site to a Holloway.

A spokesperson for the project said: “This year will include not just locals, but participants from the USA and Japan. Projects like High Hunsley are a perfect demonstration of how wide the ‘community’ in community archaeology can be, not only including people from the local area but also bringing together participants from completely different cultures and time zones; with the one commonality being a passion for the past.”

Ethos Heritage

Header Image Credit : Leon Corneille-Cowell

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Archaeology

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

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Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

The discovery was made at Smallhythe Place, a late 15th or early 16th century property managed by the National Trust near Tenterden in Kent, England.

Prior to the decline of the port and shipyard at Smallhythe during the 16th century, the local community played a crucial role in the shipbuilding industry, crafting vessels for notable figures, including members of royalty.

As part of a project funded by several UK institutions, over 60 volunteers from the National Trust participated in the excavation, along with professional archaeologists, students, and members of the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group.

The excavation has revealed traces of a Roman settlement that was occupied between the 1st and 3rd centuries, including an incredibly rare figurine made of pipeclay that depicts the god, Mercury.

Mercury was a major god in the Roman pantheon and was associated with financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travellers, boundaries, luck, trickery, and thieves. He also served as the guide of souls to the underworld and was the messenger of the gods.

According to a press announcement by the National Trust: “This complete figurine probably would have depicted Mercury standing, either draped with a chlamys (a short cloak), or naked, holding a caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes).”

The team also unearthed thousands of artefacts, providing evidence of the evolution of Smallhythe Place from a Georgian farm to a midden dump, a shipbuilding site, and a brickworks.

The National Trust said: “To support our investigations, we received grants from the National Trust’s Inclusive Archaeology, Robert Kiln and the Roman Research Funds and from the Royal Archaeological Institute. During 2023, our project has received funding from the Society of Antiquaries and the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust.”

Header Image Credit : James Dobson

Sources : National Trust – Exploring Smallhythe Place: Archaeological Investigations by the River Rother

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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