NORFOLK — In the late 1700s, the heart of Colonial Kempsville was what is now the intersection of Princess Anne, Kempsville and Witchduck roads.
Back then, Kempsville was referred to as Kempe’s Landing and was a thriving river port town bustling with trade along the eastern branch of the Elizabeth River. That expansive waterway — now a much smaller creek — was the site of a recent archaeological dig conducted by area archaeologists including Nick Luccketti.
A few weeks ago, Luccketti spent a week digging up three areas located within the Historic Kempsville District hoping to find artifacts hinting at the former Colonial river port’s early days. Read more.
Archaeologists have spent the last two summers at the site of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund, with Channel 4’s Time Team filming them for a TV special last year.
The archaeologists returned at the weekend for another three week of digging, this time excavating parts of the Roman forum.
Led by Dr Will Bowden, associate professor of Roman archaeology at the University of Nottingham, the team hope to find out when the forum was built and what happened to it in the later Roman period.
Parts of the site were originally excavated between 1929 and 1935 following the publication of dramatic aerial photographs showing evidence of streets and public buildings, which made national newspaper headlines.
Those who studied the site in 1929-35, thought the Roman forum had been destroyed by fire and lay in ruins for around a hundred years before it was rebuilt.
The team carrying out the new excavations are looking for evidence of that blaze and are also digging in the north west of the town. Read more.
A Viking carved dragon head, Saxon brooch and Roman coins have all been found at the site of a new hospice in West Norfolk.
Archaeologists have unearthed a range of fascinating artefacts from across the ages as preparation work began for the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House at Hillington, near King’s Lynn.
The carving of the dragon head, about an inch long, is believed to date from the Viking era while the bronze brooch dates to the Middle Saxon period.
“We have a watching brief on the site while the groundwork is being done and have found a number of really interesting artefacts,” said David Whitmore, manager for the Norfolk Archaeological Unit (NAU). Read more.
Archaeologists have uncovered a wealth of interesting artifacts after excavating at a Norfolk pub.
The finds were discovered during a dig at the Mermaid Inn at Hedenham, near Bungay, on Sunday.
The dig took place at a Summer Fayre put on to raise money for sufferers of cancer.
Carenza Lewis, of Channel 4’s Time Team, led the digs and explained how excited she was as it was the first time she had excavated in the area she grew up in.
“We’ve never dug here before and we had no idea what we would find,” Dr Lewis explained.
“It’s the closest I’ve ever done to digging to my childhood home and it’s lovely also to be part of a community raising money for Macmillan.”
The team found a Victorian pipe, evidence of a pre-historic settlement dating from over 3000 years ago, items from either the Bronze or Iron Age, Medieval pottery and cooking implements from the time of the Norman conquest. Read more.
Human remains thought to be nearly 2,000 years old have been unearthed at a building site in Norfolk.
he man’s body, found crouched in a burial pit, could date back to Roman times and is the latest in a string of fascinating discoveries to be made at the former RAF Watton base.
Experts working at the site have previously uncovered six Bronze Age axes while a Bronze Age round barrow with a cremation urn and five other cremation burials were found at the end of 2010.
Analysis of the skeleton has so far revealed the man had been suffering from osteoarthritis in his spine and further tests are now under way to find out more about his origins.
A single shard of pottery was also found within the grave, suggesting that the burial dates from AD43 to AD410. Read more.
The future of an internationally important Roman town buried in an area of Norfolk has been secured thanks to a huge funding boost.
The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has announced it will be giving £374,000 to the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) to purchase part of Venta Icenorum which lies beneath fields at Caistor St Edmund.
The Roman town – one of only three Roman regional centres in Britain that remains not built over – was at high risk of permanent damage as a result of farming and unauthorised metal detecting. It has been saved thanks to the NHMF grant and support from other organisations. As well as the NHMF grant, English Heritage has contributed £40,000, South Norfolk Council has provided £20,000, and the rest of the money needed came from NAT’s own resources. Read more.
A Roman pendant of unmistakable shape was the subject of a Treasure Trove inquest in Norfolk, England. Made of gold and fashioned into the distinctive shape of a phallus, the pendant was found by metal detectorist Kevin Hillier earlier this year and reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme who confirmed it as a treasure find.
Finders of gold and silver objects and groups of coins from the same location – over 300 years old - have a legal obligation in England and Wales to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. In addition, prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1 January 2003 also qualify as Treasure.
The pendant is described by Erica Darch, a Finds Liason Officer from Norfolk:
“as being hollow, formed from sheet metal soldered together lengthways, rounded at the terminal with a small aperture left open at either end. A loop formed from triple ribbed sheet is soldered into position at the top, with separately applied solid globular testicles to either side. Separately applied wire with irregular transverse grooves on the underside (perhaps to act as keying for the solder) defines the edge of the foreskin.”
What is interesting about this little golden find is that its concept is not unique, as many similar – but cast bronze pendants – have been found in this area of England. Read more.
The successful extraction of protein from the bones of a 600,000-year-old mammoth by researchers from the University of York and Manchester, has paved the way for the identification of ancient fossils.
Using an ultra-high resolution mass spectrometer, bio-archaeologists were able to produce a near complete collagen sequence for the West Runton Elephant, a Steppe Mammoth skeleton which was discovered in cliffs in Norfolk in 1990.
The remarkable 85 percent complete skeleton, which is the most complete example of its species ever found in the world, is preserved by Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service in Norwich. Read more.