Community excavation results…

The Pub Dig! at the Elm Tree Inn, Elmton was a huge success, with four test pits opened over the weekend. All four pits revealed good archaeology and helped shed more light onto the history of the village. Archaeologist and TV presenter Julian Richards came along to offer support for the dig, which will be featured in the next edition of the Derbyshire Times. Creswell Heritage Trust were also on hand providing activities for families including sand pit excavation trays for children and painting sessions using natural materials such as ochre paint, feathers and pine cones.

Pit 1 harboured an interesting collection of artefacts spanning some four thousand years, with Bronze Age flint tools, Iron Age pottery, Medieval pottery and plenty of animal bones attesting to the longstanding occupation of Elmton.

Pit 2 contained stone wall foundations and sherds of Medieval pottery, which has helped us greatly in our research on the Medieval village at Elmton.

Pit 3 revealed large pieces of limestone scattered throughout layer 3, possibly relating to the stone wall feature in Pit 2 (just a few metres away) and could well be evidence of demolition. Further Medieval pot sherds and a flint tool were recovered from the pit.

Pit 4 again revealed limestone blocks, this time forming a small ‘cist’ type structure (similar to a modern coffin) that contained numerous animal bones. Upon removal of the stone, dozens more animal bones were discovered including leg bones, teeth, vertebrae, several jaw bones and two near-complete burials, one of which was possibly a fox or dog. Further analysis of the bones will hopefully reveal more clues. A single sherd of green glazed Medieval pottery (c. 12-13th century) was the only other artefact recovered from the ‘bone layer’, which in the end equated to over a hundred bones from just one 10cm deep layer!

The group will be carrying out further test pits at Elmton next month.

Elmton Pub Dig this weekend

Elm Tree Inn, Elmton, Derbyshire

The next installment of ‘Pub Dig!’ gets underway this coming weekend at the Elm Tree Inn, Elmton, Derbyshire. MBArchaeology and Creswell Heritage Trust will be leading test pits and archaeological activities for the family and the pub will be hosting a bbq in the afternoon.

There will also be a guest appearance by archaeologist and TV presenter Julian Richards (Meet the Ancestors, Blood of the Vikings) followed by a talk at Creswell Crags at 2.30pm on his new project What’s under your feet? This new project is working with 42 schools across Britain and is sure to be a hit with children, parents and teachers alike.

Pub Dig! at Elmton is open to the public from 12 – 4pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July

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Gardoms Edge in the rain

A recent field visit to Gardoms Edge near Baslow, Derbyshire was enjoyed by members of the Southwell Community Archaeology Group, despite the pouring rain!

The visit investigated the prehistoric remains at the site including Neolithic standing stone, Bronze Age barrows, cup & ring rock art and field systems as well as the enigmatic stone-built bank that runs for over 300m across the site.

The group discussed theories behind the meaning of the art – religious symbology, cultural identity or perhaps a Bronze Age game – and pondered over the purpose of the stone bank, as well as investigating the megalithic standing stone.

The visit ended with a well-deserved pint in the Robin Hood pub afterwards, where the debate about the rock art continued!

The next field visit takes place on Sunday 22nd July and visits the prehistoric landscape around Birchover in the Derbyshire Peak.