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Wiveton 2008

Wiveton 2008 Pottery Report

Wiveton 2008 Test Pit Location Map

Eleven test pits were excavated in Wiveton in 2008, building on the twelve excavated in 2006 and bringing the total to twenty-three. Roman pottery from WIV/08/9 complimented that found in 2006 in WIV/06/3 and WIV/06/4 and supports the suggestion that this central part of the present village was a focus of activity in the Roman period. Activity in the ninth to eleventh centuries seems to have focussed in the area west of the present church, with single finds of Thetford ware elsewhere (WIV/08/9 and WIV/06/1) interpreted as likely to result from non-intensive activity such as arable cultivation or horticulture. Excavation in 2008 supported the inference made in 2006 of considerable expansion in the post-Conquest centuries followed by marked contraction by 1400 which lasted for at least 150 years, after which the settlement saw a marked revival. The importance of trade to the economy of this settlement was demonstrated by one test pit close to the former river shoreline (WIV/08/5) which produced large quantities of pottery spanning c. 1100-1650 AD, including twelve sherds of Grimston ware (c. 1100-1400) and, most notably, around 60 sherds dating to c. 1550-1600 AD. The majority of these were German or Dutch, and this suggests very strongly that the site was near to a wharf where these goods were unloaded, with items broken during transportation being discarded. On this site also, there are notably fewer sherds dating to 1400-1550 AD, the period of inferred late medieval contraction.