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Histon & Impington Test Pit Location Map

Histon & Impington Pottery Report 2018 


In May 2018 a total of 10 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated in Histon and Impington by 37 Year 9 and 10 students from Witchford Village College, Soham Village College and Bottisham Village College. These were dug as part of the  Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS) programme, formally known as the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) programme undertaken by Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) in East Anglia, 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. Over the summer of 2018 the Histon and Impington Archaeology Group excavated a further 13 test pits to take the 2018 total to 23 pits and the overall total number of test pits excavated across the villages to 75.

The 2018 test pits were sited across the settlements as well as filling in gaps from previous years and the first evidence for activity dating to the Iron Age was recorded from two Histon test pits along Station Road and Home Close (HIS/18/4 and HIS/18/10). Additional Roman-British pottery was also found from four of the 2018 test pits that showed an extension of the activity along Station Road, Water Lane and Bridge Road (HIS/18/2, HIS/18/3, HIS/18/5 and HIS/18/14). A single large sherd of Ipswich Ware was excavated from HIS/18/23, only the third site to record activity in both villages during the Middle Anglo Saxon. Four test pits yielded Late Anglo Saxon pottery, showing an extension of the already established settlement pattern around each church; HIS/18/22 and HIS/18/23 in Histon and HIS/18/12 and HIS/18/21 in Impington. Much like in previous years, evidence from the test pits shows that both settlements expanded during the high medieval period, with the majority of the test pits yielding pottery of this date. The test pitting has also shown that both villages were affected by the numerous socio-economic factors of the 14th century that led to a contraction of the villages during the later medieval. The settlements were slow to pick up again during the post medieval period but continued to grow and develop through the 19th century to the layout and extent of the settlement that can be seen today.