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2009-2010

In 2009-10 Dr Carenza Lewis continued to direct Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA), supported by Catherine Ranson (ACA), Jessica Rippengal (Department of Archaeology) and, from March 2010, Clemency Cooper who replaced Natalie White as programme coordinator. Sean Taylor (PhD student, Cambridge) continued to assess written assignments, Gary Mariner (MPhil student, Cambridge) provided regular support with Cambridge-based events and Emma Lightfoot provided additional office support as needed.  Numerous graduate and undergraduate students were also involved as volunteers during fieldwork

Funding from HEFCE, English Heritage and the University of Cambridge enabled more than 650 secondary school pupils to spend more than 1,500 days engaging in hands-on archaeological activities either in the field or in the University. The Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) programme continued to be ACA’s main area of activity, with more than 450 14-15 year olds taking part in research excavations within currently occupied rural settlements (CORS).  In addition, it was again possible for ACA to support scores of members of the public in digging test pits for themselves within their local communities.  Two new settlements were investigated for the first time, Gaywood (Norfolk) near King’s Lynn, which revealed the presence of a middle Saxon settlement alongside the river, and Kibworth (Leicestershire), where nearly 50 pits were dug by members of the public over a single weekend under ACA supervision as part of a television series ‘English Story’ presented by Michael Wood, to be broadcast by the BBC in Autumn 2010.  More than 800 test pits have now been excavated as part of ACA activities in thirty-one settlements. A paper presented to the Mellon series seminar on the crisis of the fourteenth century (McDonald Institute, May 2010) analysed some of the data from these sites which reveal that the impact of the post- fourteenth century downturn was more severe than has previously been apparent.  

ACA’s ‘Discovery Days’ programme expanded in 2009-10 with the support of the Cambridge Admissions Office to include a wider range of day courses themed around aspects of archaeology, attended by nearly 200 gifted and talented teenagers.  Collaboration with Cambridge Assessment refining the assessment procedures used in the HEFA programme was ongoing throughout 2009-10 with the aim of allowing it to be formally recognised by the OCR exam board, which will further increase its value to schools.

Publications:

Lewis, C. 2009. ‘Test pit excavation with currently occupied rural settlement in East Anglia – results of the HEFA CORS project in 2008’ in Medieval Settlement Research Group Annual Report vol 23, 60-68.
Lewis, C. 2009 ‘Children's Play in the Later Medieval English Countryside
in Childhood in the Past vol 2, 86-108.