May 2011 HEFA
June 2011 HEFA
Twenty-two pits were excavated in Gaywood in 2011, a year which saw two Higher Education Field Academies (HEFA) run in the village and brought the total number of pits excavated up to twenty-eight. The first find of Romano-British pottery was made, recovered from GAY/11/11, the northern-most excavated pit. This only amounted to a single sherd, however, and no other material of this date has been recovered from any of the pits to date. Roman activity in the Gaywood area, if present at any significant level, does not therefore appear to focus on the area excavated to date.
As in 2010, a large number of sherds of middle Anglo-Saxon Ipswich Ware (AD 720 – 850) were found from pits in the north of the present settlement, between Gaywood River and the present Wootton Road, with GAY/11/01 in particular producing twenty sherds of this. This same area also produced significant quantities of later Anglo-Saxon material, with the settlement possibly arranged as two separate nodes of activity or as interrupted row. Nearly all of the pits along Wootton Road produced pottery of high medieval date, suggesting that the settlement expanded and aggregated in this period into a nucleated double row village. Overall, seventeen of the excavated pits have produced pottery of high medieval date.
In striking contrast, however, is the impression of later medieval settlement contraction, noted in 2010, which was strongly reinforced by the excavations in 2011: overall, only four of the test pits have produced any ceramic material of this date, and none of them more than a single sherd.