Another year of digging has come to an end. The trench, once dug and cleaned to reveal all we could, has been backfilled. The turf will spring back and before long little trace will remain of our explorations. But for those who came to look at the trench, memories will stir of limestone walls and the red sands of natural. We planted a few daffodil bulbs to mark the location of the two walls – a small natural reminder of what lies beneath.
It was a fantastic season of digging. We were joined by Donna and Gigi (LS Archaeology) and of course their dog Arwen, Hanneke Reijnierse-Salisbury (Cambridge University) and Jason Lucas (Open University). We were delighted to find internal walls of the north range of the Forum. From a plan of 1770, we worked out that we were digging inside 2 rooms and part of the north entrance. The walls were built of Cadeby Limestone and we are investigating where this was quarried. The floors had been robbed, and there was evidence of late Roman activity in the form of a burnt pit and midden deposits. But beneath the floor levels we were excited to find pre-forum deposits, including burnt beams and wood. We were lucky enough to have Dominic Powlesland with us to complete a photogrammetric survey and the 3D model will be available to view soon.
We’re now in the process of sending finds to specialists and drawing together our findings with the previous Radar survey and antiquarian plans. Exciting stuff!
As well as the excavation, we were joined once again by Leiven Verdonck (Ghent University) who came with his amazing Ground Penetrating Radar array. Leiven continued the survey from 2015 of the area around the English Heritage mosaics, covered new areas in Aldborough Manor and re-surveyed the village green. We look forward to his results in the next few months, but an initial look showed some exciting finds.
It was a really fantastic season, and we’d like to thank all our enthusiastic and fantastic volunteers from Friends of Roman Aldborough. Also to the whole village for being so patient and interested as we dug opposite the pub! We’re looking forward to coming back soon ….