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Wiveton 2006

Wiveton 2006 Pottery Report

Wiveton 2006 Test Pit Location Map

With members of the local history society and primary schoolchildren from Blakeney working with HEFA pupils, 14 test pits were excavated in Wiveton in 2006. Evidence for Roman occupation, previously noted by the property owner, was confirmed in WIV06/2, and Roman pottery was also recovered from WIV06/1, 3 and 4, all in the northern part of the present village. This may suggest that activity at Wiveton in the Roman period focussed in this area, rather than further south. Anglo-Saxon pottery was recovered in small amounts from two test pits (WIV06/1 and 6). In neither case were these from undisturbed levels, and it is impossible to say with any certainty what level of activity they might represent. Nonetheless, it may be significant that these two pits are more than 1000m apart which may possibly hint at two separate nodes of activity at Wiveton in the late Anglo-Saxon period, one in the south, near the church, the other in the north near Wiveton Hall.

A considerable expansion of activity at Wiveton is hinted at by the wide distribution of C11th-C14th pottery, which was found in all bar two of the test pits. It is notable that the distribution of Grimston Ware seems to favour the sites nearer the river Glaven, much more so than other contemporary wares, which may relate to a trade in Grimston ware to Norway from wharfs at Wiveton. In contrast, just five pits (test pits WIV06/4, 5, 9, 11 and 13), all sited close together in the lower-lying centre of the present village, produced pottery dating to the post-Black Death period, plausibly suggestive of contraction at this time perhaps with the focus of activity restricted to the floodplain edge/wharf area. This contraction, if it did happen, seems to have been short-lived as pottery of post-medieval date was much more widespread: it was found in all of the excavated test pits, with large numbers of sherds of German stoneware probably attesting to a renewed vigour in maritime trade at Wiveton.