Our work carries on while we aren’t digging, and indeed there’s lots to talk about! Some of you will have seen bits and pieces in the press, or heard about things through the grapevine, but as we approach Christmas I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a round up of what has been happening since we backfilled the trench and put away the tools for another year. Tayne Field looks rather quiet now! This is what the dig looked like after all the infrastructure was removed and the backfilling was completed:
The grass is now growing back well, and the fencing is still up to make sure that it doesn’t get too damaged before its first mow.
It’s important to look after the new grass so that we don’t have to do too much damage control later on. Here we are (see right) with the new grass looking a little overgrown, but this is all so that it looks like it’s been there forever when it’s finally mown.
During the rest of the year we don’t rest on our laurels! On top of thinking about organising the next dig, writing articles, and giving lectures and talks, there is lots of post-excavation work to do, making doubly sure that all the records made in the summer’s digging season are accurate, filed in the right place, and that nothing is missing from the plans. Simon then gets going with inputting our records into the IADB.
This year we are thrilled to have an extra volunteer on the project! Julia Ippendorf is a Masters student in archaeology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, who is volunteering with us for three months as part of her degree. This is wonderful, as it means that we can do all those extra things with our database that we haven’t yet found the time for in our busy schedules – things such as inputting all the finds data right back from our first open area excavations in 2008. Julia is also getting lots of experience archiving and all the post-excavation processes involved in digitising archaeological records. We’re extremely grateful to Julia for all her hardwork.
Don’t forget that even though uploading and digitising all our records to the IADB is still very much ongoing, anyone can access and look at the records that are in the database. Just go to the main page of the project website, have a look at the PDF for instructions, and log in as a guest using ‘guest’ as both username and password! You can then bring up plans and records from 2008-2012, and we will soon have 2013 up there too.
Some of you will have noticed that Lyminge was in the press in the past few weeks! We always try to have a press release to get news out about the dig, and this year we were able to focus in on the wonderful bone gaming piece found by metal-detectorist and volunteer David Holman in a wall trench towards the end of the excavation.
Of course, if you are a regular reader of the blog or volunteer on the project, you get to find out this sort of news right away. Yours truly blogged about our exciting find just after the dig ended! We were thrilled that both the BBC and the Guardian newspaper took up the story, as this encourages other sites and papers to get involved, as well as proving our own excitement about the dig. Gabor was invited to speak on BBC Berkshire Radio and you can listen to him talk about the gaming piece and the excavations in a podcast for the ‘Voice of Russia‘ website. You can find links to all our press on the press page of the website, as long as it is online and it stays up in perpetuity.
Those who follow the project on Facebook or Twitter will have seen the video made for us by Steve Thomas, Lyminge resident and professional documentary maker. Steve was filming us all summer so that we can add video and audio to the excavation archive and he was kind enough to produce the short film below as a taste of what went on at Lyminge this summer (with thanks to Sarah Lucas at the University of Reading for adding the branding). It’s great to have yet another medium with which to record what goes on at Lyminge, as well as a fantastic look into what we do for those who can’t get to the dig.
As if all that wasn’t enough, we’ve also updated the website to include information on the 2013 season! You can now find a photo gallery entry for 2013 with a selection of photos from the excavations as well as some of the finds. If these just aren’t enough for your Lyminge dig fix, you can find many more photos of the dig as it unfolded if you make your way back through the blog.
There is also now an entry on the excavations page about the LYM13 season, rounding up what we found and how we are interpreting it at this initial stage. Of course as more information comes through from post-ex and through ongoing analysis we will certainly keep it updated and keep you posted!
In October Andy Macintosh, one of the site supervisors at Lyminge who come to us from Canterbury Archaeological Trust, visited Lyminge Primary Schol as part of their themed day about Royalty. This was, of course, the perfect theme to incorporate what has been going on in their very own village! Lyminge historically has direct links to the Kings of Kent in the Anglo-Saxon period, and our excavations support this through the very high-status nature of our finds. Many of the children visited the dig in the school holidays, so they were able to learn even more about the history of their own village and incorporate it with the fun of dressing up and getting to see exciting objects close up.
The square-headed brooch that Andy is holding in the photo above is a very significant find, but actually not a find made by the project! In the 1950s, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery was excavated just north of the village, and among other things garnet-inlaid brooches were discovered. More information on the cemetery excavation, including photographs of a range of objects and the burials themselves, can be found here.
It is very likely that the people buried in the Lyminge Saxon cemetery were those that lived in the settlement we have been excavating on Tayne Field. These very high-status finds are held at Maidstone Museum, and belong to the Kent Archaeological Society. Our links with KAS and CAT mean that they could be brought to the school, which is a fantastic thing to be able to do, and something the children really enjoyed.
There is lots more I could tell you but that’s probably enough for now! We do certainly hope you’ll keep following the blog and have a look around the website for lots more information. Our travelling exhibition is in fact still in Dover, but has been moved to Dover Library over Christmas and into the New Year, so you should be able to catch if you haven’t already. Don’t forget that in the New Year we’ll start letting you know about how to get involved in 2014 and keep you posted of about what’s happening with the project.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at the Lyminge Archaeological Project!