Are you able to offer some space in your garden in which an archaeological test-pit, one metre square, can be dug over a two day period?
The diggers will be 14 – 17 year-olds visiting Rampton as part of the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) and the purpose is to give them a ‘higher education experience’ and to encourage them to consider continuing studying to degree level.
The HEFA is organised by Carenza Lewis and her team from Access Cambridge Archaeology within the University of Cambridge Archaeology Department.
The students will come from a number of different schools across the region and will be working in small groups to carry out the excavation of the pits in a structured way, following instructions as to method and, importantly, the recording of their processes and what they find.
They will excavate, record and backfill the pits within the two days. Your garden will, of course, show signs for a while of where the pit has been but the aim is that it should be left so that it returns to normal as the soil settles and the replaced turf (or whatever was there) grows again. During the dig the students will be accompanied by an adult who may be from one of their schools or from the University. There will also be several visits during the two days by professional archaeologists to address any queries and advise the students (and you) about what they have found in the pits.
On the following day the students will be in the University to learn more about archaeology and about higher education studies. In due course they will also write a report on their involvement in the project. You can find out much more about the HEFA at this website: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/aca/fieldacademies.html
You can also follow links there to see what has been found during previous such exercises in Cottenham, Willingham and elsewhere. The students’ discoveries are added to a Cambridge University research project on the origins and development of villages.
The Fen Edge Archaeology Group (FEAG) supports the Field Academies and is now looking for sites for the test-pits. Please get in touch if you could help or if you have any questions. We need to have available about a dozen locations but they may not all be used.
John Stanford (FEAG)
11 Histon Road,
Cambridge CB24 8UF