Phase 1 of the Grassroots Excavations took place in private gardens in Seagrange over the last month and have yielded excellent results.
Test Trench 2 under excavation
The core question of the Grassroots Project, namely – “Does anything survive of the Seagrange Monument after the construction of the Housing Estate?” – would seem to have been answered. A mere 40cm below the current ground-level, careful excavation has revealed intact archaeological deposits.
Paul drawing a mid-excavation plan of Test Trench 2
A fascinating array of artefacts were recovered from the topsoil in Test Trench 2 including 18th – 20th century ceramic, a fragment of molten glass, a sherd of potentially medieval pottery and several struck flint artefacts.
Late 18th to 20th century ceramic
Fragment of unglazed, hand built ceramic (probable medieval)
(from left to right) Tertiary flint flake, split flint pebble and secondary flake
The most exciting development however, was the retrieval of objects from secure archaeological contexts. This will allow us to accurately date the features we have found and will enable us to expand our knowledge of past activity in the area. A shallow, linear feature, possibly a drainage ditch, was excavated as well as a shallow pit and a portion of a metaled surface.
Mid-excavation shot of Test Trench 1 (left) and Test Trench 2 (right) showing linear feature and small patch of metaling in bottom right hand corner
The shallow ditch and pit were both filled with a well sorted, loose dark fill which contained large amounts of cockle shell and animal bone. A small secondary flint flake was retrieved from this fill.
Secondary flint flake
The most exciting find to date was also retrieved from this fill, a very well preserved bone pin fragment with a beautiful carved point surviving on its distal end.
Fragment of bone pin
All of the artefacts will receive specialist attention before a comprehensive statement as to their type and possible age will be made. So far Phase 1 of the Grassroots excavation has exceeded all expectation. With Phase 2 well underway, we hope to have more results soon.