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Great Gidding 2018 Test Pit Location Map

Great Gidding 2018 Pottery Report


 2018 was the first year of test pitting in Great Gidding, so on the 27th and 28th of June, a total of 33 Year 9 and Year 10 students from Ely College, Cromwell Community College and Stamford Welland Academy excavated a total of 9 1m2 archaeological test pits. 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 test pits were sited through the length of the village, along Main Street and at Chapel End and it was in Chapel End that the earliest pottery was found, dating to the Late Anglo Saxon period. A total of six sherds of St Neots Ware and Stamford Ware were excavated from two test pits, GGI/18/6 and GGI/18/7 that supports the already established theory that this area of the village was the focus for the original settlement, as recorded in the Domesday Book. This activity was seen to expand through the high medieval to the south of Main Street and around St Michael's church where a total of nine sherds of high medieval pot were recorded from four of the test pits (GGI/18/4, GGI/18/6, GGI/18/7 and GGI/18/8). This activity was seen to continue into the later medieval, although a likely shift in the settlement was also noted with 7 sherds of later medieval pottery recorded from three test pits, again mostly in the south of the village at GGI/18/5 and GGI/18/9. A single sherd was also recorded in the north at GGI/18/1, although this is likely to have been from manuring. The village expanded during the post medieval, with all the test pits then producing 16th century and later pottery with the settlement taking on the form of the village that can still be seen today.