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Rickinghall & Botesdale 2018 Test Pit Location Map

Rickinghall & Botesdale 2018 Pottery Report


 In late March 2018, a total of eight 1m square archaeological test pits were excavated in both Rickinghall and Botesdale by 32 Year 7 and Year 8 students from the King Edward VI School and St Benedict's Catholic School and 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.

The excavations in 2018 add to the results from the six pits excavated in Rickinghall and Botesdale in 2017, to bring the total number of pits dug here to 14. Again, no Roman or Anglo Saxon activity was recorded from any of the test pits, but six of the eight pits revealed further activity dating to the high medieval  (RAB/18/2, RAB/18/3, RAB/18/4, RAB/18/5, RAB/18/6 and RAB/18/7) to show the extent of the settlement at this time, not only along the main road, but also as the roads branch off The Street, along Back Hills and Cherrytree Lane. Activity dating to the later medieval period, again supports the results from 2017, with an evident shift in the settlement, perhaps a contraction of the settlement, due to the Black Death as well as other socio-economic factors of the 14th century. Again, with only a relatively small number of test pits excavated here, this is difficult to prove. The settlement continued to expand again into the post medieval and continued to develop into the conjoined villages that are present today.