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Bunwell 2018 Test Pit Location Map

Bunwell 2018 Test Pit Pottery Report


In late May 2018, a total of 10 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated in the village of Bunwell by 40 Year 9 and Year 10 students from Old Buckenham High School, Thetford Academy and Hobart High School, 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.

2018 was the first year of test pitting in Bunwell, the majority of the test pits were focused around Great Green, with an additional two sited next to St Michael's church along the B1113. The earliest pottery found dates to the high medieval period, with just a single small sherd recorded from BUN/18/8 to the north of Great Green. Bunwell is believed to have medieval origins, both seen in the layout and its name (deriving from Old English) and the test pitting strategy supports this notion of the earliest settlement in the area. Activity seemed to increase into the later medieval, with four pits yielding pottery of this date, all of which was around Great Green again (BUN/18/4, BUN/18/5, BUN/18/7 and BUN/18/9) and is despite the fact of the various socio-economic factors that were affecting the entire population during the 14th century in particular (including the Black Death). It was during the post medieval though that the village likely began to take on its current appearance with all the test pits yielding pottery of this date and later.