Surrey Street, Norwich, Norfolk.
Phase 1 Trial Trenching as part of a Programme of Archaeological Mitigatory Work was carried out at a site on Surrey Street in Norwich in June this year. A fragment of possible Roman tile was recovered during the excavations, a rare find in Norwich. Quarry pits of probable medieval date were recorded that appeared to have been subsequently used for the disposal of domestic refuse during the medieval/Late-medieval periods. The remains of a cellar were recorded, probably associated with one of three 18th century terraced houses formerly on-this site. Two medieval probable quarry pits, an undated but probable medieval gully and an undated probable pit were also recorded. Modern disturbance associated with the construction and demolition of the former bus station booking office was recorded. Phase 2 may comprise archaeological excavation and/or monitoring, decisions are currently awaited.
Phase 1 Trial Trenching as part of a Programme of Archaeological Mitigatory Work was carried out at a site in Heacham in April this year. The trenches were located to investigate earthworks recorded during an earthwork survey in 2016 and features marked on a National Mapping Programme plot. A probable medieval/Late-medieval date was ascertained for some of the earthworks, others proved to be of modern date. Further archaeological remains of probable Late Saxon/early-medieval date and medieval/Late-medieval date were also recorded. Despite the proximity of two early medieval burial grounds, no human burials were encountered. Phase 2 comprising archaeological excavation and monitoring has recently started and hopes to add further information on this fascinating site.
St Andrew’s Church, East Lexham, Norfolk.
Some major improvements to the round west tower of St Andrew’s church have been carried out with associated building recording and monitoring of works. Porthole openings probably contemporary with the building of the Norman tower have been identified and recorded both internally and externally. The late medieval octagonal brick top of the tower was recorded prior to its rebuilding. Works have been completed and detailed plan and sections drawings are currently being prepared.
Late Iron Age/Early Roman evidence from Ashill, Norfolk.
We have carried out an extensive programme of archaeological evaluation by trial trenching in Ashill that has produced evidence of activities during the Late Iron Age/Early Roman period. Large quantities of pottery were recovered from ditches revealed in many of the trenches and, excitingly, fragments of pottery kiln furniture from one trench in particular indicating the likely presence of a kiln/s nearby. Spot dating of the pottery assemblage shows a probable mid-1st century date. A geophysical survey followed that has identified the probable location of a kiln/s and subsequent excavation is due to start this month.
Roman cemetery in Great Ellingham, Norfolk.
One of the largest Roman cemetery sites in Norfolk has been subject to a programme of archaeological excavation as part of the planning process following an application for residential development of a site in Great Ellingham. Complete burials and isolated finds of human bones have been recorded at, and immediately adjacent to, the site since the late 1950s. We carried out an archaeological evaluation by trial trenching in November 2011 that revealed articulated in situ Roman burials and isolated finds of disarticulated human bone, confirming the cemetery extended into the proposed development site.This lead to an archaeological excavation and we have been excavating the site for the last 4 months. Amazingly, 85 burials have been excavated, recorded and removed under licence from the Ministry of Justice – the most previously being recorded in Norfolk was about half this amount. One particular feature that has been identified from the excavations is the seemingly deliberate placement of flints around the skull and in some cases to each side of the pelvis or by the feet. One burial represents a decapitation burial where the head has been placed by the feet, surprisingly not an unknown type of burial from other Roman cemeteries. Analysis and research by a human bones specialist will no doubt shed more light on these and the other burials.
Excepting an iron finger ring that may have been deliberately placed with one of the burials, grave goods have been none existent. The population represented by this cemetery was most probably a rural settlement reliant on farming practices though, at present, we don’t know where this settlement was. However, it must have been a large, or at least long-lived, settlement given the number of burials we have found in only a small part of the full extents of the cemetery. All the burials have now been removed and a long programme of report writing follows including a publication to be made in an archaeological journal. A further article will be provided on the website once we have prepared the report and publication.
Excavations were carried out adjacent to this site in April/May 2016 and produced a further 11 in situ burials, almost certainly a part of the same cemetery site. Further excavations have since been carried out and a programme of post-excavation analysis is underway.