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Posts tagged "norfolk"

The village of Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich, is renowned for its Roman heritage and fortifications, having been founded as Venta Icenorum in around AD 60.

A hotbed of archaeology which originally produced a forum, two temples, a bath complex, a south gate and a large dwelling following initial excavations in 1929, its latest detectives, from the Caistor Roman Project, have spent five years digging for various victories here.

“The word is getting out,” says Andrew Ray, one of the leaders of the team.

“They’ve seen us. We had someone come out and more or less demand that we dug his garden because he wanted to keep up with the Joneses. Read more.

Villagers living in the shadow of a Roman settlement are set to discover new links to the past as archaeologists begin to dig up their gardens.

Evidence has revealed the town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich, extends “substantially” beyond the current archaeological site.

Over the weekend, experts are digging test pits to determine the extent of Roman occupation in the area.

It is hoped the work will reveal more about life there before the Romans.

Dr Will Bowden, from the University of Nottingham, which is working with the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, has specialised in the site for the last eight years. Read more.

Following headline-grabbing discoveries such as the footprints at Happisburgh, the earliest recorded evidence of humans in Northern Europe, and the timber burial circles at Holme - archaeologists say the sheer scale of finds reflect how Norfolk is one of the best endowed heritage locations in the world.

And that, they say brings an economic boost to the county, while evidence even shows those who take an interest in heritage are happier than those who do not.

A new report also reveals that, on average, every house in Norfolk is within 200 metres of an archaeological site, find or historic building, with the county’s ground continuing to provide fascinating glimpses into the lives of our ancestors. Read more.

Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and “demon traps” have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?

A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England.

Armed with just a torch and a camera, a team of volunteers have recorded more than 28,000 images from churches in Norfolk alone and are a third of the way through searching Norwich Cathedral, where there are many more examples.

Although the drawings discovered so far undoubtedly offer an insight into the minds of some - possibly bored - churchgoers in the Middle Ages, their precise meaning is not always clear. Read more.

A second prehistoric circle on a Norfolk beach has been dated to the same summer more than 4,000 years ago as its famous neighbour, Seahenge.

Archaeologists believe the two circles, which originally stood inland in boggy freshwater but are now being eroded gradually by the tides, were part of the same monumental complex connected with rites to honour the dead.

Unlike the giant boulders of monuments such as Stonehenge, the only evidence for most prehistoric timber structures is post holes in the ground. However in Norfolk, because the salty silt preserved the wood, the two circles at Holme Beach are the only ones in Britain to have been dated precisely, to 2049BC. Read more.

The remains of trenches believed to have been dug by soldiers preparing for the battlefields of World War One have been found on private land in Norfolk.

The trenches were discovered on the land at Bircham Newton, near King’s Lynn.

Landowner and businessman Nigel Day at first believed the tracks on his land were drainage ditches.

But aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1946 revealed the network of practice trenches.

Mr Day, owner of the Dreamy Hollow campsite, said he realised there was something “odd” about the land, so contacted Norfolk County Council’s archaeology department. Read more.

A small Roman silver disc, thought to have been part of a signet ring, has revealed evidence of Christian worship in late Roman Norfolk.

The disc, circa 312 to 410AD, found near Swaffham in February, is inscribed ‘Antonius, may you live in God’.

Adrian Marsden, finds officer based at Norwich Castle Museum, said: “We have practically no other evidence for any Christians in Norfolk.”

The disc was declared treasure at an inquest in King’s Lynn.

Mr Marsden added: “The disc that would have been set into the bezel from a signet ring constitutes important evidence for Christianity in late Roman Norfolk. Read more.

The remains of a boat which could be more than 600 years old has been discovered by a team excavating a new drainage dyke in Norfolk.

The oak timber remnants, dated circa 1400, were found near Loddon during work on the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project (BFAP) along the River Chet.

Archaeologist Heather Wallis said: “No boats of this date have previously been found in Norfolk.”

She added it was a “unique opportunity” to “record a vessel of this type”.

The BFAP is a long-term project to provide a range of flood defence improvements, maintenance and emergency response services within the tidal areas of the Rivers Yare, Bure, Waveney and their tributaries. Read more.