skip to primary navigationskip to content


Riseley 2017 Test Pit Location Map

Riseley 2017 Test Pit Pottery Report


2017 was the fourth year of test pitting in Riseley, when in September a total of eight 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated by 34 Years 8-12 students from St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, Wootton Upper School and Biddenham Upper School. The test pits were dug as as part of the Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS) programme, formally known as the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA), undertaken by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) in East Anglia and beyond, which aims to raise the aspirations, enthusiasm and attainment of 14-17 year-olds with regard to higher education by making a valuable contribution to current academic research at the University of Cambridge, into the development of rural communities and settlements in the past.

The 2017 test pits were mainly sited along the High Street, in between previous years sits, with one pit excavated on Rotten Row and bought the current total excavated in Riseley to 39. All the pottery excavated dates from the 11th century onwards and supported what has been found in previous years, with medieval activity noted practically along the length of the current village. Despite the  socio and economic factors that were prevalent across the country during the later medieval, Riseley seems to have hardly been affected, with only a slight shift in settlement noted giving the varying amounts of pottery found between the high and late medieval periods. Subtle shifts in settlement were once again noted into the post medieval but the general village layout as seen today was almost certainly created during the post medieval, if not before.