Dig 3 – What did we find in Test-pit 1?

Lets take a look at our first test-pit, dug in ‘Field 1’ at the northern end of the hamlet. Test-pit 1 was dug on a slightly elevated, scrub-covered rectangular earth platform on the street frontage in the field opposite No. 27 Streetly End. Maps of the 19th and early 20th centuries show that this frontage was once occupied by a row of cottages.

The excavation team did a fantastic job, removing 70cm of soil from the pit. They didn’t reach natural ground during the dig weekend but kept on digging afterwards and removed another 20cm to reach the natural clay 90cm down. The archaeology comprised 10cm of turf overlying 10cm of building rubble, believed to be from the demolition of the cottages sometime between 1903 and 1926 (check out the 3D model below!). The rubble covered 25cm of topsoil and 45cm of subsoil. A ceramic field drain was recorded crossing one corner of the pit 70cm below ground level.

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Test-pit 1 under excavation.

Finds include a large quantity of pottery, clay pipe, glass, metalwork and animal bone, all indicative of continuous domestic occupation on the site from the 12th century through to the early 20th century. Tellingly, modern pottery dominated the assemblage at the top of the pit and medieval pottery dominated at the bottom, suggesting that the sequence represents the continuous build-up of refuse and soil over 900 years of occupation. This makes it very likely that this is the site of a medieval house.

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A small piece of a 19th-century brass hand-bell was found in the topsoil.

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A fragment of clay-pipe bowl bearing the post-Act of Union (1707) Royal Coat-of-Arms was found in the subsoil.

Other notable finds include pieces of an ornamental late 18th century vase or teapot, a piece of a small brass hand-bell, and a fragment of pipe bowl bearing the post-Act of Union (1707) Royal Coat-of-Arms. A large quantity of iron nails was also recovered from the pit, as well as several worked and fire-cracked flints.

You can explore the test-pit by checking out the 3D model below. Click play to activiate. Once it has loaded, click and hold the left mouse button to rotate the model. Use the scroll wheel to zoom and the right mouse button to move the model. Switch to full-screen mode for the annotations.

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