We did not dig this year, but there was a lot going on, as we held a Festival of Archaeology.
Friday 11th August 2023 What a great way to end a two week Festival! A day shared with ARP Friends old and new, some so new that they only joined us today, so a huge thank you. It was just us, ARP, the morning taken up with sharing some our videos and the afternoon with Peter running through our story so far.
A big thank you to everyone who came during the two weeks and a very special thank you to those who delivered talks. These talks were ones we had not heard before as a Project, and all were so interesting and gave a huge lot of information to all who were there. There were lots of great comments throughout the two weeks. We’ll now take a break for a few weeks and update you in our newsletters which start again in November.
Thursday 10th August 2023 What a hot day!! Sorry to those who came and found it unbearable in the morning. A couple of fans in the marquee for the afternoon made it more comfortable, but apart from that, another great day with a couple of talks. In the morning Val Fryer talked about what can be discovered by taking soil samples from dig areas and running them through a soil filtration system. After her fascinating talk, we moved into the shade on the field for the question section. Brilliant, Val, we’ll be in touch so you can come and give us some training using our super duper tank, purchased with very kind donations.
In the afternoon, Jack Powell talked about aerial photography, developing on from our talk with Sophie Tremlett last week and extending to show images and their interpretation, taken as part of the Aylsham and Brampton mapping project which will soon be published. Very many thanks, Jack, a huge amount of interesting information covering a vast period of history.
Wednesday 9th August 2023 It was lovely to welcome John Lord, professional flint knapper, back onto the field this morning. He has been with us for the past few years and is always so fascinating to watch and talk to. Not only does he show how he goes about shaping a flint, but he has different examples and photographs of things he has been involved with over the years. He also sits down and looks at flint finds that we have found during the last dig. Thank you, John, people who came really appreciated your time and expertise.
Tuesday 8th August 2023 On August 8th 2018 we had our first dig and here we are, August 8th 2023, welcoming Britannia Archaeology back yet again to Woodgate to review all that has happened in the meantime. And there is a lot! Martin Brook and Dan McConnell have led us through these years and inspired us all. Our understanding of our site is still developing, but with their continued support and enthusiasm, we will learn further. What a brilliant morning! And no less brilliant was the afternoon, with a talk from Alice Schute. She reluctantly joined the dig originally, but her interest in archaeology grew and she is now working for Britannia. She talked about some of the digs she has led, the difficulties that arise, the days when its wet and muddy, but all worth it when a site reveals its wonderful secrets. Thanks, Alice, for a great insight to your world.And thank you all for coming, so good to see so many in the tent through the day.
Monday 7th August 2023 Everyone who came this morning really enjoyed the talk by Dr John Davies and Dr David Waterhouse about their new book Exploring Norfolk’s Deep History Coast. Started during lockdown, everything gradually came together to the point of getting the book published. It hopes to encourage people to come and explore the whole Norfolk coastline throughout the year and report any finds – they themselves have little time to explore. Children often ask if we’ve found any dinosaurs, they will be disappointed to know that Norfolk was covered in water at that time, but we do have mammoths!
Copies were quickly purchased and further copies are being delivered! A fascinating morning, thank you so much.
Saturday 5th August 2023 A lovely turn out for our film show at the Town Hall on Saturday evening. We were joined by Martin Hayward Smith, director of photography and Ray Gotts, film editor, who have produced both great films.
Friday 4th August 2023 After all the rain through the night it was good to have a completely dry, sunny day on the field. There was a steady stream of people visiting and looking at the exhibition and some of the interesting items laid out in the finds display. Thank you all for coming and showing a great interest in what we are doing here at Woodgate. We really appreciated it.
Thursday 3rd August 2023 The weather this morning was not very good here in Aylsham so, not surprisingly, very few onsite!
The afternoon proved differently, the sun came out and everyone enjoyed Sophie Tremlett’s talk on aerial archaeology and what can now be achieved using different technologies to work out features on the land. Many thanks, Sophie.
Julie Curl was also with us with her display.
Wednesday 2nd August 2023 We were joined by Dr John Davies, who has supported the Project right from the beginning. Although advertised as a repeat talk in the afternoon, John had so many slides that we had some in the morning and others in the afternoon! He took us through images of Norfolk finds etc from 10 000 years ago to the 1800s. Whichever talk you attended, there was a lot to see, enjoy and learn. Many thanks, John
Tuesday 1st August 2023 It was great to welcome Martin from Britannia Archaeology back to the site to give us an overview of all that has been found at Woodgate since 2016 and what could be excavated in future years to give a clearer picture of life here 2000 years etc ago. If you missed this interesting talk, come along next Tuesday as he will be with us again. During the afternoon Andy told us of the processes he goes through when identifying pot, and it is not at all simple! We are lucky to have a professional like this to help with the analysis and to come and explain it to us all. Julie Curl was also on site with her display.If you were with us today, thank you so much for coming, great to see old and new faces, plus Percy and Ollie – think you’ll be able work out who they are from the photos below!
Monday July 31st 2023 After all the preparation, it was great to have the first day of our Festival of Archaeology. The weather was good, too, only a few spots of rain. Lovely, as well, to catch up with some Friends we haven’t seen since last year and talk to people who have not visited before.During the morning, Peter gave a presentation about what we have been doing during the six years we’ve been digging. The afternoon saw Sheila presenting two videos on how the Project fired, and successfully, refired a replica Roman pottery kiln.Day 2, Tuesday, will see Martin, Dan and Andy, from Britannia Archaeology, joining us with a review of the evidence on our site and Andy talking about ceramic production in Aylsham.
He will be back with us next week with fellow author Dr David Waterhouse next Monday morning at 1030, talking about their book Exploring Norfolk’s Deep History Coast. The book will also be on sale, £15.99. Do bring cash with you if you would like to purchase.