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Foxearth 2018 Test Pit Location Map

Foxearth 2018 Test Pit Pottery Report


This was the second year of test pitting undertaken in Foxearth 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. On the 6th and 7th of June a total of 30 Year 9 and Year 10 students from County Upper School, The Ramsey Academy and Thomas Gainsborough School, excavated eight 1m2 archaeological test pits. 

The test pits were all sited to the west of the church, along The Street and Mill Road, from which only one test pit (FOX/18/6) yielded a single sherd of Romano-British pottery. This site is close to the church and a test pit excavated in 2017 (FOX/17/1) that also produced pottery of the same period and may hint at a cluster of Romano-British activity in this area. No Anglo Saxon pottery was identified in 2018 so it is not possible to expand on the village from the Middle and Late Anglo Saxon periods, but three 2018 test pits found pottery dating to the high medieval (FOX/18/2, FOX/18/5 and FOX/18/6) to add to the six test pits excavated in 2017 that also contained high medieval pottery. There was a large decrease in the number of test pits that produced later medieval pottery, with only one site in 2018 (FOX/18/5), that produced just a single sherd of Late Medieval Ware pot, which suggests quite a sever contraction of the settlement during the 14th century. Activity was seen to expand again through the post medieval, including for the first time, evidence for activity at the outlying farmsteads (FOX/18/1) as the village took the shape of what can still be seen today.