Monday, 25 March 2013

Roman dig

We had the opportunity to go with our homeschool group to see a real Roman dig in action.  The University in Cambridge wants to expand their campus and as I understand it in England whenever you wish to build you need to first do a archeology discovery, which is paid for by the developers of the project.  A set amount of time and money is given to explore the area looking for any archeology finds.

This property was once farmland

Our first stop was to the educational center which we had an overview of  what is an archeologist and how they find things in the ground and what they look for

We then walked out to the sight.  Here we are shown an place of a round house.  The holes were where post where and the guide explained the variation in the soil and what that might signal to the archeologist.  
Here was pointed out the dark stripe in the ground was once a Roman road and it eventually ran right thru the house that we just looked at.  Which was one of the ways they knew the house was older than Roman times.

The layers of the soil were explained

We watched from a distance a man digging out an area.  Unfortunately we weren't able to get very close as it had rained  the previous day and the field was extremely muddy 

Next the guide showed us a map of the area and the amount of area they needed to cover.  They had only been given 6 months to complete their excavation.  So far they had not found any great finds in the area

they did find broken pits of pottery

funeral urns 

Butchered animal bones.  Kids got to see actual knife scores on the bones.  they believe this area was mainly a farming area based on the finds they had found so far.
a few unbroken pottery containers 

We had a good day out and it was fun to see how archeologist work in the field.  Also the kids got to know not every site will yield magnificent finds such as the Staffordshire hoard or Sutton Hoo.


  1. What a great trip!!! The girls would've loved that!!

  2. How exciting! My children would love that field trip!

  3. So incredibly cool...when you think that the oldest digs here are 400 (if that!) years old...THIS is unreal.
    we have friends on vac in UK now and they're doing really cheese-y things like seeing the group One Direction and such rather than taking advantage of amazing culture ! Hey, if Springsteen was on tour while I was in UK, okay that's different story---we'd go....!!)
    I directed them to your blog so they could see that fun and yet educ stuff is avail there but they're not into it.
    Thanks for sharing, I have to show my kids these pics later!
    Have a great day

    1. That is such a shame there is so much here to see that you won't see in the states...but I hope they had fun anyway:)

  4. You do the most interesting adventures. I guess England would have many places that might have hidden treasures for an Archeologist. A fun read and great pictures.

  5. That's cool that wherever they look, they find stuff like that, even if it isn't a spectacular fine. Not so here. There is some Native American relics, but it isn't as old or common.